PLOT DRIVEN VS CHARACTER DRIVEN STORIES

PLOT DRIVEN VS CHARACTER DRIVEN STORIES


Abbie:
What’s up, my friend. Abbie here and welcome back to Writer’s Life
Wednesdays, where we come together to help you make your story matter and make your author
dreams come true. Abbie:
As you probably noticed right away, I’m in a completely new space and I actually posted
on YouTube an update about it last week saying that I was not ready to film videos last week. But here I am, finally filming videos again,
and I’m so, so excited to be back. Abbie:
Today, we’re talking about plot-driven stories versus character-driven stories, and what
makes them different, and why it’s so important to understand the difference and find this
balance, this equilibrium between plot and characters. Abbie:
Here’s the thing. All good stories are character-driven. Yes, all of them. Let me explain. Speaker 2:
Why does your story matter? Good question. What if I told you that there’s a science
behind every great story? I don’t just teach you how to write, I teach
you how to change the world with your story and make your author dreams come true. Abbie:
Before we dive into this discussion, I want to erase every definition you have of character-driven
stories and plot-driven stories. Because if you’ve ever Googled the question
character versus plot-driven story, you’ve probably seen this result. Character-driven stories can deal with inner
transformation or the relationships between characters, whereas plot-driven stories focus
on a set of choices that a character must make. A character-driven story focuses on how the
character arrives at a particular choice. Wait, what? Abbie:
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about inner transformation and the
relationships between characters. That’s literally the foundation of a well-crafted
and meaningful story, so if that’s considered character-driven, then plot-driven would be
the opposite. In other words, plot-driven is something you
never, ever, ever want your story to be. Am I saying that you don’t need a plot for
your story? Absolutely not. You need plot, because plot is external conflict. And without external conflicts, the plot,
your characters, don’t change, but without internal conflict, the plot is meaningless. It’s a delicate balance that you have to find
between these two things or else your story will not impact the reader. Abbie:
If you’ve been here for a while, you’ve heard me say this a lot. External conflict, the plot, is all about
what happens, but internal conflict, the story, is about why it matters. Which is why we have to introduce the internal
conflict first, because otherwise it’s just a bunch of stuff happening with no real meaning
to the protagonist. This is such a vital part of the storytelling
process, and honestly, I am shocked by how many writers get this wrong. They write a bunch of crazy dangerous stuff
happening to their characters right out of the gate without really showing us why any
of it matters to the characters. Today, we’re going to explore this balance
and figure out what exactly sets the stage for a masterfully told story, the perfect
balance of internal conflict and external conflict. Abbie:
If you take anything away from this video, take this. Don’t let your characters just be the punching
bag for your plot. They can’t just spend the entire story absorbing
what happens. Rather, they have to be the agents of change. Okay? Complete with a deep desire that drives their
motives and a conflicting fear that holds them back. A plot-driven premise can be a great way to
grab your reader’s attention because they can relate to the basic feeling, the emotional
reaction that the characters having to the plot, but you have to go beyond that, like
quickly. The very first thing that happens can be plot-driven,
but you better show me why it matters and fast or else I’m gone. I literally can’t tell you how many books
I’ve started reading and movies I’ve started watching that I couldn’t get through the first
10 minutes of because nothing made me care about the characters. Nothing showed me why this stuff that was
happening mattered to anyone. And I’m a fairly patient person, so if I can’t
even get through the first 10 minutes, most people won’t be able to get through the first
five. Abbie:
But Abbie, what about all of the popular books and movies that fall into the plot-driven
category? How do you explain their success? Well, how do you define success? The number of book sales or ticket sales from
the box office? I measure success by lives impacted. I can tell you right now, that even though
a plot-driven story may be entertaining and may get people to turn the next page or click
play on the next episode, I guarantee you it will not impact their lives. Okay? It won’t challenge their beliefs. It won’t transform the way they see themselves
and everyone else in the world. Abbie:
In fact, they’re probably going to forget about it in a couple of months, weeks, days. Do you want that to be you? Your story? Do you want people to forget about it in a
matter of weeks and be like, “Oh yeah, that was a good story, but I can’t really remember
anything meaningful or special about it because it didn’t shake me to my core.” Do you want that to be your book? Didn’t think so. That’s why it’s so important to make your
story character-driven, because it’s the characters who are the bearers of truth, of value, of
meaning to the reader. It’s the characters who are going on this
journey and realizing the truth about something, the truth that you want to scream from the
rooftops. But you’re a writer, so instead of screaming
it from the rooftops, you cleverly weave it into a masterpiece of fiction. Let’s circle back to plot-driven versus character-driven. Abbie:
In order for me to take you deeper into this, we first have to talk about the human brain. Of course we have to talk about the human
brain. This would not be my channel if we didn’t
first have to talk about the human brain. See, you have some special brain cells called
mirror neurons. You’ve probably heard of them before. Basically, they do exactly what they sound
like, okay? They mirror the emotional reaction of whatever
it is they’re watching. For example, when you’re watching a movie
and you see a character get their hand crushed or something, your mirror neurons go, “Ouch,”
and you might even be able to feel a weird sensation in your hand as if it’s your hand
being crushed. You can literally watch people react to this. It’s so fun. Turn around next time you’re in a movie theater
and watch how people physically react to what it is they’re watching. Abbie:
Our brains do this on autopilot. Okay? We can’t even control it. Mirror neurons are great, because they allow
us to feel immediate empathy for characters who aren’t even real people. They also explain most, if not all, of the
interests that people have in plot-driven stories. Your brain mirrors what’s happening to the
characters as if it’s happening to you, which means as long as you keep the perilous high
intensity survival scenes coming, our fight or flight instinct kicks in with the characters,
and boom, you caught our attention. You caught our brain’s attention, but only
for however long our brain is entertained by this. A few weeks later, we probably won’t even
remember it. Now, I’m not saying don’t have any perilous
plot upending your characters entire life. Absolutely have that, but go beyond that. Like, “Yeah, this would be terrible if it
was happening to me, but what does it mean for this character specifically?” Abbie:
Why does it matter to this character, given their desire, fear, and misbelief? The plot-driven premise can come first, but
don’t wait too long to introduce your reader to the character’s internal conflict or else
we won’t know why any of this even matters. This works in reverse order, too, okay, so
you can open your story with your character’s internal conflict. In fact, I recommend that. But don’t wait too long before you have some
external events and external conflicts, the plot, step in and push them outside their
comfort zone and make something actually happen to them. Finding this equilibrium between characters
and plot is what makes a story truly memorable. The emotional reaction that your character
has to the opening hook or premise of your plot is what grabs your reader’s hand, but
the internal conflict is what pulls them in. Or as I like to say, the premise is the fist
and the internal conflict is the punch. Abbie:
If you’re only going off of your plot in your external events, in the story to make your
story unique, then not only are you quickly going to lose confidence in it, but your readers
will never understand why it really matters. What is your protagonist’s motive? Why do they react to the plot this way? What drives them and what do they never want
to be? If you can show all of this in the opening
act of your story, you will be vastly far ahead of most storytellers, because most storytellers
believe that plot equals story, but that is simply not true. Because, as we know, story is not about what
happens. It’s about how what happens affects and transforms
the characters. That’s the real difference between a character-driven
story and a plot-driven story. Abbie:
Even the term plot-driven is ironic to me, because a plot never really drives a story
forward, it just entertains you for however long your brain is caught up in the shininess
of the action. But action is 10 times more riveting, and
entertaining, and nerve wracking when we first get to know and relate to the characters. After all, if you don’t know and care about
these characters, then it’s only perilous to watch them in danger because your mirror
neurons are firing as if you were in that situation. When you know and care about the characters,
not only is your brain still engaged with the action as if you were in that situation,
but on top of that, you have this emotional attachment to the characters. That’s what really puts you on the edge of
your seat. Abbie:
Okay, so I’ve been talking for a while now. I want to show you what this looks like in
a story. We actually have two story examples today. One is a great example and one is a terrible
example, because it’s equally good to know how not to do something. Let’s start with our terrible example. Ready Player One. Okay, so disclaimer, I couldn’t even get through
the first hour of this film. It was that bad, so I don’t know if had some
miraculously great ending to redeem itself, although my sister tells me that it didn’t. This is a classic example of a story so plot
driven that you don’t understand why anything that’s happening matters to the characters
and therefore matters to you and the world. For now, let’s ignore the glaring problems
like the never-ending narration info dumping and the hundreds of plot holes and just look
at how this story handles character development. Or the lack thereof. Abbie:
When we first meet our protagonist, Wade, absolutely nothing shows us what his desire,
fear or misbelief is. We don’t even get a hint. We just get a heavy dose of exposition about
the world he lives in, one of the deadly sins of story openings, by the way. Then we learn that he and everyone else in
the world wants to want to glorified treasure hunt inside this virtual reality game. Okay, that might look like a desire for Wade,
but it’s actually a terrible character motivation. Why? Because it is not unique to his character. Literally everyone in post-apocalyptic Ohio
wants to win this game and make millions of dollars, which means we could be following
any one of these characters and it would be the same storyline. Wade has no apparent internal conflict. All we see his external conflict, the plot,
happening to him. We don’t know why any of these events specifically
matter to him. Abbie:
What does he think will make him happy? What is his greatest fear? What is his misbelief about the world and
where did it come from and how does it continue to shape the way he sees life? I don’t know. Nobody knows. So although your mirror neurons may be firing
a lot throughout this 1980s Throwback Thursday CGI love-fest, there is no real impact on
the audience, for the simple reason that there is no real impact on the characters. Sure there’s a physical impact. Well, kind of sort of, seeing as almost everything
that happens is inside a video games, so there is virtually no real life or death scenarios
for these characters. But this is exactly what I mean when I say
don’t let your characters just be the punching bag for your plot. Sure, they can and should experience some
external perilous conflict. But that is not enough to make your audience
care about these characters. It’s not enough to just make up a character
with a few quirks and toss them into a ring with a bunch of dangerous stuff happening. Abbie:
Because like I said before, without the internal conflict, your plot is meaningless. It means nothing to the characters. It means nothing to the audience. It means nothing to the world. Sorry, not sorry for roasting Ready Player
One, but this is just such a classic example of a story that begins and ends with what
happens, not how what happens affects and transforms the characters. Abbie:
Okay, ready to see a good example? I thought so. As much as I would love to use a super character-driven
contemporary, I’m trying to branch out and to compare and contrast and show you that
yes, action adventure can be character-driven, too. Our good example is The Amazing Spider-Man,
AKA Marvel’s best writing yet. Just had to say that. I’m sorry. When the film first opens, we get a glimpse
into a pivotal moment in Peter Parker’s backstory, which is the gateway to showing us his internal
conflict, that has past haunts him, and he can’t get over the mysterious, creepy way
in which his parents abandoned him as a child. Abbie:
At first, this simply creates a desire for Peter to solve the mystery and fulfill his
father’s scientific quest, but it quickly spirals into something more when Peter’s bitten
by a mutant spider and consequentially becomes Spider-Man. This is a perfect example of a plot punch
moment. Okay? The writer could have let the story fall flat
and allow Peter to just absorb everything that happens to him like a two-dimensional
punching bag, but instead the story continues to carry this thread internal conflict. Peter still struggles with his past, which
leads to strife within his family, which eventually leads to his uncle getting killed, which again,
could be a punching bag moment. But instead, we’re shown how this has an impact
on Peter, why it matters specifically to him because he struggles with responsibility and
feels like his father abandoned him. In other words, there’s a reason why he does
everything he does. Abbie:
Even the ultimate, “I must defeat the bad guy” mission is personal to Peter, because
he’s the one who gave the villain the to ruin everything. Peter now has to stop the villain, not because
he’s the hero, but because he must prove to himself that he takes responsibility for his
actions, unlike his father. That’s what internal conflict looks like and
it can supercharge an otherwise plot-driven carousel of action sequence after action sequence
that nobody will remember or care about 10 minutes from now. Abbie:
Hell, we even have internal conflict for the villain. I care more about the villain in the Amazing
Spider-Man than I care about the protagonist in Ready Player One! I mean, just look at the differences between
how these two protagonists reference their parents. Wade:
My parents didn’t make it through those times, so I live here in Columbus, Ohio with my Aunt
Alice. Peter Parker:
It’s all well and good, so where is he? Ben Parker:
What? Peter Parker:
Where is he? Where’s my dad? He didn’t think it was his responsibility
to be here to tell me this himself? Ben Parker:
Oh, come on. How dare you. Peter Parker:
How dare I? How dare you. Abbie:
The biggest difference here is simply that in Spider-Man, the writers spent more time
developing the characters before he threw the dangerous, adventurous plot at them. In the same way that you care more about your
friends and family than you care about a stranger on the street, you can only truly empathize
and care about a character when you understand and get to know them. Abbie:
That’s it. That’s the difference between character-driven
stories and plot-driven stories. Let’s recap everything we learned today. You must find the balance between plot and
characters. Without external conflict, your characters
don’t change, but without internal conflict, your plot is meaningless. Don’t let your characters be the punching
bag for your plot. Rather, they must be the agents of change,
complete with a deep desire that drives their motives and a conflicting fear that holds
them back. If you want your story to have an impact,
it must be character-driven, because it’s the characters who are going on the journey
to realize the truth about something, the truth that you want to scream from the rooftops. Ask yourself, what is my protagonist’s desire? What is their fear? What is their misbelief and where did it come
from? What drives them and what do they never want
to be? Abbie:
All right, boom. That’s it. I know, this video was kind of a long one,
but I have a lot to say about this topic and I could honestly talk for way longer about
it, so I’m going to shut up now. Comment below and tell me what is your favorite
character-driven story? Bonus points if it’s like an action adventure
story. But you know me, I love contemporary, so if
you pick a contemporary story, I’m not going to judge. Abbie:
Smash that like button. If you liked this video and be sure to subscribe
to this channel if you haven’t already because I post writing videos and publishing videos
every single Wednesday. I would love to have you here in the community. Also, be sure to check out my Patreon, because
that’s where we go beyond videos and take storytelling to the next level. The Patreon community is not the best way
to support what I’m doing here on YouTube, but it’s also the only way to connect one-on-one
with me and get better guidance on your story. So, go to Patreon.com/AbbieEmmons and check
out all the awesome exclusive content that I have over there for you. Until next week, my friend, rock on. Abbie:
If you’ve been here for a while, you know that I can curl my hair better than this. I was rushing. Abbie:
They mirror the emotional reaction of what … Story is not about what happens, it’s
about how happens affects and transforms the characters. I love saying that. I could just say that all day.

98 thoughts on “PLOT DRIVEN VS CHARACTER DRIVEN STORIES”

  1. Your new space is so nice! Also yes character driven stories [but with a good plot] win every time for me 🙂

    Plus, your editing in this one is epic.

  2. Mulan will always be my favorite movie, period. Yeah, yeah, it looks like it’s just a woman dressed up as a man to fight in a war, but is much more than that. It’s about a woman finding herself and her self-worth, and understanding that she’ll bloom in her own way, and that’s OK.
    She learning how to fight and actually fighting the Huns is a lot of fun, but is not the important part.

  3. Great video. Characters are the heart of fiction, for sure – but, of course, we need to get the plot right, too. And strong characters are important in every genre. Thank you for recognising this. Stories that focus exclusively, or almost exclusively, upon plot feel so empty. 💝

  4. I always wondered why The Amazing Spiderman became my favorite of all the Spidermans! Thank you! Helped me over a writing hump today! BTW my favorite character driven story is Iron Man, billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark!

  5. This is genuine. I like this channel.I really have trouble with the word misbelief, though. I have watched you describe it over and over, seen the character videos, the outlining videos and all sorts – believe me. And still my brain is like, "misbelief?" I think it's because there is so much where there is no such thing as wrong or right. There's so much grey. Yes, you get good like saving a puppy from drowning and bad like throwing it under a car but NO character is gonna be like that. I mean…that would be so ridiculous to show evil, it'd end up being funny. In the real world of inner and outer conflict and different beliefs, there are only beliefs. So I try and try your methods but I get so stuck on misbelief. Is there a better way, another way, you could describe misbelief? Maybe…explain what exactly that means? That would be really helpful

  6. Thank you for using sci-fi as your examples. I feel like some sci-fi movies are like look at this amazing CGI and not the under developed characters!
    People of Hollywood need to watch your channel.

  7. your new space is GORGEOUS and SO HOMELY and perfect for you! and of course, your content is always so helpful… i am loving your new intro!!! 💕

  8. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson and The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson are AMAZING character-driven stories, definitely recommended!

  9. I read almost exclusively high fantasy. The issue is, that fantasy has so much conflict, magic and mystery in it, that it is very tempting to focus on worldbuilding and plot, which is why the characters tend to be flat underneath their cool badass quotes, skills and abilities. I wish more people were able to master both worldbuilding and characters, it seems too often one comes at the cost of the other.

  10. Oh gosh. I love your channel but this is the best video I've ever seen about how to write a story. Seriously, it was so interesting and useful and I'm pretty sure that my story will be different (and, I hope, better) now I saw this video. Keep going, I love Writers Life Wednesdays ! Thank you so much ! Sorry for my english, I'm french ^^

  11. Heya Abbie!! So I'm a new(ish) subscriber to your channel and OMG you give some killer tips! I've been struggling to write my book lately and finding the proper technique to developing good characters, and your channel has really helped me with that! 😊 So kudos to you for giving me some great tips and helping authors change the world! 🤘

  12. I knew I should have waited until my lunch break to start this video because I am 6:27 minutes in and I have to go. Damn it!

    Great topic!

  13. This is so well said and so important. Answering the why it matters question for my MC is what finally got me to finish my outline after 8 years of struggling. Wish I'd found your channel waaaaayyyyy sooner!

  14. I love this new space! I honestly found myself looking at your backgrounds a lot during your past videos. This minimal set-up makes it easier to focus on you

  15. I am having trouble with ending my chapter. I know I should, but I don't know how. Can you please make a video on that? Because I have such a great idea that involves someone dying, but the chapter ends relaxed.

  16. Speaking of Marvel movies, I actually think the first Captain America film, although not the best film, is pretty character driven. Steve is a great character, but some of the movies didn't do him justice at all.

  17. I was disappointed last week when I didn't get to see a video from you, so I'm super happy to get one this week!

    I can think of a really great character driven story. It's an unpublished story my older sister wrote that I got to read for her; I'm still waiting for her to finish editing so she can do the next book and let me read it… 😂

  18. When I was a little younger I really enjoyed the Michael Vey book series. It has not (YET, hopefully) become a movie series but there was a lot of action in the books, and I also normally prefer contemporary stories, but for this action-packed, sort of contemporary, half sci-fi story there was a lot of inner conflict for Michael and a few of the other main characters. Now as the series continued many other characters were introduced that I didn't care for as much because not much was revealed about them, but I love how the author still used these new characters to aid in Michael's character development since this was primarily Michael's story to begin with. By the end of the series, he changed a lot and I don;t even remember all the action that happened, it was the lessons learned and fears that he and other characters overcame that I remember the most!!

  19. It bugs me when authors/readers argue plot driven over character driven stories. As if you can have one without another and still have an effective story. A great plot with flat characters is impossible to get through. And a great character and no plot is boring because there’s nothing forcing them to change/grow. So you need both. And you’re totally right, you need to care about the character at least a little before any of the main plot begins or else the plot isn’t going to be as effective. That’s why I like save the cat’s beat sheet so much. You get that opening image section before the conflict to introduce the reader to your character(s)

    Also, yes, Ready Player One is garbage.

  20. An older movie that represents the type of story I hope to tell is "Pay It Forward". That movie gutted me and made me really think about the kind of life I wished to live.

  21. My favorite character driven story would probably be Inception. The plot/concept definitely takes a lot of the attention being so intriguing and different, but the story of Cobb and his journey to get home to his kids really does get me every time! I think it's a perfect example of taking an interesting plot and rounding it out with a character who's story you really do care about! It wasn't just about the unique idea, it was about a journey to forgiveness and returning home.

  22. abbie have you read the last unicorn? it’s one of my favorite books of all time and a great example of weaving plot and characters and internal conflict with the path of the world they’re in🤩 love love loved this video, when im in a writing slump your vids always put me back in the right headspace :> 💖

  23. the amazing spider man series was SO GOOD and i have NO CLUE why a lot of people don’t like it compared to the others

  24. Sorry, but Amazing Spider-Man is not the best example. Personally, I would have gone with Spider-Man Homecoming.

  25. Character development is my favorite thing to do. I’m obsessed with it. I literally have a huuuuge love for getting to know personalities, mindsets, instincts, reactions, internal fears or conflicts… in real people, and in my own characters. But plot? Eheheh… get back to me on that. 😂
    Plot always takes me a longgg while to master. And then writing everything out without moving on to a new idea, or spending (totallyyyy hypothetically) over two years trying to perfect a set of characters in their settings and perspectives?
    …yeahhhhh um I need to work on a bit 😅

  26. Spider-Man: into the spiderverse. Every. Single. Character. So well written. I can’t even express how deeply I love this movie.

  27. The PRESTIGE!!!! Shawshank Redemption! 10 Things I Hate About You!

    I can literally watch any of these movies repeatedly and never grow tired of them because the characters make me feel so much! (also Trolls 😬)

  28. That was the worse Spiderman movie made. IMO That entry was STUPID! Could have ended that highspeed chase that would have realistically killed so many people. I walked out of the Theaters because of that.

  29. I'm so glad you put my annoyance with RPO in words, because I couldn't find it. I really hated the characters, and felt that they had no substance. But this also makes me feel better about my own story, it's very character driven, there is a small plot of trying to get out of Purgatory but it's mostly about the characters of this world, but there's still a plot it's just not heavy on it.

  30. Read the book, please. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is a fantastic book, but I can't speak for the movie as I haven't watched it. I have very high standards in fiction as you do, so please, don't judge a book by its movie.

  31. Abbie, you are amazing and I'm so proud of all you have done. This video has helped me a lot. <3 You are making a huge difference in the writing world and I get so excited to see people talking about your book, especially after all it has done for me. love you, girl. <3

  32. Can you make a video on reaching word count goals? Specifically, what do I do if the outline I've written for my novel doesn't have enough material to cover a full 40,000 words? And if it doesn't, should I add 'fluff' in between plot points or should I make more plot for the end? How do I know if my outline is long enough? I'm using the save the cat method, by the way.
    -adrienne

  33. 1. The movie "The Italian Job" is one of my favorite character/plot driven story lines.
    2. As a rule, the book is (almost) always better than the movie. The Ready Player One book is slightly better and VERY different. (I totally see your point about it though.)
    3. Your new space needs some soft elements to minimize the echo. Rugs, curtains, pillows…something. And color. It's so WHITE and Abbie is so COLORFUL!

  34. This is exactly what my story needed! When your standard tale of the relationship between a boy and his dog (well dragon actually) is nothing but a list of what happened, you know you have a problem.

  35. The best piece of character development advice I ever had was from a guy on YouTube whos name I'm ashamed I can't remember (he analyzed Zuko's character), he said: Don't just have something bad happen to your characters, have something happen to them that they BLAME THEMSELVES FOR. I love that you really made this a point in this video. A character has to take responsibility for their actions (their fatal flaw usually causing it). In fixing their mistake, they then inevitably have to overcome their flaw.
    I'm so glad I didn't succumb to peer pressure to see Ready Player One with my friends. It seems terrible…
    Amazing video as always Abbie!

  36. I think it’s different for everyone though!! My dad can’t stand character driven stories because he doesn’t care about connecting to fictional characters – he just wants to read an interesting plot. Different stories attract different sorts of people. I think as writers we need to get that everyone looks for something different in a story and not everyone is looking for a lesson or a character to connect to. Some people just want a good plot with twists and turns and surprises and the characters are just vehicles to experience it. There’s no wrong reason to read and therefore there’s no wrong thing to focus on when writing. Some people are looking for a good world. Some people are looking for plot twists. Some people are reading to care about characters. I think looking down on plot driven stories is fine, but realize that’s what some people look for in a story, which is fine too!

    Furthermore, plot driven stories don’t actually mean we don’t care about the characters. It just means the plot is what decides the character’s actions and pushes the story forward, not the character’s inner deliberations. In many examples of character driven stories, nothing really HAPPENS because the author is focused on telling the character’s story and thoughts instead of an adventure. And that’s fine! Some people dig that.

    Character driven stories aren’t just stories where you care about the characters, and plot driven stories aren’t just forgetting about the characters in favor of plot. It’s just a term used to describe motivation. A lot of “character driven” stories I find the characters unlikable and am turned off immediately. Too much emphasis is on how the characters are feeling and I don’t care and there’s no interesting plot to fall back on. Like your misbelief thing – some of the misbeliefs chosen in stories are so cringy and ridiculous I can’t stand to read any more to find out if the character learns from his mistakes. Whereas a book that focuses more on plot has the potential to be interesting and impactful even if I stop caring about the characters. It just depends. I think it’s important we as creative people don’t dismiss other points of view as inferior just because we don’t personally like it. We talked about that during my creative writing course in college haha. Anyway I enjoyed the video and your aesthetic is so pretty!!!

  37. First, why are you commenting on Movies and not Novels? In 90%, the novel is much better, being more character-driven than the movie. Ready Player One is has the character-driven story that the movie does not.

  38. For me, I didn’t like DC’s flash. I could never connect with Barry and friends because they were never in any real danger, they never took a hit or felt defeated. There would be SO much action but it never got me hooked because I wasn’t emotionally connected to the character.

    They way you said it way perfect. It blew my mind. I even used this video as a base for my phyc of story telling essay.

  39. I’d say that Before We Go Extinct is pretty character-driven. It’s one of my all-time favorite books. I’m rereading it right now and I’ve already cried like twice. (It’s not that sad; I’m just over-emotional)

  40. I think a lot have found ourselves thinking I'm bored but not knowing why and now I believe this is actually one of those reasons, even it's kind of the strongest one. Love your videos, help a lot; no matter the language.

    By the way, my favorite character development is Iron Man.

  41. Star wars movies are the best balance of plot and character driven story according to me, atleast the george lucas ones

  42. Amazing video, as always! <3 I would love to hear your thoughts and tips and tricks on how to get back into writing after a long break (aka : how to prevent the fear and the self-doubt to crush you into tiny pieces) ?

  43. I totally agree about Ready Player One! My boyfriend and I tried to watch it once. He fell asleep within the first ten minutes and I watched the entire thing and still can’t figure out what it was about. 😂🤷🏼‍♀️

  44. My overall favorite character-driven story is "Treasure of the Sierra Madre."

    My favorite recent one is "Parasite." (except for its collectivist message – but that's well delivered)

    Your new place looks nice. Your video is so well produced (except the reverby sound). I still loved it, esp. the content. I'm going to link some other writers to it.

  45. I think I know what you’re trying to say, but you really need to read Creating Character Arcs by KM Weiland. It’ll get you to stop thinking about plot, character, and theme as separate entities.

  46. I always said plot is the skeleton of a story. When people tell me they are only interested in plot, I feel like they counterintuitively taught themselves to miss the characters and story in order to focus on plot because they think it makes them sound clever.

    So many stories forget characters and focus so much on concept, plot or world building that they forget to be about something beyond magicland, fantasyland or dystopianland…

  47. As a writer, I disagree. And as a movie-goer, I also disagree… because I LOVED your "horrible idea" – READY PLAYER ONE.

  48. New video tip: MBTI personalities. I would love to watch it on your channel, I can't find any good video about these 16 personalities.
    Few days back I have found this channel and I can't stop watching. You helped me a lot. Thank you so much! Sending love from Czech republic :).

  49. Thanks for this video Abbie. Love that Canon M50, it's my main camera down from a Canon 5D2 and 5D3. You are doing a great job kiddo. I would only suggest during the lights down just a tad, to avoid the facial wash. Your content is amazing and I'd actually like to read one of your books. 🙂

  50. Just a hint, your videos are otherwise excellent and fun to watch: you need to do something about the acoustics of that room you're in when recording. That hard echo is jarring.

  51. Ready Player One is a fabulous book. The main character goes from being isolated to figuring out how to create and manage a team with a common goal. (I highly recommend you read the book.)The book explains the danger of being out in the cold and how vulnerable you are without people who are there in an emotional sense as well as a physical presences. In fact, the team characters meeting up was one of the driving forces in the book. And, yeah, the movie plot completely ignored that part of the plot and I was very unhappy with the movie.

  52. you can't criticize a movie you didnt even watch… you j missed so much from that movie, you sound stupid for preaching about it like this. wade's experience is unique because of his abusive home life, the money will help make things better for him and his aunt. not to mention the entire post-apocalyptic dystopian rebel war and the relationships throughout the plot………. abbie you didnt even watch this movie wyd girl. just because there's a strong plot doesnt necessarily mean the story has weak character, well unless you j stop watching the movie ig

  53. My favorite character driven stories are the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. They are sci fi, but he's one author I can think if that nails character and plot driven stories.

  54. the only thing that i really dislike about this point of view is that some people may take this advice to push plot to the wayside. in my view both are equally important. character dev and plot, both are meant to fit together nicely like a glove and if one of them is off kiltered it will feel entirely wrong. you need good plot before character development even matters otherwise plot holes would simply ruin the setting/ circumstances that the character finds themselves in

  55. Surprisingly the stories that come to mind that are character-driven action adventures are based on real people. But, we are talking fiction so, the best story that comes to mind that is action adventures and are character-driven would have to be Star Wars: A New Hope. Like spider-man Luke does not know much about his father or his past which leads him to ask questions of Obi-wan Kanobi … and I am sure you know the rest. Another that I am reminded of is The Matrix Trilogy.

  56. It's been years since I read Ready Player One, and I agree that the movie was not great at all, but I think I remember the book having a lot of things the movie doesn't (character building, internal conflict, etc.) – am I imagining this?

  57. "So let's circle back to plot driven, vs character driven." Proceeds to talk about the human brain instead haha! I love this

  58. Ready player one was about the designer of the game. A sweet, humble nerd, who had his creation turned into a big corporate cash cow, and decided to put a little heart into it by offering a dedicated fan a nice reward for their loyalty. Seems like you're just not into video games.
    And as far as your example of "good writing" goes. You purposefully chose the weakest entry in Spider-Man's history. It was a generic, rushed re-telling of plot points we already knew. With card board cut out versions of the characters.

  59. I loved Ready Player One LOL! There really isn't much internal conflict until you're really far into the film. Eventually, Spoiler the MC has to decide if winning the competition is worth everything he goes through, while his belief that the entire world is stupid now and the only way their lives matter is inside the VR game, is completely shattered. He finds outthat the game is actually used to control the citizens of the world and he goes on a real life adventure to win back the game. And of course, fall in love.
    It's a cheap thrill kind of film and you're right that it's way way way way too plot-driven. If you stick with it and look real hard the character development is there. Of course, it's also bad that you have to look that hard but that's a whole other topic. Lol

  60. Outlander is my current favorite book. I love the entire series. Love for the characters make care about the plot. And a lot happens! Great story ❤️

  61. i won't argue about the Ready Player One MOVIE, but I think the book deserves to be judged separately. it flushes out Wade Watson better while making the exposition fun to read. he goes from some poor kid looking to escape poverty (and all other discomforts of life), to becoming famous for being the first to discover the answer to the riddle only to isolate himself from others, and then realizing that what he really wants is his friends and love-interest, so he gives in to humility and risks everything to save them.

  62. I have to say that the Ready Player One book probably did a better job of explaining the characters than the movie. The book still has other problems, but I believe the book is more character driven. And yes, that movie sucked.

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