Jane Austen was a master story-teller. Presumably without any conscious design, she managed to follow a pattern that has since become tried and true.
Using a proven framework is enormously helpful to a writer. It is a fool-proof safety net. Stay within the guidelines, and your story will work. The problem is we creative types like to think we’re producing something original. We cry out in protest, “I refuse to prostitute myself by pandering to the masses, to sacrifice my art for the sake of a set of arbitrary rules.” Okay, so that’s a little overly dramatic, and the rules aren’t at all arbitrary.
The fact is, there are no new stories, only new ways of retelling the old ones. Something in our human psyche longs to experience, again and again, the hero triumphing against all odds, love finding a way, and the bad guys getting what’s coming to them in the end. These themes don’t always win out in real life, but we insist they be true in our entertainment. Otherwise we, as consumers, feel cheated and betrayed. That’s why departing too far from the well-trodden path rarely pays off. There’s a standing joke in the industry that typifies this concept. What do publishers/film producers want? They want a proven commodity presented in a fresh way. In other words, “Give me the same thing, only different.” Sure, no problem.