Most stories can be divided between character-driven and plot-driven stories. Neither is better than the other, but they serve specific purposes that can be determined by the story you are writing and the preferences of the author. My stories are more character-driven. Below, I share five reasons why my writing style leans that way.
- Relationships. Character-driven stories focus on the relationships between the characters. The plot is driven by these interactions and the characters lead the way. The interactions between the characters drive the conflict and the resolution of the story. Exploring character relationships allows for better understanding of the characters and moves the story along following their personality, desires, and interactions.
- Inner Conflict. Character-driven stories allow for greater inner conflict since your characters are often driven by internal conflict instead of external conflict. This allows them to show their flaws in realistic ways and allows readers to connect on a deeper level.
- Life Changes. Character-driven stories show the changes that happen to each person in your story and fully explain how and why these changes happen.
- Character Arc. Closely related to life changes, character arcs are important to the story. They show that your characters change from the beginning of the story until the end, leading to greater reader satisfaction.
- Intimate Connection to Characters. This speaks for itself. Character-driven plots allow the reader to connect with your characters on an intimate level. If you want to write a series where readers become attached to your world and your characters, consider this. Allowing your characters to drive the plot can connect your readers to their lives and make your characters seem real.
In reality, your story will have both elements, plot, and character. But how you use them will determine your focus. Neither is better. You must find what works best for your style and story.