10.9.09

What Comes First?


What comes first, the character or the plot? This question has been puzzling me for the last few days. As some of you may be aware, I love writing and at the moment I feel like I am on a bit of a journey to discover the kind of thing I would like to write about. I have many ideas for characters and plots and sometimes they come together to form something that could work and sometimes they don't! I have been thinking about an idea for a central character for a while but I don't feel confident about the type of plot she would be involved in, if that makes any sense!!
Personally, when I read a book, the characters are the most important aspect, if I can't take to the characters or believe in them then I probably won't like the book. On the other hand a really bad plot can not always be salvaged by excellent characters. It's such a balancing act and it makes me have such a lot of respect for those authors who pull it off and make it seem effortless.
I'm not sure how others feel about this, do you prefer books that are character driven or do you need something with a really strong and intricate plot?

12 comments:

Amy said...

Dot - I never actually knew you were an aspiring writer! Gosh, I must have been living under a rock.

I don't write myself any more, but for me, like you, I always get the idea for a character first. I also prefer character driven stories more than books with a great and gripping plot but characters I don't care for. If I don't like the character I find it hard to continue the story; why would I want to spend time in their company? Unless it's a story where they're *supposed* to be bad but the humour of the author's voice makes up for it.

Anyway, on a different subject, how would you feel about adding a followers gadget thingamebob to your blog? I'd love to follow you!

Dot said...

Amy- I have added the followers gadget- glad that you reminded me- I've been meaning to do it for a while!

claire said...

Both would be good to have, but I prefer character over plot myself. I would be totally engrossed in a plotless book that's well-written and have such deep characters, but even a fantastic-plotted story would lose me if the characters don't deliver.

Good luck in your writing endeavor!! :D

Amy said...

Dot - lol! You must have had one before because you already have 11 followers. I think if you remove the thing the existing followers stay, but no one else can join. Now it's back up, cool. I always think everyone's little profile pics look so pretty all together too.

bookalicious said...

Personally, I couldn't choose which of the two is more important two me, I can only add that writing is of great importance to me too! Ideally it's great for all three criteria to be excellent, but I need at least one of those three things to excel in a book to be able to really enjoy it!
Good luck with your writing!

Jessica Lawlor said...

Yay for you- I'm an aspiring writer too!

I'm really not sure what comes first, but for me personally, I have been coming up with plots first. Then I start thinking about the characters.

Melody said...

You go, girl! :)

IMO, I think there should be a balance between these two, so I can't possibly say if one should come first over the other.

Good luck with your writing, Dot! :)

Dot said...

Claire- thank you! I'm the same as you, I have to like the characters otherwise I'm not really interested in the plot!

Amy- I had noticed it on the dashboard thing but hadn't got round to putting it on my page, looks nice though!

bookalicious- I agree with you about the writing and I love it when you find a book that has all three!

Jessica- I think everyone's different, I seem to get ideas for the plot and characters separately and sometimes they fit together and sometimes they don't!

Melody- Thank you! I agree, I think that you have to really try and strike a balance between the two! I shall certainly give it a go!

savidgereads said...

I have to say that I think in all honesty the best books (for me at least) are the ones where the magic works with both intwining perfectly. HOwever no matter how good a plot without 'real' characters or 'true' ones books tend to leave me cold.

Good luck with your writing, my 'book' has taken two years so far!!!! But then I also have two jobs and various other crazy stuff as we all do.

Dot said...

Simon- thank you! 2 Years isn't too bad, I had better get started though!

Kirsty said...

Oooh I would have to agree with melody. If you get both right then your probably onto a winner.
When I write I tend to go for plot first, and then try to think of the best possible character to put into a certain scenario...
xx

Dot said...

Kirsty- I might try doing it the other way round, come up with the plot first and then find the right characters!

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