How do you keep your readers coming back for more? Is it the main protagonist/antagonist? Or perhaps it’s the thrilling storytelling? Better yet, maybe it’s a combination of interesting characters and edge-of-your-seat story line. So…in your experience, what have you noticed readers enjoy most about the stories you write?
By voting (you’ll have to let me know that you voted) or commenting, you’ll have an opportunity to either guest blog or be interviewed here (your choice!).
This past week, I put out a poll on various social media sites asking writers what they considered was the most important element of any given story. Not surprisingly, there seems to be a split between the Character element and the Plot element as evident below:
“I voted for Character, but beyond that, the narrative voice. There are some voices, like those from Flannery O’Connor, Sue Monk Kid, and even Anne Lamott, that I’ll listen to even if I’m not interested, per se, in the topic. It’s like wearing a warm flannel shirt that feels like home.” –tomadaonline
“Compelling characters move the plot, make settings more than a travelogue, give themes meaning w/which readers can identify.” –We PAW Bloggers
“Has to be plot. You can have compelling characters, intricate settings… but if they’re doing bugger all it’s a bad story!” –The Written Ward
What about you? Would you like to add your input to this debate? Do you think Character is more important to a story than the Plot? Or, perhaps the genre a story is in has a hand in determining which element would be the driving force? If you’re interested on continuing or even expanding on this debate, how about writing a guest post? Let me know via the Contact page!
*This was a post I wrote for one of my other blogs, Whispering Shadows, and I feel compelled to share here as I’m still struggling with these same thoughts and feelings.
Do you ever get the feeling…no, it’s more than just a feeling, it’s almost a “knowing” or “gut instinct” about something? You keep trying to pursue certain paths in your life that just doesn’t quite “click,” but you’re not ready to admit to this so you keep fighting against this “knowing,” keep pushing down these same paths and whenever you meet minimal success, you somehow don’t feel completely content or fulfilled. That inner nagging is always there, telling you that these paths are not the right ones for you; but, you don’t want to listen. You want to do what you “want” to do, not because of some inner voice from an unseen place is telling you to. Over time, you begin to notice that the harder you fight against this “knowing” the more unsettled you begin to feel. You start to doubt your place in this world, your unique purpose in this life (whatever that may be). Misery and doubt begin to plague your every waking moment. You grow weary of the “whispers” that constantly follow you everywhere.
So, should I believe in destiny and fate then? Should I give in to these inner voices and go where they tell me to go? Would I then finally find lasting peace knowing that I’m doing what I was born to do?
Shouldn’t I be able to choose rather than have it chosen for me?