BOOKS HAVE PATTERNS.
Have you ever heard of the phrase "there is no such thing as an original idea?" How about "there is no such thing as an original plot?" Many people would argue that all stories come from other stories. I personally believe that there is a such thing as an original plot or idea, but there is no such thing as a novel with nothing in common with another novel. These aren't ways that books copy one another, they're more like the elements that connect them together. Different genres seem to hold certain ones in common more than others. I'm making this page so that I can have a set vernacular for these sorts of things. (kind of like TV Tropes this it's an awesome site) but no, not like that at all.
Love Triangle of Doom
Have you noticed that the "romantic situation" in nearly every dystopian or fantastical novel centers around a love triangle? This hypothetical example first appeared in my post on Matched by Ally Condie:
Boy1 likes girl. Girl likes boy but doesn't know it yet. Girl meets boy2 and falls in OMGlove! but girl and boy2 can't be together. girl finds out about boy1 but since she can have him he's unappealing even though he's better for her and everyone around her. He's just not as hot. So girl makes out with both of them and eventually either ends up with boy2 or realizes that boy1 was better all along, often following the death or destruction, if not betrayal, of boy2.
Girls Are Better Protagonists
So you know how most popular young adult novels are written in the point of view of a girl or with the main character being a girl? That's kind of interesting, considering especially how a lot of these books are actiony warry whatevery stuff, and therefore you'd think it would be the guys that were into it (stereotypes, stereotypes...). An idea just popped into my head likefivesecondsago. It's not because most popular YA authors are girls (although this is true) especially because most of the guys who write for the genre (Eg. Scott Westerfeld, who, out of his three young adult trilogies and four standalones, has written a total of two standalones in the point of view of a boy and one partially in the point of view of two different boys (along with some girls) and those happen to be his least popular books for young adults) still write in the point of view of a female character most of the time. The reason, according to the Manon Institute of Jumping To Conclusions and Defending Them Obsessively located in The Basement, USA, is that most girls have about fifty million strange and unknown hormones running through their brains at all time. Boys have about four. Therefore, girls are about 12.5 million times more likely to make strange and irrational decisions and go on random bitchfits whenever the author deems necessary, and for a decent plot with a badass main character, you kind of need both. For some strange reason, literature seems to think that if a girl makes crazy and irrational decisions all the time, she's "spunky," and if she goes on random bitchfits, she's "strong." Apparently, "spunky" and "strong" characters are in demand right now, because all the main female characters seem to do is make crazy decisions and go on bitchfits about how their crazy irrational decisions have screwed up their lives. If book characters didn't make irrational decisions and go on bitchfits about them, then they could usually solve their problems relatively easily, therefore there would be no story.