Young Adult Fantasy Story Patterns

Patterns.  I love finding them.  Especially in young adult fantasy books.

For the past week, I’ve had a lot of fun writing a story (Charlie Weaver and the Prophecy of Doom) that satirizes all of the popular young adult fantasy books that I’ve read.  I’ve reached an impasse, so I wanted to jot down a few notes regarding the “stereotypical” patterns that I’ve witnessed in these books.  (And naturally, I plan on mocking these “typical” scenes in my story about Charlie Weaver.  Get it?  Harry POTTER, Charlie WEAVER?  A Potter and A Weaver? HAHAHAHA.)

The story patterns are as follows:

THE HERO IS A BRAVE, LIKABLE YOUNG PERSON WITH PROBLEMS

  1. Star Wars:  Luke Skywalker is an ORPHAN; he’s treated well, but held back from pursuing his dreams by his uncle.
  2. Harry Potter:  Harry Potter is an ORPHAN; he’s treated horribly by his aunt and uncle
  3. Percy Jackson:  Percy has been labeled as a “troubled” kid; he’s being raised by a single mother and continually kicked out of schools.
  4. Gregor the Overlander:  Gregor’s father disappeared; his mother is struggling to hold things together.

THE HERALDS ARRIVAL:  A MESSAGE FROM THE “OTHER” WORLD

  1. Star Wars:  R2D2/C3PO deliver Leia’s message to Luke Skywalker
  2. Harry Potter:  Hagrid arrives and tells Harry that he’s a wizard
  3. Percy Jackson:  Grover helps get Percy to safety at Camp Half-Blood

THE PRESENCE OF EVIL:  SOMEONE IS AFTER THE HERO

  1. Star Wars:  Storm troopers kill Luke’s aunt and uncle
  2. Percy Jackson:  Something evil actually attacks Percy in a museum
  3. Harry Potter:  Voldemort’s ally (Quirrel) try to kill Harry Potter
  4. Gregor:  Rats try to kill all Overlanders

CLUELESS HERO IS SUDDENLY AWARE THAT HE IS “SPECIAL”

  • Star Wars:  Obi Wan tells Luke that his father was a Jedi
  • Harry Potter:  Hagrid tells Harry that he’s a wizard
  • Percy Jackson:  Percy learns at Camp Half-Blood that he’s a demi-god
  • Gregor the Overlander:  Vikus tells Gregor that he’s the warrior of the prophecy

HERO ENTERS A MAGICAL WORLD THAT NEEDS HIS/HER HELP (PROPHECY!!!)

  1. Luke Skywalker will bring balance to the Force.  (Prophecy!)
  2. Harry Potter’s fate is intertwined with Voldemort’s (Prophecy!!)
  3. Percy Jackson must solve the riddle of the Oracle (PROPHECY!!!)
  4. Gregor is the warrior of the…..wait for it….  PROPHECY!!!!

Do you see what I’m talking about?  Strip away the context of these stories, and you see patterns replayed OVER AND OVER again.

I FEEL LIKE MOCKING THE PATTERNS……  Hee, hee, hee.

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