1. Renaul
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    Renaul New Member

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    Characterization vs. Plot Development

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Renaul, Dec 11, 2006.

    So far with what I am writing I have several very long files on each Major Character and several Minor Characters but a lot of the things that I seem to want to write down would require knowledge of how the person would react to different situations.

    I started to do this because I did not want to get into a situation while I was developing the plot where one of the characters might react to or interact with the other characters in a way that seemed uncharacteristic for them--no pun intended.

    So that is the situation and my question is how do most people approach characterization and plot creation. Do you create a general plot from start to end then work on the characters and define their personalities from their interaction with other characters or do you imagine these people in your mind and try and see what they would do given the situation and let that determine the specifics of your plot? Are the characters completely defined from outward appearance to multidimensionality before you even begin on the plot specifics or only the Major Characters? Does this ever create a problem where it forces you to deviate from the plot or run the risk of losing believability?
     
  2. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    that is something i tend to do also. i spend so long developing all of my charectors and writing all of this stuff that i propbably don't even need in. lol. i then tend to end up basing me story around my charectors, where as it should be the charectors that are written for the story.
    i think that you need to find a line between the two. it is essensial to develop the main charectors to some degree, but you also need to think about the story a lot aswell.

    i hope that made sense to you, because i'm getting confused re-reading it now, lol
    heather
    :)
     
  3. Ferret
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    Ferret Contributing Member

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    The parts of your soul you refuse to recognize.
    Ive never had a problem with that, I've always placed characterization above all else. The personality's and interactions take place over anything in my stories. No lie...characterization is the most important part of my writing...
     
  4. Fantasy of You
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    Fantasy of You Banned

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    Don't info dump. Character is just as important as plot, as plot is just as important as character. You don't have to sacrifice one for the other, you simply intergrate each. You can't have a plot without an interesting character, and you can't have character without an interesting plot (in most cases).

    Develope your character as you develope your plot. As your plot changes, so should your character. For me, then, character and plot go hand in hand; each relies on the other to survive.

    - FoY
     
  5. Gateship
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    Gateship Member

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    I began writing my current novel with both the plot and characters partially defined. I've found that in writing one affects the other and there is "organic" creation, for want of a better phrase.

    For myself, I prefer things to develop rather than have a cast iron plot.
     
  6. Renaul
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    Renaul New Member

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    I think by writing seriously I've found an answer to my own question. I used to just write what ever popped into my mind, step back and revise it, but after reading a couple books about characterization and plot creation, I started to write a lot more than just one page of background information for each main character.

    I've found that when I approach it in this way I start to give the character a persona of their own, asking myself how I would react if I were them rather than simply anticipating what their reaction should be. I suppose it would seem similar to the mindset an actor engages in when trying to recreate the emotions of a fictional character.

    I suppose now I see why people say to practice using a reversal when backed into a corner.
     
  7. Onoria Westhrop
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    Onoria Westhrop Contributing Member

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    Re* your sig????

    Arouse feeling?

    A refugees lion?

    Faerie Lounges!

    What's your riddle, nefarious glee?
     
  8. Resident Mexican
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    Resident Mexican Member

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    Well, there is no set rule on what the emphasis of your story should be, either plot or characterization. Still, differenet combinations of the two lead to different types of stories. Pulp fiction is mostly plot based, while Literary fiction puts much more depth to it's characters. There's a whole range to pursue; you're not just stuck to one formula.

    Take me, for instance: I tend to rely slightly more on characters than plot, but only slightly, as plot is very important. Other people use plot slightly more than characterization. Really.

    -Resident Mexican
     
  9. Traci
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    Traci Member

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    Just yesterday I read an interview that Dean Koontz did for Amazon.com about this very topic. He is all about characterization. He admitted to having a concept to begin with but it was his characters that took him through the story. Their plots were what made the action and when he began a novel he didn't know where it was going to end because he had to wait for the journey. His Odd Thomas novels are the epitome of that.

    Obviously he is quite a master at this technique, but as in all writing there is no hard and fast rule. I guess it depends on what suits the story or the author best at the time.
     

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