Characters or Plot?

Musing Mondays is a meme hosted at MizB’s Should Be Reading. This week’s musing asks:

Do you prefer character-driven stories or plot-driven stories?

I always get more involved in a book that has good, engaging characters. But I also don’t like books where you can’t make head or tail of what’s going on, or worse, when nothing really happens. Honestly, neither extreme is desirable. But if I had to give a preference, I’d give it to the characters. A bad story line can’t spoil the book as much as bad characters can.

It would be hard for me to name my favourite book plots, but I can easily name favourite book characters! One of my favourite authors (and I have mentioned him too many times in this context) is Stephen King – I know very few authors, who write can characters like him.

When I can relate to the characters, or when they seem real – the plot doesn’t matter so much. Which is also why I have come to enjoy reading short stories this much.

8 thoughts on “Characters or Plot?”

  1. Oh I like your point about the short stories. I've read a few collections this year and really enjoyed them, but you're right – the characters certainly make them! I'm a character-girl too 🙂


  2. I like character over plot, too. If you give me a book with great characters and great writing, I hardly care what's going on. Plus, with interesting characters, something interesting is bound to happen anyway. A lot of the best writers let the characters drive the plot, rather than the other way around.


  3. I definitely will have to think on that for a moment. plot versus character. Okay, Since its plot which is the theme or subject of a novel and not the story line I can go with being character driven.


  4. Characters rule! 🙂 A good plot helps but if the characters 'bite' then it's just not worth the read.

    House Millar – Musing Mondays



  5. I prefer great characters BUT the plot has to move. It doesn't have to be the greatest but it has to make progress. I LOVE a great character.


  6. Its the characterization that makes or break the story. But in certain genres like mysteries and suspence novels plot has to be engrossing along with characters.


  7. Sorry for the late reply, thanks for stopping by 🙂

    Julie @ Read Handed – "A lot of the best writers let the characters drive the plot"; I couldn't have said it better!

    Sidne,The BCR – That's true. But I did mean story line by 'plot' though!

    Harish – That's what I thought too, at first, but come to think of it, imagine a complicated mystery or crime thriller with bland characters – I won't like that either!


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