Character Driven V.S. Plot Driven

June 15, 2018

 

*insert an interesting-insightful-well-written paragraph here because I have no idea how to start this post  and because I am a blogging failure*

 

*******

 

So after that amazing introduction, you must be dying to know what is the difference between a character is driven and plot-driven story, right?

 

(ahaha)

 

A character-driven story is a story driven by the characters, and a plot driven story is a story driven by the plot.

 

 

 

 

"....."

 

 

 

 

*Clears throat* Okay, that was bad. The better explanation would be that a character-driven story is a plot that is guided by (emphasize on guided, I'll elaborate on that later) the character's personal and internal motivations as well as desires. While a plot-driven story is when the story of the book is driven by the external forces in the book/plot (specifically scenarios things the character cannot control).

 

The easiest way to identify these two (because I know they can sound the exact same) is that while one is guided by internal factors, the other is guided by external factors.

 

I emphasized on "guided", because it is really important to first understand that a story cannot just exist as itself as a "story". In order for the plot to become a functional "plot" that can actually work (and be) a plot for the book, it must be driven by either the character motivations or the external forces.

 

So a simplified/lazier version is:

Character-driven = the story is happening by following the character's internal desires/agenda

Plot-driven = the story is happening by the characters following according to external factors that they cannot control. 

 

If it seems like I am crazier than usual in this post, I am so, so sorry. That is because I just started reading the Magnus Chase series by Rick Riordan...and we all know what he's writing style is, so I may have been kind of (or really) influenced by him. 

 

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