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#264424 - 08/24/06 06:14 AM Plot versus character  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
elle Offline
Koala
elle  Offline
Koala

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
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?


Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna
#264425 - 08/24/06 06:24 AM Re: Plot versus character  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
elle Offline
Koala
elle  Offline
Koala

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
Melbourne, Australia
Here's a poll to get you thinking:

Is plot or characterisation more important to the story
single choice
Votes accepted starting: 08/24/06 06:24 AM
Do you prefer literary or genre books?
multiple choice
Votes accepted starting: 08/24/06 06:24 AM

Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna
#264426 - 08/24/06 06:30 PM Re: Plot versus character  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 7,186
Chelle - Marriage Editor Offline
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Chelle - Marriage Editor  Offline
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Chimpanzee

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 7,186
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).


Michelle Taylor
Marriage Editor
#264427 - 08/25/06 04:01 AM Re: Plot versus character  
Joined: Oct 2005
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elle Offline
Koala
elle  Offline
Koala

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
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...


Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna
#264428 - 09/02/06 10:54 AM Re: Plot versus character  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 36
ghostposts Offline
Newbie
ghostposts  Offline
Newbie

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 36
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.

#264429 - 09/02/06 12:44 PM Re: Plot versus character  
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,172
Lynn_B Offline
Koala
Lynn_B  Offline
Koala

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,172
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.

#264430 - 09/05/06 07:59 AM Re: Plot versus character  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
elle Offline
Koala
elle  Offline
Koala

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
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.


Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna
#923598 - 10/08/17 06:10 PM Re: Plot versus character [Re: elle]  
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 15,062
Nancy Roussy Offline
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity
Nancy Roussy  Offline
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 15,062
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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