Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Thrice-Told Tales: An Introduction

You may have heard that there's only four plots in the world or only seven types of characters. While that's a gross oversimplification, it's true that many stories share similar elements. To keep my blog regularly updated this summer, I decided to start a series focusing on stories that share similar elements, grouped in three sets of threes. The updates will be published on the 10th, 20th, and 30th of the month until complete.
The first set will focus on stories with similar concepts--for example, the first post will feature three examples of devilish correspondence. The second set will showcase retelling of old stories with no set canon, while the series will end with three stories with multiple adaptions. 
As an example, I will start by naming three stories with one element in common: an oracular/powerful head.  
  1. That Hideous Strength, by C.S. Lewis
  2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
  3. Brief Lives, volume eight of the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman
In That Hideous Strength, the Head originally belonged to an executed murderer, but has become the vehicle for more sinister energies. The head in A Wrinkle in Time, however, is an enslaving hive mind, threatening the heroes.  The final head, belonging to the famed Orpheus of Greek mythology, still possesses its famed musical skill, but its true role in Brief Lives is as a catalysis for the final arc of Morpheus's journey. 


  1. Hi Galadriel.

    Will you tell us what the 4 plots are?

    And what the 7 character types are?

  2. I actually didn't have anything specific in mind...