Neal's Essential Story Elements

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Favorite Archetypes

  1. Reluctant Hero
  2. Wise Old Mentor (who dies at critical juncture)
  3. Two Villains (i.e. Satan & Antichrist; Darth Vader & Emperor) Greater evil remains hidden until later in the story. Lesser evil bears mark of outward deformity symbolic of inner.
  4. Harrowing of Hell / Exile in Wilderness / Death & Rebirth
  5. Heroic Quest
  6. Hermit / Oracle / Soothsayer (possibly blind)
  7. Bard / Wandering Minstrel / Storyteller (possibly blind)
  8. "Home" as a value / Simple way of life / Dream
  9. Father/Son Relationships
  10. The Broken Sword Reforged

Favorite Plot Devices

  1. Riddles to Solve
  2. Party is split up into smaller "questing" groups
  3. Chapter endings are cliffhangers

Favorite Themes

  1. Search for God / Spirituality / Truth
  2. Simple Life vs. Industrialism
  3. Courage in Spite of Fate/Odds
  4. E.O.R. (Education, Opportunity, Responsibility)
  5. Supernatural Power of Words (books, poetry, song, lore, creation, etc.)