Upcoming Debate: Plot vs. Characters


Back in December, I ran a poll asking my readers (many who are also writers themselves) which part of any given fiction is more important: plot or characters.  I wasn’t completely satisfied with this mere poll, and decided to expand this topic further with an open debate with others. I sent out a call to various authors/editors/writing coaches and several have answered!

I originally planned to run this “debate” with just a single posting; but each response I received was too good to break down into pieces.  Instead, on each Wednesday (starting March 5th), I will run each one of these responses.  At the end of each one, the readers will have a chance to chime in their own thoughts and input on the matter.

Be sure to tune for the first part of the debate on Wednesday!


6 thoughts on “Upcoming Debate: Plot vs. Characters

  1. Character. The Jason Bourne and John Rain novels would be average action novels without their well-developed main character. Breaking Bad would be just another long TV mini-series but for Walter White and Jesse Pinkman and their – um – development over time. Quasimodo is a full human being, which makes the plot that much more tender.
    Great characters allow a plot to flow naturally and organically.
    A great plot, on the other hand, can’t function without well-developed characters.


  2. Character. Definitely the more important of the two. While action/adventure novels do require more of an upbeat plot (even more of a plot in general) it would still be hard to get through if you weren’t completely invested in the characters.


  3. You can’t keep an audience’s attention without properly developing both plot and character. However, I feel that if your characters read as two-dimensional, overly perfect, or complete assholes, people aren’t going to care about their story no matter how great your plotline is.


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