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Just curious--in general, are you more often drawn to plot-driven stories (e.g., ones with lots of action, big external stakes, etc.) or to character-driven stories (e.g., where the character's growth and change is the main focus)?

As for me, I typically lean more toward character-driven stories, but sometimes I dig a good high-action tale with lots of plot twists and turns. It depends on my mood. I find plot-driven stories tend to have tighter pacing, but character-driven stories are richer in narrative.

What about you?
 

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Ideal is a book that has both!

Otherwise, while I enjoy both types of books, I'd say I enjoy plot driven books more than ones that are purely character studies with little overarching plot.  Same with movies.

But again the best books and movies are those that have great stories, but also have awesome characters who grow a lot throughout the story.
 

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Plot driven with well-developed characters who are memorable. If I finish a book and can't remember a name it wasn't much of a read. Or, if I can't really remember the plot.
 

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If choosing between the two, I lean toward plot-driven for reading but character-driven when I write. When you read, do you ever find with some books that the characters are so much fun, you forget you can't really identify a plot, but you're addicted to it anyway?
 

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jherrick said:
If choosing between the two, I lean toward plot-driven for reading but character-driven when I write. When you read, do you ever find with some books that the characters are so much fun, you forget you can't really identify a plot, but you're addicted to it anyway?
Sure, Nick Hornby's books are much like that. So are some of Chuck Palahniuk's. There are plots, but they're fairly simple and it's more about the characters and their relationships.
 

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I like both but I think characters are more important to me than plot. I'll follow a great character anywhere but I won't keep reading a dull character even if he's on his way to saving mankind.
 

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Dara England said:
I like both but I think characters are more important to me than plot. I'll follow a great character anywhere but I won't keep reading a dull character even if he's on his way to saving mankind.
I think a more fair way to look at the OP's question is to assume equally interesting characters and then compare whether you prefer:

Book A--good characters, but it's a plot driven book and there's not much character development/growth.

Book B--Good characters, not much plot as the book is focused on character development/growth/relationships between characters.

No one's going to want to read either type of book if the characters are unappealing in general! :D
 

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Lately, I've been drawn more to books where the character's personal growth is the main plot of the story.
 

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When I was younger, plot was enough for me if it was exciting and had at least a wee bit of character development; but now I have to have both to truly enjoy a book. However, if I have to have one at the expense of the other, I suppose I'd still lean toward plot -- but then it would just be a "fluff" or "light" read, most likely: very unlikely to be a great read.
 

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I prefer reading and writing character stories. I mean big plot stories are brilliant, but I like character stories based around simple concepts. So the story is not this grand adventure or epic saga, but about normal people placed in weird and wonderful situations.
 

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Being a xenophobic people-hater......I go with a good plot and environment every time !!
Books about buildings, planes, critters will hold my attention quite well
 

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Both, either, or a blend of the two -- doesn't matter as long as the author is aware and does justice to the path he or she has taken.
 
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I prefer both: a strong plot and good characters. If either of those factors are missing, I tend not to like the book. Overall I'd given the edge to characterisation, because if a book can't make me care about the characters, then it's difficult to care what they are doing (i.e. the plot).
 

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I think the plot should create the theme/atmosphere for the story and the characters are what bring that to life, but you don't need a big fancy plot to make a good character story. I always refer to the Coen Brother's Movies. Most of their earlier stuff is pure character driven plots and so clever.
 

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If I have characters I can love, I'll forgive an awful lot. Heck, I'm still reading Stephanie Plum. (okay, I haven't read 16 yet. But I will!)

A character has to come alive for me.

That said, there are some fantastic plot-driven books out there, especially in thriller/romantic suspense. As others have said, good characters help make a plot-driven  book better.
 
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