1. Jaclyn
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    Jaclyn Active Member

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    Characters vs. Plot Question

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Jaclyn, Dec 3, 2007.

    I'm trying to figure out my own style of writing a story, but I think I may have been placing way too much time on the characters and not enough on the story of them.

    Is it okay to build characters before having a plot? How do you begin a story?
     
  2. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    I often have a plot and then build characters into it, or have a character and built a plot for him. Either way I typically start with on and then get that one to effect the growth of the other. I've used both ways and ocne you've gotten the basic idea down the characters and the plot jsut come at me very easily.
     
  3. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    I always start with vast amounts of character work, while I have only the minimal plot outline.

    It really all depends on what works for you. There is no one right way to do it. Everyone's process is different.
     
  4. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    Plot spawns from characters. Characters are based on plot. The two go hand in hand. Without characters, there can be no choice, and without choice there is no plot. Without plot, there is no choice, and without choice there are no characters.

    Ahem. Biblical talking aside, you can't have one without the other. Good characters will drive a plot- and any good plot will start with a single variable, which filters through your characters and drives them towards the ending. Figure out the ending before you try to get there. That's all I have to say about that.
     
  5. Vivienne Crow
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    Vivienne Crow Member

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    I find that I start my stories off with a specific scene between my main character's, from their I develop my characters and then write the plot around them and the initial scene I have written. The scene I do doesn't necessarily have to be the first scene or the last, it normally starts in the middle for me.

    Like B-Gas has said, along with RomanticRose and lordofhats Characters and Plot go together, you can't have one without the other, but you can always start with one and finish with another. I always go for character, but I'm starting to go with plot now and work out character later. Currently I'm writing a co-written piece with a friend and we're hashing out the plot at the moment, we don't even have a name for our main character.

    Start with what you're most comfortable and then once you've mastered that try in the opposite direction. Once you're happy with how you do both there is no stopping you.

    xxFrostyxx
     
  6. Sir Cameron
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    Sir Cameron Member

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    Watch movies by John Hughes. He did all those movie in the 80's (Breakfast Club, St. Elmo's Fire, Sixteen Candles, etc), and all were heavily character driven; the plot being quite minimal. 5 teens stuck in Saturday school, doesn't get much more basic then that.
     
  7. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    I don't think it really matters. The plot is the character and the character is the plot. Without the character there is no plot and where there is no plot there is no character.
    I think what you have to do is try to think more on plot though so that the characters become more developed. The story will then become better in itself.
     
  8. ANT (Bar YOSEF)
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    ANT (Bar YOSEF) Contributing Member

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    Im workin on a new project and i have wrote the characters and the back stories first nad then will write a main plot to link them togther.
     
  9. Vercetti
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    Vercetti New Member

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    Your characters drive the plot, so it's perfectly fine to develop a background and personality for them pre-plot. However, don't ignore the plot. You need to have an outline or a basic idea on how you want the characters to fit into the story and how they develop over time as well.
     
  10. Kid At <3
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    Kid At <3 Senior Member

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    I always start out with characters, but that's just me I guess. I guess you'd have to post it to show us how that worked out for you. And as Vercetti said, it's okay to do what you're doing as long as you don't totally ignore the plot.
     

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