Monday, April 4, 2011

C is for Character

Or chicken. That is, in the old which came first debate, the chicken or the egg?
There is so much talk amongst writers about which comes first in their own writing. Is it the character or the plot? Many say the best stories are character driven, the literary type. Others say the best kind are those with high concept plot and great characters. Sure that seems easy enough. I happen to be the chicken came first type of gal and tend to start with plot. I ask all of the same writerly questions like “what if,” and “why” when elaborating on my plot and creating characters who fit into my story. I just do it in a slightly different way. But I know I am in the minority, and that’s okay – I like being different. 

How about you? Which do you start with?


  1. With my first book, I started with character. But in the end the story ended up being plot driven anyway. So I don't know that it really matters what you start with.

  2. I look at plot as simply "what the characters are doing". When I develop my characters I have to have some idea about what they are doing in the story, at least in the beginning. So I don't really develop plot and character separately. They go together.