Question of the Week: Plot vs. Character

When asked at convention panels which is more important, I steal a line from Bob McKee and answer, “Plot is character.” That is, the choices a character makes both determine the plot and reveal personality. At least, that’s the way most of us try to make it work.

Yet still people ask the question, and I have to acknowledge that some readers seem to respond more to what happens while others seem more concerned with relationships and character evolution.

Do you follow series (or authors) more because of their interesting plots or because of the characters you expect from them? If it’s plot, what makes a great plot for you? If it’s character, what qualities attract you to your favorite fictional characters?

3 thoughts on “Question of the Week: Plot vs. Character

  1. As far as I’m concerned, I tend to like characters before plots, meaning that if I like a character concept, I will be biased to buy the novel about him. This being said, the plot will help the character to develop themselves, and then to prove they are as great as I expected to be, or will make them disappointing to me.

    As for characters, I like them to be able to show different sides, as do (most) people in real. A character can have a sad story and still be able to be funny, for example. I think it’s important for me to like them. As a female reader, I may be a bit more demanding on female characters, as I like them to be strong and woman-like at the same time !

    • If you liked the women in Prince of Wolves, I’ll be interested to see what you think of those in Queen of Thorns and King of Chaos, when one becomes a POV character equal to the boys. I was about to remark that there aren’t as many women characters in Master of Devils, but there are several. They just aren’t as prominent as in the other three books.

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