on Jane Friedman site:
You may have heard the argument before: There are only a finite number of possible story types.
No matter how much we might wish otherwise, creativity is as limited as we are. We can never invent something truly unique. The most we can hope for is to sprinkle a dash of novelty into the same worn-out trope and, with an illusionist’s flourish, let out a cry of ta da! and hope no one in the crowd sees through the trick.
And so, the argument goes, though there are millions or billions or even trillions of stories in existence, there are really only a very limited amount of stories possible.
I’d like to argue that there are just two.