Plot driven or character driven?

Which is the proper way to write a story? Have it plot driven or character driven?

My answer to this is..the question is wrong.

Write a story properly and whether it is plot driven or character driven, falls on the wayside. But in my opinion, the genre of story would determine if you should be plot driven or character driven.

A good writer can write in any genre they so choose but they can only be masters in one genre at the time. Thus, they become focus to a particular approach to writing a story.

I am generally, character driven. And from my own experience, character driven stories take longer to formulate and draft. Partly because, as your character intereacts in your mind; he/she may choose to do things that shoot off from your initial ideas for your story. They may introduce unique problems that you may not have thought of and thus add more color to your story not to mention an endless supply of sub-plots.

Plot driven stories can be formulated even before you start writing the first chapter. You can draft out scenes and by joining these scenes together, your draft takes shape. Plot driven stories are slightly easier to draft out. The best tool for this is actually Microsoft Excel. And the method that works for me when I think of writing a plot driven story is Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method.

There is no right or wrong approach to writing a story. Whether plot driven or character driven, ultimately the most important thing is to have a good story told.

Happy writing!

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One Response to Plot driven or character driven?

  1. I’m more character-driven–when I write–than I am *plot*.

    Character-driven novels–the ones I have written so far–are much *longer* than what the mainstream wants…so it kinda kicks me out of the running.

    But I don’t care about that. My characters are as much alive as you and me, and are PEOPLE too!

    You can’t just discard that kind of strength for the fleeting promise of money and name-recognition.

    It just makes all your books sound the same and read freakishly AWFUL. (Like Twilight!)


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