Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Character vs. Plot

I will write 500 words tonight. I will write 500 words tonight. I will write....

Okay, so now we all know my goal for tonight. It's a little, pathetic goal, but I have to start somewhere. I've been slacking recently. Well, the day job has gotten in the way a little, but so has the PlayStation 3. I think it's time to loan it to my brother again so I can't be tempted.

Of course, tonight's distraction has been Ghost Hunters, my favorite TV show at the moment and the only one that I am sure to catch every week. They had a new spin-off start this week, Ghost Hunters International, which was okay. But I have to admit I am a little disappointed that my favorite people from the original show -- Jason, Grant, and Steve -- aren't in the International show. Those three are funny, intelligent, down-to-earth people that I enjoy watching.

I swear, I'm going somewhere with all this. I'm not just rambling.

So, thinking about my reaction, it brings up the question: when you read a book, which is the most important to you, the characters or the plot? For me, the most important aspect will always be the characters. They are typically the driving force in my stories, not the plot necessarily. Some books, the events are the driving force, pulling the reader and even the characters along for a wild and crazy ride.

In my opinion, great characters can save a mediocre plot, but I have not read many books where a great plot can overcome poorly developed characters. If you don't care about the characters (and yes, even twisted morbid curiosity for the evil narrator counts), how can you care about what happens to them? Of course, the great books are the ones that have the amazing characters with mind-blowing plots.

1 comment:

daydream said...

Great post. The points you raise a so true. I am personally more of a setting oriented writer and can create the atmosphere, but I nowadays I try to concentrate on characters.

And 500 words is not pitiful, when you have responsibilities. I am happy if I score 200 a day, while studying and 1000 on weekends. Every amount of words, even the smallest is great and not pitiful.