Skip to main content

Character versus plot driven novels

I've had a brief hiatus for a few weeks while I get Book Two of my apocalyptic fiction series finished. It's coming along nicely. I'm also discovering books to read via an Amazon discussion so if you'd like to have some books recommended, please join in.

http://www.amazon.com/forum/fiction/ref=cm_cd_t_rvt_np?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx1X9OILUVOYVZ7&cdPage=3&cdThread=Tx1R33R7EPCAZVR#CustomerDiscussionsNew


This new series is heavy on plot and character. I'm developing characters that readers want to care about, and also developing the plot. But which is more important?

Characters driven novels are described as novels that characters drive. Der. But they're more than that. They're stories that we love because we want to know what happens to the people in them. When I read To Kill A Mockingbird, I desperately wanted to read about the plights of Scout, Jem, and Atticus. I became a part of their lives. I didn't want the story to end. As a side note, I'm glad that Harper Lee is publishing the follow up story. It's on my To Read pile.

Whereas, plot driven novels tend to have the already structured hero, such as James Bond. We don't need to get to know 007, he's an interchangeable (though we do have our preferences, I'm looking at you Daniel Craig) simply because of the longevity of the series. We like James Bond stories because we like the action, we want to know how he gets out of trouble, how he catches the bad guys. A quick reference to his past is enough to satisfy us that he is human, after all, and not a drone for the British government.

Neither are right or wrong. Both have their place in the market. The strange thing is how this applies to  both standalone fiction and series fiction. Bond is a series, Friends is a series, one is plot drivine one is charcter driven. Yet I like both.

The Hunger Games for me is the perfect example of combining the two elements. We care about the characters and there's a lot of plot and action.

It's a matter of personal choice. But here's what character driven novels have over plot driven novels - the ability to pull at the heart strings. Plot drives the characters, and character drives the plot.


Here's a personal example. The company I work for is being wound up. I've been here three years. I've done a variety of jobs. So it's the character of the organisation that has kept me here, not the work. So if this was the story, it would be character driven. Plot drives the character to do something, not the other way around.

For example, my YA novel Feedback is definitely character driven. The story explores what happens to teenagers who receives the organs of a spy. It shows them mourning for their pre-disease lives, and then learning to live with new hope, and then having that hope ripped away from them. Plot drives the story forward when they get kidnapped, and then they have to locate bombs and disarm them.



As a bonus, for all of May 2015 Feedback ebook is reduced to 99c.

AMAZON     BARNES & NOBLE      KOBO       AMAZON UK      ITUNES

Which do you prefer? Character or plot? I'd love to hear your thoughts.






About the author:

Not one to accept being put into a box, D L Richardson writes speculative fiction for readers who likes a twist in their tale. She now has six books published and is working on an apocalyptic series and a dystopian novel.
You can check out her more about books at her website www.dlrichardson.com




Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Latest news! I've signed up to write a post-apoc series

When I started writing, I had one set goal: to become a prolific author. At the time I was into reading Stephen King and Dean Koontz, and I wanted to write books, lots of them.  Now I have that chance. After writing, publishing, and promoting 10 books, I've signed up to to write a series of post-apocalyptic fiction books for  Mission Critical Publishing. The reason I signed up was simple. They're innovative. The publishing industry today is fast and fluid.  I've agreed to write 3 books in 6 months. Each book will be around 60,000 words when completed. I'll need to become a writing machine. To accomplish this I'll need to do  2 things: #1 Write fast The only way for me to write fast is to write an overview of the entire book (or series). This can be one page per book. Then I write dots points that become the chapters. Complications, conflicts, solutions, all fit into these chapters. Then I set a daily word count. I'm

The Bird With The Broken Wing by D L Richardson ebook now $2.99

Welcome Latest news!!! What a surprise it was for me to check in on my online retail sites and discover some good news about my debut novel The Bird With The Broken Wing . I regularly do this to make sure links are working and what not. Anyway, I checked in and discovered that my publisher has reduced the ebook price to $2.99 USD. This is great news, because many ebooks are set at this price point and I've often thought that maybe this deterred buyers rather than attract them, which is the essence of selling. you can read reviews for this YA fantasy novel on author website Author's description of the book: "The Bird With the Broken Wing is a tale about a guardian angel who ends up in Purgatory with the mortal she was assigned to watch over. While working on getting her mortal out of Purgatory she discovers some disturbing news about her presence there." Things about this book you did not know , as told by the author D L Richardson : "This was ori

Science fiction predicts...

It started out as a discussion group on Amazon. "Who likes Apocalyptic fiction and why?" I asked this question and received so many great recommendations for books to read. Why did I ask this question in the first place? Because I'm writing two different sci-fi apocalyptic novels at the moment, and I really wanted to know that I had an audience. A writer's worst nightmare is to write a book that nobody wants to read. Yet, often its a case of nobody being able to find your book in the highway jam that is the internet. THE VIRTUAL WATER COOLER Everyone will tell you that word of mouth is still the best way to sell a book. The industry is clogged with books. Just like the highway, the jam is full of good cars and bad cars, and the online book industry is the same. Asking a question like "Who likes Apocalyptic fiction and why?" on an Amazon discussion group was the best way for me to get a list of books to purchase. This is the word of mouth that advertis