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#264424 - 08/23/06 11:14 PM Plot versus character
elle Offline
Koala

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 2966
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
This week's article discusses using plot versus character to drive the story. What do you think?

What type of books do you prefer reading, and do they differ from the types of books you like to write?
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Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna

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#264425 - 08/23/06 11:24 PM Re: Plot versus character
elle Offline
Koala

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 2966
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Here's a poll to get you thinking:
Is plot or characterisation more important to the story
Only one choice allowed


Votes accepted starting: 08/23/06 11:24 PM
View the results of this poll.
Do you prefer literary or genre books?
Multiple choices allowed


Votes accepted starting: 08/23/06 11:24 PM
View the results of this poll.
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Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna

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#264426 - 08/24/06 11:30 AM Re: Plot versus character
Chelle - Marriage Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Chimpanzee

Registered: 09/03/05
Posts: 7186
Loc: Lake Lanier, Georgia
ACK, Elle! It totally depends on the book, LOL!

It is so hard to say which is more important...

My faavorite author is Dean Koontz. His characters are very important - you really feel like you know them and they are your friends by the end of the book. I know I sit there caring about what is going to happen to them - and honestly want to know how they are doing in their lives once the book is over! <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

But there were a couple of his books (only a couple, mind) where I felt his plot was weak. Or maybe it wasn't the plot, but it was the tempo of things. (His are usually very fast - making you run to keep up with him). And while I still enjoyed those, I didn't go back and read them a 2nd time like I have all of his others.

But I have never been able to get into a book where the characters were 2nd fiddle. Some of Tom Clancy's are that way. He's so technical he almost forgets his people. But I loved "Clear and Present Danger" and any of the books involving John Clark. Those have the most feeling. (Especially "Without Remorse") But "Hunt For Red October" almost lost me with all of the sub jargon and military maneuvering. In that one the plot was way more important than the characters (IMHO).
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#264427 - 08/24/06 09:01 PM Re: Plot versus character
elle Offline
Koala

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 2966
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Yes, I agree, it does often depend on the book - there are some authors who are really good at taking a cliched plot and giving it a good twist for a really enjoyable summer read - but two months later you wouldn't even remember the slightest thing about the characters.

And then I've read some really good literary fiction that just goes nowhere, but it is so beautifully written.

I suppose, in skillful hands, anything is possible...
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Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna

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#264428 - 09/02/06 03:54 AM Re: Plot versus character
ghostposts Offline
Newbie

Registered: 04/19/06
Posts: 36
Loc: texas
You need both, definately. Editors won't take a story without them (in equal amounts), but I've seen post after post in readrs' forums that emphasize character development over plot.

I think a good group of characters makes the story more fun to write.
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www.daverana.com

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#264429 - 09/02/06 05:44 AM Re: Plot versus character
Lynn_B Offline
Koala

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2172
Loc: Texas, US
A great plot with weak or boring characters makes for a boring book. A lot like seeing what should be a great play or movie where the actors are basically justreading.
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D. LYNN BYRNE

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#264430 - 09/05/06 12:59 AM Re: Plot versus character
elle Offline
Koala

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 2966
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Yes, unfortunately I've spent way too much of my time watching movies with wooden actors. It's amazing the difference a little bit of acting skill makes to even a formula movie. Elektra was pretty good; Ultraviolet was pretty bad.
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Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna

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#923598 - 10/08/17 11:10 AM Re: Plot versus character [Re: elle]
Nancy Roussy Offline
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 01/17/13
Posts: 14354
Loc: Grand-Métis, Quebec, Canada
I think both are important. Sure without a nice plot it will be boring or worst but without interesting characters that awesome plot is going to be worthless or at the least less interesting.

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