Author Topic: What The Dickens!  (Read 144 times)  

Offline EDDIEO

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What The Dickens!
« on: August 03, 2017, 02:53:19 AM »
Plot or character?

Actually you need both, to make a great novel.

Getting the mix right is the hard part. Dickens is arguably the greatest creator of memorable, modern characters. Think about, Fagin, Scrooge, Uriah Heep, Miss Havisham, Mr Micawber et al. (Shakespeare might have a say in the best characters of all time too)

Stephen King is my current favourite for characters.

And of all three of the authors mentioned, is plot anything more than a tool to play with their characters, in any of their works?

Indeed, is plot ever more than a device to wrap your characters around?

Dickens' characters are still well know and loved after 150 years. However, if you read the unabridged novels they are really hard work. Dickens spends three pages describing a character and it's too much for me.

The modern adage is "Show not tell" and Dickens does show in great detail why we should love, hate, fear and empathise with these giants of literary creation.

Of course, his writing was of it's time and I understand that.

What never changes for writers is breaking the story and using the characters to make the plot zing along.

Dickens seems to me, to enjoy taking his young male characters on journeys, which then allows him to introduce all of his wonderful character creations. (IE: Oliver Twist, meets The Artful Dodger, Fagin, and Bill Sykes.

David Copperfield, Pip and Nicholas Nickleby all meet a variety of people on their adventures.

 And here's my question. Did Dickens have anything more than a vague idea of plot in mind for his stories?

Or did he just keep writing until a story of sorts developed and then linked all the bits in to make a story?

Or am I just thinking about my own disorganized style?


So whaddya think? Plot or character?

PM me if you want to review either book
Eddie Owens