Fiction writing: plot vs. character.
Possibly you focus on character development to offset a formulaic or weak plot. Or possibly you concentrate on plot, just to end up with characters that feel flat, stereotypical, or unsympathetic.
Some stories are plot-driven: they take us through twists and turns that keep readers glued to a story. Others are character-driven: readers keep turning the pages because theyve ended up being connected to the characters and need to discover what takes place to them. Some of the best stories strike a balance in between an engaging plot and interesting characters.
Have you ever fought with a story idea only to quit due to the fact that it looks like every plot has already been done?
But the plot was enchanting– a real page-turner packed with puzzles. I could not put the book down and remained up all night to finish it in one sitting.
The most patently plot-driven story Ive ever checked out is The Da Vinci Code ( aff link). The characters werent very developed and their arcs were mediocre. They werent unforgettable, and I never felt especially connected to them, and even interested in their fates.
Plot-driven stories usually engage our curiosity and stimulate our intelligence. They highlight the occasions in a story rather than the characters experiences of those occasions. Crime, suspense, and secret stories are typically driven by plot; we are drawn into the questions that the story asks, and we keep turning the pages till we get the responses: we wish to know how to resolve a puzzle, who devoted the crime, or what will happen after the asteroid drops into Earth.
Plot vs. Character: Striking a Balance
Whether plot or characters drive your story will be totally subjective. Each writer must discover a style for story development that feels comfy and produces desired outcomes.
Some of the best stories strike a balance in between a compelling plot and interesting characters.
They stress the occasions in a story rather than the characters experiences of those events. Others state that the finest stories are built around characters. Some work from a plot overview while others work from character advancement.
Since we care about the characters in character-driven stories, we can form deeper attachments to them and the stories they populate. Character-driven stories typically leave a long lasting impression on readers, since theyre based upon emotional rather than intellectual interest.
We want to see how they increase or fall to the occasion when characters are faced with an obstacle. We desire to see how they solve their problems when they encounter difficulties in their individual relationships. We want to see them make it through or thrive, and often we desire to see them stop working, as might be the case in a story about an antihero.
Obviously, the finest stories make good use of both plot and characters.
Do you focus more on plot or characters? Do you attempt to strike a balance? Which kind of stories do you prefer to check out? Share your ideas by leaving a comment, and keep composing!
Character-driven stories focus on character development, character arcs, and the various battles and obstacles that characters face. Were less thinking about the plot unfolding than we remain in how the storys events affect the characters.
Some readers insist that they need a gripping plot to keep them interested. Others state that the very best stories are developed around characters. And writers are divided on the issue too. Some work from a plot overview while others work from character advancement.
We people are social animals and are inclined to develop attachments to characters, as long as the story provides good reasons for us to appreciate what occurs to them.
Do you focus more on plot or characters?