Welcome everyone to Let’s Talk Bookish! Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by me, where we discuss chosen topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.
Today’s topic is: Plot or Characters: Which is more important and why?
Guys, I totally messed this up. On the first Friday of the month, the topic was What Makes A Great Book, and instead of talking about several elements, I pretty much wrote a post talking about why plot is the most important part of a book. So, I’m going to copy what I said there, and paste it here since I’ll just be repeating myself.
I flip flop a lot between my preference for character driven books, and plot driven books, but about 90% of the time, I prefer plot driven books.
The plot has to be thrilling, exciting, with good and believable twists and surprises. You can’t just have random things going on that have nothing to do with each other, or use magic to brush off something as “oh, magic fixed that, let’s move on”, and you can not have twists that are so far-fetched and so unbelievable, and so out of nowhere that I end up hating the book.
It has to be carefully and perfectly done. A few major twists, a few minor ones, an exciting build up to a stunning (preferably explosive) reveal, and a nice epilogue or wrap-up. If it’s a cliffhanger, it better be a very good one that leaves me shocked and crying for the next book. Those, in my opinion, are the ingredients for a perfect plot.
Why is plot what I think makes a book?
Well, I read a lot of mysteries and thrillers, so the plot is everything. Even with fantasy books, or contemporaries or whatever, the plot still matters immensely, because it keeps the story moving. It can be a character-driven book, but there has to be something going on, something at stake for the characters to help make it a character-driven book.
If the book had no plot, and it’s supposed to be character-driven, what’s the point in reading it? There’s nothing going on, it’s just characters moving through life and recounting thoughts and stuff. Without a good plot (it can even be a weak one, there just has to be some sort of a plot that makes sense), there really is nothing to help them have a character arc, and it makes it tedious to read about their lives. Unless of course it’s a book about their lives, and even then, there will be some sort of a plot.
In mysteries or thrillers, the plot is the book. Without the plot, there is no book, so a good exciting plot is very important and non-negotiable in those kind of books. And it also has to be plausible and believable-no superhuman strengths or a person defying death too many times to count, when there is nothing in the book about a character with superhuman strength or the ability to defy death.
In conclusion, I think plot is the most important aspect in any book because it gives the reader something to look forward to, or something that motivates them to find out what happens at the end. You can have horrible characters, but a great plot, and that can still save the story for some readers.
This Week’s Participants:
Which do you think is more important: plot or characters? Why do you think so? Do you like to read plot or character driven books? What are some of your favorites? Chat with me in the comments below!