Day 9

Day 9 Prompt: Structure as offense and characterization as defense, or the other way around. Is this something you think about? Do you have other metaphors when you think about your stories and how they work?

This question threw me off, to be honest. Maybe it’s the wording so I had to google search to see what this even meant. It’s a way of thinking of characterization and plot as opposing forces. Plot being offensive (working towards the goal) and characterization (working against it) and it finally made sense. 

I always look at stories as either being plot drives characters or character driven plot. A story will either have the plot driving the characters to make decisions or have the decisions the characters make drive the plot. Lord of the Rings? Plot driven characters. Frodo would have never left the Shire if the plot hadn’t driven him to. The Hobbit? Character driven plot. Bilbo chose to leave the Shire on his adventure, he chose to bring the ring back with him. 

Most of my story ideas are character driven plots. The decisions the characters make are what is driving the plot forward. For example, in Elements, Whitney is so driven towards finding the truth, they set into motion a series of events that would have never happened without their influence.  What I enjoy the most about this writing style is there is a sort of consequence for your character’s actions. Rather than the characters being the victim of what’s going on around them. It’s realistic to have to deal with the aftermath of your choices. One of the harshest realities of life is knowing when you make a decision or a mistake, what happens afterwards is directly related to your own choice. You make the bed, you have to lie in it. 

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