Monday, January 15, 2018

Character Driven vrs Plot Driven - Yikes!

Good question - does it really matter if a story is character driven or plot driven? For me, the answer is easy - I want to write a series of cozy mysteries based around the same characters, so my stories will be character driven. But ... they also have to have an interesting plot to drive the story line and hold the readers interest. Each writer needs to determine for themselves where the balance is between character and plot in their stories. 

Every writer will have a natural preference - a way in which they prefer to tell their stories. How can a writer tell what their preference is if they really are not sure?  Some things to think about are:

Character Driven Stories:

1. The story is based around one or more characters.
2. The author creates the world of the story, but the characters control their own actions within that world.
3. The focus is on the internal changes that the characters experience.
4. The reader becomes very involved with the characters, what makes them tick, their attitudes, and what is behind their actions. The layers of each characters persona becomes evident as the story evolves.
5. The ending of the story is unpredictable.

Plot Driven Stories:

1. The story is based around events.
2. The focus is on ideas, rather than people.
3. There is a clear end goal.
4. Characters are making quick decisions that move the plot forward - there is not a lot of focus on developing the characters themselves.
5. The development of the characters is a backdrop to the plot itself.

Have fun with this!

(c) January 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

1 comment:

  1. I suppose that mine tend to be character driven, but with solid plots. But it's the characters development that is important -- that they, for the most part, learn and grow.


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