Having trouble finding your story? Look for your quest.

A couple of you wanted to know the difference between a quest and a story. That’s an excellent question.

First—and most important—is that while the heart of a story is its quest, a single quest can generate many stories.  “Quest” is also a more clearly defined term than “story.”

Don’t believe it? Compare the definitions of “story” …

def of story 2


With the definitions of “quest,” as defined by the Bing dictionary:

  1. search: a search for something, especially a long or difficult one
  2. adventurous expedition: a journey in search of something, especially one made by knights in medieval tales
  3. something sought: the object or goal of a quest

Stories run the gamut from factual accounts to outright lies, while quests are always true.

A story is also thought of as a concrete entity, with a set beginning and end. A quest, on the other hand, is an ongoing and evolving adventure—full of unexpected twists and turns, setbacks and victories. Just like organizations’ (and individuals’) lives.

In addition, starting with your organization’s quest—rather than attempting to tackle its entire story—is both more manageable and more immediately helpful. It is the critical component to any story that you might develop or discover, and is usually the easiest element for everyone to agree on.

For all of these reasons, we strongly recommend starting with defining your organization’s quest.