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Character Driven VS. Plot Driven

Character Driven VS. Plot Driven

What is the difference between Character Driven Stories and Plot Driven Stories?

These two, while similar, are actually quite different from one another. The key thing to remember is the subtly in them both. Here I will explain them in a way that helps me grasp the difference, and I hope will help you, too.

What does Character Driven mean?

If the characters’ flaws, faults, dislikes, fears, and/or dreams pertain the plot, and significantly influences the story when they are used against the character, or not, at each plot/scene point, and if taking them out of the story risks your story falling flat and contrived, then it is CHARACTER DRIVEN.

It is knowing something about someone, or self, and choosing whether or not to act on that information, and how it will affect the rest of the story, if at all. In Character Driven stories, often, these instances will affect the story as a whole as it pertains to the character, and story. Without the character, there is no story. In these stories, characters are given free will.

Quote: “Everything happens for a reason.”

Character Driven Plots:

  1. The Quest
  2. The Transformation

Character Driven Stories Tend To Have, Or Be, The Following:

  1. Memorable Characters
  2. Fatalistic Plots
  3. Coincidental Happenings
  4. Theme
  5. Timeless
  6. Not Always A Happily Ever After
  7. Teaches (Not Preaches) Life Lessons
  8. Internal Conflict, Physical Stress
  9. Typically Written in First Person POV
  10. Literary Fiction

 

What does Plot Driven mean?

PLOT DRIVEN is not knowing, caring, or learning about something(or someone)new, and the character is forced to push through the motions/actions, or risk losing everything they hold dear, such as, life and love. This ultimatum creates a new fear for the character that they otherwise had no idea they had, or ever had to worry about before all of those occurrences.

However, a successful Plot and Character Driven story tends to incorporate character development, plus plot development, which resonates well with the audience, and creates memorable characters, stunning plot movement, and leaves the audience moved beyond their means. Typically, for an action packed thriller, no one cares about character development, but I believe that best suits for television, considering most people read to be moved and thrilled. Not just one or the other. Same for the tear jerked movies/shows. People do not care for the thrilling aspects as much as they do as the emotional calling card found on screen versus read in a book.

Quote: “Some things happen by chance, to show us an unexpected twist of fate.”

Plot Driven Plots:

  1. The Pursuit
  2. The Riddle

Plot Driven Stories Tend To Have, Or Be, The Following:

  1. High Concept Story-line
  2. Told in Third POV
  3. Predictable Ending
  4. External Conflict, Internal Stress
  5. Genre Fiction
  6. Formulaic Story
  7. Typically Free of Theme
  8. Effect after Effect
  9. Obstacle after Obstacle
  10. Statement of Happenings

 

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Notable Sites For Writers

Notable Sites For Writers

These following sites, I have collected over the past year, were found to be helpful, and beneficial to me. Take everything you read with a grain of salt, but these hit right on the nose. Also, check out these two bloggers: Jami Gold and Jane Friedman. They are amazing at what they do!

Where to Submit Your Story:

  • Authors Publish gives articles extremely helpful to many authors and this link takes you to the article ‘Top 25 Publishers for New Authors’.
  • Galley Cat is known for their extensive knowledge on what agents and publishers want. This link will direct you to the article I found most helpful ’23 Literary Agent Query Letters That Worked’.
  • The Write Life is known for helping authors create, connect, and sell their works. This link directs you to their article ’27 Free Writing Contests’.
  • Harper Collins is a well known publisher and currently seeks manuscript submissions from unsolicited authors.
  • Kindle Scout is fairly new, and not a popularity contest as many would have believe. This is an amazon affiliate. Here is what they said about the contest:

    Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.

  • Strange Horizons I am not all too familiar with, but various members of writing groups I attend has mentioned them before to me. So, if you have any insight on them and how they operate, don’t be afraid to share your experiences.

 

Story Ideas:

 

Generators:

 

Developing Solid Concepts, Blurbs and Log-lines:

 

Character Creation:

 

Find Your Theme:

 

Screenwriting Sites:

 

Story Structure and Manuscript Format:

 

All Things Query Related:

 

Others:

 

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Short Story #3

THE LAST TIME
There was once a young couple, who met outside ‘Lil Bistro Café two years ago in college. During which time, they fell madly in love with each other’s quirks and faults. She, with his insatiable outlook on love and life; He, with her inability to walk and chew gum at the same time.

He has planned an evening she will never forget. An evening that will mark the beginning of the end of his life, and the start of theirs.

They meet at the café, from which they first met, and have a lovely, yet awkward, meal. She took small bites, calming the uneasiness building inside her, and he tapped his fingers on the white table cloth relentlessly.

Later that night, he walks her to her apartment and whistles a tune into the brisk air. A tiny brown pup came bolting up to them. It’s a chocolate lab, and wrapped around it’s tiny neck is a bright pink ribbon. He incorporated two of her favorite things: chocolate, and pink.

Attached to the end of the bow was a tiny velvet box. Her gasp said it all, relieving some tension pitted inside him. He opened it, and her blue eyes twinkled with the stars disbelieving this is actually happening.

“Will you marry, us?”

She looks at him and the puppy, then graciously accepts his request.

But, he added one stipulation to his proposal: That they remain married until the demise of the puppy when he is old, frail, and weak with sickness, but continue to remain in love to the end of time.

She knew this particular breed is lucky to live past ten years. She’s heard from people in the past they knew of labs lasting well up to fifteen years. Though, she didn’t care. She wanted him, to be his wife, and mother of two, future, kids; One boy. One girl.

She agreed, thinking by that time he would waive it and his memory would fail to recall such a demand.

Five years passed. Their first child was born. A little girl, named after her mother, Emily.

By the seventh year, a boy named Scotty Jr. was blessed upon them.

Ten years had finally passed, and no more children have been placed upon them. Instead, her husband became weak, frail to the touch. He seemed vacant, and appeared much older than his actual age. It has always made her worry, but when the worry persisted, he would let her know that nothing is wrong in a life filled with love.

Early that morning, the poor dog, that was once a puppy, passed away. Broke everyone’s heart, while shattering hers. Because of this, and his constant reminder for the past few weeks, she knows what to expect next.

Later that night, her hands shook with nervousness. He clasped them tight in his, and whispered into her ear, “Always love me.”

She smiled, choking back inevitable tears. She tried to ask if she should be expecting papers by the morning.

But, he doesn’t respond.

His head begins to weigh heavy on her shoulder. “Well?” She presses.

“I love you, Honey.”

Becoming furious with his dismissal, she presses harder for answers. How could she love someone, knowing they are just going to leave her? She wants to know, needs to know, what the heck is going on with her marriage. Uncertainty almost kills her. “Tell me if we are staying together, or getting divorced. Now, Scott.”

No response.

She nudges him, as he typically nods off asleep there almost every night.

His head plopped down on her pillow. Then, she sees it…

Her cries, pleas, and chest compressions prove unworthy of her saving his life. He’s not waking up, and shaking trembles of tears weave down her ivory skin.

The next morning, she is alarmed of the news.

A letter, addressed to her, from Scott, ten years ago, lands inside the mailbox.

 

Dear Emily,

I hope you are not upset. You are the love of my life, and I never dream of ever hurting you. I never intended on leaving you, nor did I intend on allowing you to put your life on hold for me.

I have cancer, and I am dying. Doctors claim I am lucky if I survive ten more years. But, I am also dying to give you the life you deserve. I know of your plans to have two kids, and one dog, then to be married to me. I want to give you everything you ever wish for. And hope that it is enough to numb the pain you might wind up feeling the moment I slip away from you.

I love you, forever, and always. I hope you will, too.

Sincerely,

Scott

 

She stared up into the, mourning, sky, and whispers through the wind, praying he hears her, “I love you, always,” and wishes she would have said it back to him, the night before.
By: Amey Coleman

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2016 in Short Story #3

 

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Storyhelix Review 001: Return of the Sagan

Love humanizes people even as it pushes them to the heights of human accomplishment and pushes the ceiling of impossibility.

Source: Storyhelix Review 001: Return of the Sagan

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2016 in Posts by Author

 

Storyhelix Review 001: Return of the Sagan

Storyhelix Review 001: Return of the Sagan
 
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Posted by on January 4, 2016 in Posts by Author

 

Deadly Desire Book One by Robert Joseph

Robert Joseph is already a wonderful author. I am very familiar with older stories of his. But this book, Deadly Desire, I would have to say is by far the best story written. Raff, the detective is always running into something mysterious and supernatural. He is wonderful at his job, but does a character flaw. (If I tell you the flaw, it could potentially ruin the story) so all Ill leave you with is the fact that some things are not what they seem at place known for monks. And the life changing climax, will leave you gripping the book close to your face. The cover didnt intrigue me like that the synopsis did, but it is worth a read.

 

The Blonde With Half A Face by WJ Reeves

This book is okay. I didnt really get into it that well, but the story line was pretty good. I hope there to be at least a second book, mainly because there was a giant cliff hanger throughout each chapter. It kind of reminded me of the television series Breaking Bad, but the main character is the one who does the drugs. Sort of like the book Crank. Reeves does do a good job building a strong character, but I felt like she tapered off somewhere in the middle of the story. I would rate it 4.5 stars, because I found no grammatical errors, and I loved the cover.

 
 
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