Who Carries the Plot?

Is it the characters that carry the plot or is it the plot carries the characters? I’m not sure. Perhaps there isn’t a simple answer to that, at least not for me.

For me, stories never start with a character. My mind is so deep in the gutter I imagine entire worlds before I move down into a single character’s perspective. Sometimes it feels like the purpose of my stories are to give a satisfying conclusion to a tale that will never be published, that only exist in my head. Kinda like the first three Star Wars movies, a lot had happened before then and the prequels didn’t really need to be made.

Not that I’m a very big Star Wars fan but I just saw the Rise of Skywalker and Star Wars was on my head… In any case, this means that the characters are not in control of the plot, right? They have a destiny to fulfill and that is to finish what the past started.

Yeah, now that I think about it, it’s not the characters that make me excited, it is the concepts and ideas that I love to explore; the characters just helps me do it.

For instance, lets say there’s a boy who finds a magic item in a world where magic shouldn’t exist. He has to come to terms with magic existing and what he should do with that power. Do I then need to know the character before I start writing or will the character reveal himself through his actions?

2 Comments on “Who Carries the Plot?

  1. Have you read “Save the Cat Writes a Novel”? Highly recommend. But, yes, the characters are important. In order to gain and keep readers interested in the story, we have to build the connection. The reader wants to care about the characters. And characters move the plot forward. They are the real reason people read. They are the real story within the story.

    Rise of Skywalker missed the mark hard in character development. I almost gave a flying monkey what happened, but nope. Yet, movies are different and often can get away with shallow characterization.

    Like

    • True that! I actually had two stories in my head today which I wrote down. They were contained scenes with the Main Character in focus and I have no idea about the world at large. Sometimes the world comes first and sometimes the characters.

      I haven’t read it, but I’ll check it out. Thanks 🙂

      Like

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