WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > General Discussion > Writers' Cafe

Writers' Cafe Get a drink, sit down to relax, and chit-chat with other writers.


Plot Driven vs Character Driven Fiction

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-09-2011, 11:30 AM
moops's Avatar
moops (Offline)
Abnormally Articulate
Official Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: cyberspace
Posts: 120
Thanks: 0
Thanks 13
Default Plot Driven vs Character Driven Fiction


I feel as if it's so hard to find a balance between plot and character in fiction (especially short fiction).

If I have my characters think too much, I feel as if my stuff is static and boring, but if I focus more on action and having a fast paced plot, I feel as if I'm not giving enough attention to my characters which become plot devices themselves. But if I try to infuse introspection and character development in a plot driven piece, I feel as if my stuff is bloated and doesn't flow well.

So does anyone wanna give me some tips/advice pertaining to how I can integrate character introspection into a plot driven piece?

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-09-2011, 12:00 PM
TyroLancer's Avatar
TyroLancer (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 23
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

I think the balance between plot and character comes not in the form of characterization vs. action, but motivation and conflict.

As far as my understanding goes, character-driven fiction is founded on the dynamic of character motivation and character obstacles -- characters want things but they can't have them. How do they react to that? What do they do to resolve that?

In other words, motivation + obstacles = conflict.

Conflict + motivation to resolve said conflict = action.

In reality, in a well-written story, it shouldn't be so much of a struggle to balance character vs. plot; instead, character and plot should be so tightly connected that neither could stand if the other was taken away.

I could be wrong.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
(blog)
The Persistent Climb Newbie Writer to Published Author
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-10-2011, 06:24 AM
CandraH
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

People can only tell you what they do in their own work and that might not be applicable to yours. So I guess what I'm saying is, post your work for feedback and see what others say. If you get lots of no plot comments you'll know to inject more of that, likewise if you get lots of no characterisation comments to inject more of that. It's about trial and error and figuring things out in your own writing, not about asking for cookie-cutter responses from people who havent read your stuff
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-10-2011, 10:34 AM
AnyaKimlun's Avatar
AnyaKimlun (Offline)
Samuel Johnson, obviously!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: North East Scotland
Posts: 6,942
Thanks: 2,739
Thanks 1,456
Default

Probably sounds a tad trite but if I have a character I let them tell me the story, if I have a plot I let it create the characters.

For me the balancing of the story comes in rewriting until I am happy with it.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-15-2011, 07:22 AM
Eurlo's Avatar
Eurlo (Offline)
Intellectually Fertile
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: none of your business
Posts: 159
Thanks: 33
Thanks 9
Default

I agree with AnyaKimlun....

I just let my story tell itself...then if I don't like something then I change it
__________________
"Never give up on something you can't go a day without thinking about!"

Last edited by Eurlo; 08-15-2011 at 12:20 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-15-2011, 07:45 AM
Motley's Avatar
Motley (Offline)
Copyist
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 43
Thanks: 0
Thanks 4
Default

In reality, in a well-written story, it shouldn't be so much of a struggle to balance character vs. plot; instead, character and plot should be so tightly connected that neither could stand if the other was taken away.
This.

I never quite understood how people could write with the focus on one or the other. I mean, the character is living the plot. There is no plot without the character, and no character (person) has no plot (life).

On introspection, however. I've heard it called 'naval-gazing' and it's not needed to have a character deeply expressed in your story. Do you do a lot of introspection every day in your own life?
__________________
Motley

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-15-2011, 09:59 AM
Daeygon (Offline)
Copyist
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 40
Thanks: 11
Thanks 4
Default

The way I write is I envision being in the story as an observer and the characters develop with the story/plot(like how I'd see a movie) but at the same time however the characters develop I try very hard to keep there Likes, dislikes, personality etc consistent but I allow very small amounts of fluctuation to allow change and emotions to flourish, over all the story creates the actions and the obstacles the characters simply react depending on the conditions.

I believe this gives the characters and stories personality.
__________________
Writing, one day at a time!.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > General Discussion > Writers' Cafe


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How I Learned To Write Fiction starrwriter Writers' Cafe 5 08-26-2015 04:08 PM
Wicked Hollow (The Journal of Dark Literature) Jay Writing Markets 0 05-16-2006 06:11 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:57 AM.

vBulletin, Copyright 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.