Monday, 1 October 2012

A change of perspective

I've always struggled with articles I've read where a successful author is being interviewed and they've been asked the question:
What is more important, Character or plot?
They always answer: Character. (With a mention that plot is also important,)

How could they not see that without a plot, then nothing happens? 
If character was more important, then why can't I get it? 
And, if I can't get it, then am I destined to be a wannabe author, never managing to produce anything of a publishable quality?  (That's the insecure writer coming out there.  I have managed to put in the emotional arc into the books, but it's always been added after the story has been written - but the doubts still remain, have I done it well enough?)

When I say always struggled, what I actually meant, was until this week.  I finally settled on the notion that I should write something new.  I dug out my copy of Save the Cat, and started to map out the beats for a vague idea that keeps rising to the surface on odd occasions.

I know it's a bit cliched, but I have to say, it's like someone has turned on a light and now I can see exactly what they mean.  In filling out the beats, it draws out the characters emotional journey that they embark on as well as the physical journey.

It looks like I'm finally getting closer to catching up with the rest of you guys.


  1. I took the same journey, Iain. I was a plot person all the way, then I realized that the character should drive the plot, not the other way around. Characterization creates more conflict, which is what makes a story worth reading.

    Enjoy your new idea!

  2. Like I said, I'm playing catch up. lol
    The good thing is that I'm going in the same direction as you.
    And yeah, I'm really enjoying writing the new book :o)

  3. Out of plot, setting, and character, character is definitely the most difficult for me! It's one of those things that gets strengthened the most in revisions. My first time through, the character arc is there.... but it's weak. I envy writers to whom character stuff comes so naturally!

    1. I didn't say I was good at it, just that I finally get it. lol
      I strengthen my characters as I revis too. :o)

  4. I would say the character's JOURNEY, which is basically the plot, is what's most important. There. I neatly tied character and plot into the same thing. ;)