Priorities and What Drives The Plot

Currently Listening To: Lost, by Avenged Sevenfold

So, NaNoWriMo is starting to look more and more…bleak.

Not because I’m chicken.

There’s a good chance I’ll have to work some major overtime at work next month. I won’t bore you with why.


I found this nifty little article on the website Writer’s Store

As the URL suggest, this is an article about whether your story is action-driven or character-driven.

There’s a quiz that you can take to determine what you prefer to write.

Myself? I seem to prefer a little of both.

I like characters that evolve. I like characters who make mistakes and learn from them. After all, they are human (usually). Like the protagonists,I want to leave the story with an experience that changes something about me.

Maybe it’s my view on life after reading The Stranger and seeing Mersault finally break down about the meaningless of life.

Maybe it’s how I take on the inevitable fact that I grow up after reading Harry Potter and watching Harry, Ron and Hermione grow and take on the difficult tasks that lie ahead of them while dealing with seemingly trivial things that were a big deal for their age.

But to watch those characters grow, I need to see them fall on their face. I need to see them work hard to achieve something. Let them be faced with death and finally break out. Let them try and win a tournament there weren’t suppose to be in. Does it hurt me that the protagonist fails sometimes? Of course it does, but when a character gets back up and continues to climb over the hurdles placed in front of them, I want to keep turning the pages. What happens in the end?

I want to see a character go from point A to point B. Don’t just say they did, show it! Every action they take to reach their goal, I want to see them fall and get up.

A character could be the most interesting guy or gal ever, but if they have no goals, why would I want to read about them?

So in short, I favor action-driven stories just slightly more than character-driven stories because I want to read about a character who has goals. I want to see how and if they achieve them and how the “quest” changes them (hopefully).

One response to “Priorities and What Drives The Plot

  1. I think I agree with you. I’ll take the quiz to see what they say, but I do think I agree. I write much more character-driven stuff, but there’s a lot of action . A lot of showing. And my goal is for my MC to grow and change and learn something. The worst, IMO, character-driven, literary novel I’ve read all the way through (b/c when I don’t like it, I tend to stop reading) was The Memory Keeper’s Daughter. I felt like nothing changed at all. Ugh.

    Thanks for the link – I love quizes!

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