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Plot Versus Character

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Many novelists prefer to start by creating their characters and allowing their plots to develop from there, others start work from their plot idea and then create characters to act out the storyline. Jeff Gerke, however, believes that a well-rounded novel should embrace both these vital components.

So in his Plot versus Character he demonstrates how to develop multi-layered characters from personality traits, backgrounds and attributes, and then to show how these characters react to plot situations – and how the plot situations in turn contribute to the development of character. In this way there is a character arc just as much as there is a story arc and characters drive plots whilst plot incidents heighten characterisation.

The idea is that plotting and characterisation merge to drive your novel forward, and their interaction creates a momentum as your story develops pace. It is a way of working that provides the novelist with a constant source of inspiration as the writing progresses.

 

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