Monday, 3 May 2010


I have yet to meet anyone who actually likes taking tests, but they show up everywhere, including in stories. Whether it's pulling a sword from a stone, defeating your intended in combat, or working out which door you're allowed to walk through, it seems that heroes need to be tested.

I'm not just thinking about the usual conflicts and problems (bad exes, dragons, hordes of malicious space badgers) but about circumstances that are specifically designed to check the worthiness of a character for something that happens afterwards (a bit like the MOT, but without all that stuff about tread depth and brake functioning).

Mostly, I'm thinking about it because I'm writing a bit where my MC is being tested before he gets to see someone who apparently has some answers. The tricky bit, at the moment, is thinking of some tests that tell us enough about him while still managing to be funny. I've got one obvious take on one of the classics, but isn't it more traditional when these things come in threes?


Wendy aka Quillfeather. said...

Nobody likes test. But, we all love finding out the results :)

PS. I've left a little something in my blog for you.

stu said...

I suspect it depends on what the results are.

Thanks for the award.

Ben Hutchins said...

Have you seen The Princess Bride? A classic, and yes, it uses the magical three.

Christina said...

I am a bad test taker. If I was a hero and had to pass a test, I think the world would be strewed.

I love that you give us windows into your work.

stu said...

Ben, I haven't seen it, mostly because it's supposedly the one you've got to see if you fence, and being told that sort of thing puts me off.

Christina, I think you might have enjoyed the tests I ended up using more than normal.