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Thursday, August 5, 2010

What's Driving Your Story?

Are your stories driven by plot or character?  This question reminds me of this guy who was in my fiction workshop.  When his short stories were read aloud I was often left feeling as if I had been taken on a wild ride.  His stories were action packed.  Passage after passage of skirmishes or small feats, all memorable.  Even though what happened stuck with me who it happened to escaped my thoughts as soon as the story had ended.   The type of stories Workshop Guy was writing would fall under the heading, plot driven.  Meaning that how fast the car was going, how the vehicle flipped over a curb, or the extent of damage done to the car was narrated at length.  Whereas few words were used detailing what the character(s) was feeling or thinking at the time of that crash.  If the situation was reversed and Workshop Guy had taken several paragraphs to chronicle the character's feelings and thoughts instead, then the story could be categorized as character driven

It does not matter to me if a story is driven by plot or character.  My belief is that producing a captivating tale is what really matters.   My stories tend to be more character driven.  Yours may not.  But it is important to be aware of the kinds of stories you do tend to write.  That way you will be more likely to spend extra time on that action scene or give the reader some insight about a character’s motivation.       
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