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What The Most Successful Books Series' Had In Common

See my analysis of 6 successful book series and their common traits that make up their masterpieces.

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Lets start with the characters.

Number of main characters....

Harry Potter = 3 (Harry, Hermione, and Ron)

Hunger Games = 3 (Katniss, Peeta, Gale)

Twilight = 3 (Bella, Edward, and Jacob)

Narnia = 4 (Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter)

Percy Jackson = 3 (Percy, Grover, Annabeth)

Lord of the Rings and Hobbit = 3 (Bilbo, Gandalf, and Frodo)


Having 3 main characters seems to be the way go.

How about the number of books in the series?

Harry Potter = 7

Hunger Games = 3

Twilight = 4

Narnia = 7

Percy Jackson = 5

Lord of the Rings and Hobbit = 4

A bit of a range there... but 7 is defiantly the max.

I would say, let 3 or 4 be the minimum.

How did the main characters meet?

Lets see where the first few chapters took place...

Harry Potter = School (Hogwarts)

Hunger Games = Town (District 12)

Twilight = School/Town (Bella and Edward meet in school, Bella and Jacob meet on a beach in town)

Narnia = Family (All brothers and sisters)

Percy Jackson = Camp (Camp Half-Blood)

Lord of the Rings Hobbit = Town/Family (Bilbo and Gandalf meet in the Shire (Town) and Biblo and Frodo are family)






Having characters meet in town, school/camp, and being family are all wise decisions that can lead to success.

Who let these kids run loose?

Why were these characters given the chance to save the world and be heroes?

Harry Potter = Parents are dead (Harry's)

Hunger Games = Name was picked (Katniss')

Twilight = Mother is absent (Bella's)

Narnia = Parents dead (all main characters had same parents)

Percy Jackson = Father is a god (Percy's, enough said)

Lord of the Rings and Hobbit = Parents are dead (Frodo's)


Kill off the parents. This should give the characters the freedom they need to go off on adventures.

Is it all a Fantasy?

Are all book Fantasies?

Harry Potter = Yes (Wizards, Magic)

Hunger Games = No (Extreme Government, not necessarily impossible)

Twilight = Yes (Vampires, Werewolves)

Narnia = Yes (Witches, Talking Animals)

Percy Jackson = Yes (Greek Gods, Magic)

Lord of the Rings and Hobbit = Yes (Elves, Magic Rings)


Magic is needed in almost every successful series to keep the plot as creative as possible.

Is Romance always a sub-plot?

Are two of the three characters always interested in each other?

Harry Potter = Yes (Hermione and Ron)

Hunger Games = Yes (Katniss likes Gale, Peeta likes Katniss, its complicated..)

Twilight = Yes (Bella and Edward)

Narnia = No (Brothers and Sisters)

Percy Jackson = Yes (Percy and Annabeth)

Lord of the Rings and Hobbit = No (95% of all characters are men interested in a ring)


Romance is suggested if possible.

Whats the problem?

What is the conflict?

Harry Potter = Voldemort (Evil Wizard)

Hunger Games = The Capitol (Controlling and Evil Government)

Twilight = Vampire/Human Relationship (Edward loves her, and her blood)

Narnia = The White Witch (Evil Witch)

Percy Jackson = The Gods and Titans are fighting (Family Issues)

Lord of the Rings and Hobbit = The Ring (Ring with Evil Powers)


Evil Characters, Governments, Objects. Family Feuds and Non-Advisable Relationships. Any form of evil and dangerous should be sufficient.

The old, smart, guy

Is there an experienced and trustworthy man in each series?

Harry Potter = Yes (Dumbledore)

Hunger Games = Yes (Haymitch)

Twilight = No (No one comes to mind)

Narnia = Yes (Aslan the Lion)

Percy Jackson = Yes (Chiron)

Lord of the Rings and Hobbit = Yes (Gandalf)


It is suggested.

The Author

Male vs. Female

Harry Potter = Female

Hunger Games = Female

Twilight = Female

Narnia = Male

Percy Jackson = Male

Lord of the Rings and Hobbit = Male


It doesn't seem to matter!


The tips to writing a successful and legendary series:

-3 main characters

-3-7 books in the series

-The main characters meet in town, school, or are family

-Kill off the parents

-Include magic

-Add some romance

-A form of Evil is necessary

-One of your top ten characters should be an old and wise man

-Anyone can be an author

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