Common things I found in almost all the books I read

Till date, I have read about 400 books. I wondered if there were things that were common to all these stories! Was there a formula? Were there elements without which a story would not look like a story? Etc. I started making mental notes and here are my findings.

In all books/stories, both long and short there are some things which I found common. Here is a list of common things that go to make a great story:

  1. The protagonist has a best friend or a group of friends who help the hero and work together to defeat the enemy. On the other hand, the antagonist has a sidekick, who keeps taking orders from the villain and always listens to them without any questions.
  2. There is almost always a character who is protagonist's friend, but they turn out to be traitors and the readers soon discover that they happen to be working for the opposition, evoking sympathy for the hero and general anger . That character may or may not be a good friend of the protagonist. Sometimes, that character also changes sides and goes over to the good guys' group.
  3. A character who is elderly, guides and supervises the lead - always dies creating big emotional gap in the hero’s life. At this point, the group decides to train more and be more cautious, or the opponent takes over, and the protagonist is forced to back off.
  4. If the book is about a species different than humans or if it is about humans with some special abilities, the normal group is always criticized in some way or the other.
  5. The villain usually strikes at the end of the book and many people get injured. There may be some minor attacks the hero has to face in the middle.
  6. A chapter is ended either with a cliffhanger or a motivating speech either by the protagonist or one of his friends.
  7. The book is started by the author telling how boring the main character's life is. Then suddenly, strange things start happening that no one can explain. Then a peculiar person comes up and explains everything to the protagonist. That person may become good friends with the hero.

This list will grow as I keep reading and discovering more. Look out for part II of this.

Leave a Comment



Leave a comment