Choosing Between A Plot-driven, or charater-driven story. 

Personally, it’s not just about the style or the nature of the story. It’s not really up to choice, as without either of them the entire story would fall. Even if it leans to be a bit more on either side, I still expect a decent plot or relatable characters who have some depth. 

And there’s really no real need to choose between them, it’s up to you as I see this like a scale. Instead of being on either side, it’s mostly choosing how much the plot will become the drawing point of the story or whether the characters will drive it to unexpected directions which will excite readers. 

I don’t see one or the other, it’s better if you can do both to be equally intricate and complex at the same time. After all, no matter how interesting the plot is, if the characters are flat, it’s going to bore a reader. And if the characters are interesting but the story is going nowhere or is really underwhelming in creating tension, that is also an issue on the story itself. 

It’s all about balance here, neither side is better, but make sure you don’t neglect either. 

I would normally think up a plot, then have my characters also plan out the twists for me, and what will possibly affect them. And even sometimes the antagonists for me. But usually, I start with a premise and work from there to form the plot, and then the characters and what their character arc will be about. I don’t really make a choice between either, just liking both sides as I think it’s essential to a story. 

Because both can help add on to the other and makes the novel all the more richer, and well done. With neither side seeming a weaker side of the other. 

So, if you want to tilt it, by all means go ahead. There are no hard rules to writing, and all rules are free to be broken here. And, also, there’s no real limit here. I don’t really believe in certain genres being more suited to the other, it’s just about how well you handle the book with the genre and whether it’s driven by plot or characters. 

So, what do you think of this? Please leave your input below as I really want to hear from you about this issue, whether a plot-driven book or charater-driven book. 

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10 thoughts on “Choosing Between A Plot-driven, or charater-driven story. 

  1. Love this post. I’m actually working on a story now that’s more character driven than plot driven and it’s driving me nuts. I find it simpler to push a plot forward but it can often lead to my characters development getting side lined. Eh! Exhausting. But, that’s the beauty of writing, overcoming storytelling obstacles as our characters do :p

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, it was difficult for me to transit to a little more character driven before having how my characters react becoming an integral part of writing. And really, I agree that it’s all about overcoming obstacles. And really that’s just how we normally learn as writers, make mistakes then learn from it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great points! I don’t agree with those (like Stephen King) who suggest you should ignore plot, that it will somehow come along on its own. Plot is crucial to having a coherent story. People are not coherent, they often do not act in a predictable or patterned way. Characters require a bit of wrangling to keep on a path your reader can follow. On the opposite end, though, being too focused on plot can be hazardous. A lot of classic science fiction suffers from too much focus on plot, and the characters end up being cardboard (Foundation, Starship Troopers, Ender’s Game are some that come to mind). It is certainly a delicate balance. I agree with the comments here though, that a slight shift towards characters over plot is probably good. That is what readers want these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really agree here, even if it’s mostly by a hairline I lean towards characters as it’s what that really fascinate me so far. And I do agree about that, characters need quite a bit of pushing before they will follow willingly otherwise it becomes as though they are forced into a situation and not really acting as themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

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