21 May 2010

Friday Ramblings: Plot v/s Character


For the past several days I've been trying to read a book in one of my favorite genres that just isn't my cup of tea. It's not that the writing is bad, it isn't. It's just that the book focuses more on the situation that the characters find themselves in instead of the characters themselves. I know a lot of people prefer plot driving stories, and there are authors who make their careers out of them (Suzanne Brockman, Roxanne St. Claire, Allison Brennan – come right to the top of my head at the moment).

Me, I fell in love with romance novels for the romance, not the plot. So to me it's all about the characters. I don't care what over top situation the characters find themselves in, I want the book to be focused on the hero and heroine and their developing relationship. It doesn't matter if they are battling an evil government agency, vampire hunters, or just themselves. For me it's all about the characters.

I know that romance has evolved and I may be a dying breed, after all most of the authors who are more plot driven have cross over appeal and appear on the best-seller lists (take the authors I mentioned). While I'm happy for them, it's just not my cup of tea. If you couldn't tell by some of my posts, I get bored to tears when a book doesn't focus on the characters and their relationship.

Am I part of dying breed? Tell me, do you prefer character driven stories like me, or plot driven ones?


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5 people posted their 2 cents:

Reena Jacobs said...

The idea that a story can be plot driven or character driven is a new concept for me. I always thought books needed both to be a success. After reading so much about it, I see it's not necessarily true.

Now that I know a book can have a focus towards one or the other, I have to say I'm more into the plot. When I was younger, I was big into romance and fantasy novels. My appeal for the two genres eventually faded. Why? Because it seemed like all the plots were the same. Different setting, different characters, but same theme. I got bored.

So, with my limited knowledge of character/plot driven stories, I'm going with plot.

Sarah said...

I so, so agree! I love a good character driven story. I'm not at all a fan of Suzanne Brockman or the other authors you mentioned. I'm not a big romance suspense reader because I find those stories often rely more on plot and clues than on the developing romance.

While I do need some plot to pull me along, really, I'm there for the love story and seeing into these characters, learning what makes them tick.

A librarian, Nancy Pearl, says there are four doorways into reading for people: Story (aka plot), characters, language and one other I cannot remember, thinking it's setting or something though. I've always been a character and language reader.

GrowlyCub said...

You aren't alone. I also don't want to read plot driven stories. Mostly because I find them a lazy author's shortcut to avoid having to develop their characters. Much easier to throw in a car chase than to craft a believable emotional response by the characters to each other.

Yes, I'm really grumpy about this, why do you ask!? :)

Vixen Pearl said...

Personally, if there's one thing I can't stand, it's a romance novel who has no plot. (And yeah, I do love Roxanne St. Claire's writing. :)) I admit I love characters that I can fall in love with, sure, but if all they're doing is chasing the girl/guy? Boring. Give me plot and I'm a happy girl. :)

Pearl
Vixen Reviews

Lynette said...

@pearl of course Plot is important, I have stopped reading a couple series because they're plots have sucked even if the charecters were still funny. But, I think the overall focus should be the charecter and charecter development. I think that is one of the reasons why I can't get into some books (like Roxanne St. Clair and Suzanne Brockman) because the focuse is on the story not the hero/heroine!

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