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09:14 pm: Writing character clash stories


[User Picture]
Date:March 3rd, 2008 02:34 am (UTC)
I think "character-driven" and "plot-driven" are not necessarily antonyms (though I can see why a finished novel might give a reader one impression or the other no matter how the author wrote it). I prefer "mechanical" and "organic" as antonyms. In the first case, you can see all the plot engines, the genre conventions and the plot coupons and the stock characters driving the plot through its motions. The second one may have been just as outlined and just as rigid in conception, but it flows more smoothly and the actions and motivations of the characters seem more natural. I think a character clash story is more likely to be organic.
[User Picture]
Date:March 3rd, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
True enough. I guess I'm trying to describe the difference between how I write a short story (when I usually have a simpler (tighter?) conflict to build off of) and how I write a novel, when having all those characters running around and doing things makes it easier to keep a plot going through a book. (Usually my really clunky, mechanical stuff comes when I try to do ficathons -- sometimes I get amazing stuff I never would have written (which is why I do them), and sometimes I just get clunky things where you could tell I couldn't pull it all together and just gave up in frustration.)
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