What is Your Quest?

If you take a bunch of writing classes and read books on the craft, which I understand most good romance writers do, you have heard about the Hero’s Arc and/or the Heroine’s Arc. Your characters need to have a purpose or goal, they need to have a weakness or flaw, and they need to change so that they overcome the flaw. But that might not be their quest. Some characters don’t realize what their weakness even is.

022516 hero journey

My best example of a heroine who doesn’t know her own weakness is Jane Austin’s Emma. She thinks she is a great matchmaker, but she doesn’t have the common sense to closely observe how people are interacting. In the end, she does learn that being wrong doesn’t hurt for very long.

022516 Emma

No problem looking at other works and applying things I have learned. But with my own story, the long awaited sequel to Regency Banquet – Appetizer: Pure Seduction, I can’t seem to pin down Roland’s quest. Why is he so eager to leave home to begin with, and then so eager to return home by Chapter 2?

Maryse’s quest is easier, and perhaps it is more her story. Having been poorly used at the hands of a British soldier, she wants to discover sexual enjoyment with someone she can trust. And if she has to tie that someone up to trust him, well, so be it. She also doesn’t want to be caught by the French soldiers who would execute her for her aristocratic heritage.

022516 uniforms

Roland is perfectly willing to help her with the sexual thing. He is a gentleman, however, and finds himself deeply attracted to and attached to the princess. He would not use her and leave her behind, even if she didn’t hold his parole, his word of honor that he won’t try to escape.

For his whole life, Roland Curtis has been groomed by his father to take over the family financial business when Mr. Curtis the Elder passes on. More and more, father seems to be spending all his time in the country with a beautiful woman, and may retire while still able to kick up his heels.

022516 Roland
Roland Curtis, inspired by Parker Hurley

Being the eldest twin doesn’t seem to be enough reason to Roland to be forced into a life he doesn’t want. He longs for adventure in the British Army, of earning medals and glory. His brother Bernard is better suited to the life of steady businessman, as long as he can indulge his love of horse breeding and racing.

Once he faces the enemy in a disastrous battle in Austria, Roland sees that human lives are the cost of his own glory. Surviving Austerlitz, he ends up in the Lowlands and is nearly killed while on a special courier mission. He finds the path homeward much more difficult than the plans that landed him in Europe.

So there is my hero’s arc, his flaw being his lack of experience, perhaps. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.

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