(I’m bumping this up for those who just tuned in…)
Long before I ever wrote my book — since I was a kid in fact — I have been mulling over the similarities of certain stories. As the chart below shows, a lot of books fit The Wizard of Oz template.
(Now that my book, The Qwikpick Adventure Society, is done … lo and behold it fits the Wizard of Oz outline, too! Of course, since my book is not an epic fantasy, but a “real-life” story, I had to stretch things a bit to make it fit. And, by the way, PLEASE don’t think I’m inviting comparision in the quality of my story compared to these classics!)
|Wizard of Oz||Lord of the Rings||Star Wars||Harry Potter||Qwikpick|
|from humble background||Kansas||Shire||moisture farm||Muggle suburbs||Crickenburg|
|joins trusted friends||Scarecrow, Tinman||Sam, Merry, Pippin||Han, Leia||Ron, Hermy||Dave, Marilla|
|and furry pal||Lion||Gimli||Chewbacca||Hagrid||Larry ?|
|for treacherous journey||yellow brick road||Moria, etc…||space flight||1 per book||cow-pie fields|
|from paradise||Emerald City||Rivendell||?||Hogwarts||Qwikpick|
|with help of good witch||Glenda||Gandalf||Obi Wan||Dumbledore||Freddie|
|and trouble from bad witch||Wicked Witch(es)||Fiery Eye||Darth Vader||Voldemort||Brenda|
|and flying baddies||Winged Monkeys||Ring Wraiths||Tie Fighters||bad Quidditchers||poop drops|
|to take/find magic item||broomstick||The One Ring||lightsaber/ blueprints||wand, cloak, etc…||camera|
|to epicenter of badness!||Witch’s castle||Mt. Doom||Death Star||1 per book||sludge fountain|
Lloyd Alexander’s INCREDIBLE Taran series (Book of Three, Black Cauldron, etc…) fits very well, too, but I didn’t have room for it on the graph. I’m certainly not criticizing any of the books for fitting this outline. Lots of books can be analyzed this way and I’m guessing it all started with Gilgamesh or cave paintings or maybe even the first story anybody ever told.
I’d love to hear from you if you find other books that fit. You know you’ve got a good one when you find the furry pal and the flying baddies.