Booking Through Thursday : Character or Plot?

This week’s Booking Through Thursday asks:

“What’s more important to you? Real, three-dimensional, fleshed-out fascinating characters? Or an amazing, page-turning plot?

(Yes, I know, they are both important. But if you had to pick one as being more important than the other?”

I mostly prefer character-driven stories. If I do not like any of the characters then no matter how engaging the plot is I couldn’t enjoy the book. For example, Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone. It is the proverbial page turner but I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would just because I didn’t like most of the characters.

Very rarely do I find the setting and the plot of the story rise above the book’s mundane characters. Agatha Christie’s play The Mousetrap comes to mind. I found the main protagonists Mollie and Giles Ralston to be annoying. Most of the other characters are bland and wooden or stereotypical. But the story, the setting and the final twist made the play worth a read.

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8 comments

  1. I’m torn about this one. Sometimes I love character driven stories and yet I’ve also loved a few stories that are just plot driven and they make your head spin. I think my answer would depend on my mood, and what book I recently read.

  2. I too like character driven stories… dull characters, dull story as far as I’m concerned even in plot-driven stories. I love meeting characters who become memorable and stay with you as much as a real person.

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