Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Plot versus Character--the book--Lenora Worth

No, I didn't write this book. My friend Jeff Gerke did. But I'm glad he wrote it. Even though I've published over 40 books, I can always find way to learn to be a better writer. I think Jeff's book will help me do just that. It's subtitled as "a balanced approach to writing great fiction." I could use some balance somewhere in my life! Might as well be my writing. And the man dedicated the book to his beautiful youngest daughter. Sigh.

Anyway, the cover blurb asks the question--What's more important to a story: a gripping plot or compelling characters? This books says the best fiction is rich in both. It shows writers how to be good at both. So what do you think? Does the plot come first or should the characters carry the story? Would you rather read a fast moving plot with little character study, or do you like to get deep inside a character's head and see what makes him tick? Or maybe you like a little bit of both.

If you're a writer, read Jeff Gerke's book. It will help clarify things for you. If you are a reader, tell us your feelings. Have you read a book that covers both of these things? Who does the best plots and who creates the best characters?

Plot versus character. Game on!


  1. For me, it is a real toss up between plot and character. But when I think about it, if I love the characters, I can put up with a plot that is in the background. If I have a book where a lot happens but I don't learn much about the characters, I tend to give up before the end.

    I love you all so am going to say what every good mother knows to say, "I love your characters best!"

    Peace, Julie

  2. I think plot derives from character. Can't have on without the other!

  3. I agree with Lyn, and if ever I do get time, Jeff's book sounds great.

  4. Characters first! Although I usually have an idea of a plot as I choose them. I know that I need something to keep them apart.

    I love to read books that go deep into character, though. I don't worry so much about plot while reading.

  5. It depends. I think if you're doing a suspense, that plot is important, but you have to have characters who match the plot. On a straight romance, characters give birth to a plot.

  6. I can see this argument will be on going! It is a toss up for me, but I do love great characters. I think I'm more character driven since characters always pop into my head, ready to rumble. I have to search for a plot for those characters. By the way, Jeff Gerke is also the founder of March Lord Press which publishes Christian science fiction and fantasy. A whole nother discussion!

  7. I'll have to find this book. I'm a plot driven writer. Even if I start with characters in mind, they change according to the plot and well, the plot will change according to the developing characters. Hmmmm.


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