The Quest — It’s Personal

I’m currently writing a book with a fairly standard fantasy structure: strange man comes to town, stirs things up, village youths go on quest to change the world.

I was telling some friends about how I was writing the packing scene, and they thought this was hilarious. It so happens that they hate packing, so I had to admit that I don’t. It feels a bit like building a new world, deciding what clothes and necessities go in a suitcase, figuring out what life will be like in that window of time you’re packing for.

It’s been a bit hard to get through this novel opening, though. And I think I’ve figured out why:

Leaving home for an adventure is so personal to me.

In this novel I want those intimate details of such a trip to take precedence–what it feels like to be up at a crazy early hour to leave for the airport a road-trip. The fact that if you’re not crying, you have to laugh.

And because my lead heroine is someone who’s lived in one place for a while after having moved all over during her childhood, it’s even closer to home, when she starts finally grieving about the fact that she’s leaving.

After today’s writing session, though, I have my characters on the road. I’ll get to make up more stuff, which may be a bit easier. Because I’ve never actually done a walking tour of a fantasy continent.


I wrote about the impossibility of a “going home” after such an adventure a couple of years ago for a magazine written for Third Culture Kids. You can read that here: “You Can’t Go Home Again” – Denizen Magazine

Though I need to rewrite it in the context of Frodo & Bilbo, maybe, as a nerd essay.

:adds to To-Do list that resembles the manuscript of the Silmarillion:

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