Do You Start Writing Your Story with a Plot, or a Character?

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Once in a while doing these interviews, I get a great question.  No matter the answer, I think it’s interesting to think this over.  When you wrote your last story, what did you have first?  A Character? A Plot?  A Setting?  How did you get started?

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For my answer, hop on over to Linda Carroll-Bradd’s Blog for that and other great answers from the depths of my demented mind.



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12 responses to “Do You Start Writing Your Story with a Plot, or a Character?

  1. Since most of my stories start as dreams, the opening scenes are usually what I write, sometimes the plot is there, sometimes just an inkling of what is to come. The characters develop as the action progresses, using a ‘how would so-&-so react to such-&-such’ approach. That’s when I start thinking about character back story.

    With my historical fiction, though, once I had the opening scenes it was a matter of researching who I wanted my lead character to interact with and then figuring out how the plot would progress based on historical events.

  2. Hmm, I may be a bit of an outlier here. I can have ideas and characters running through my head, but usually the “trigger” to begin writing is a scene. So both plot elements and characters are there from the beginning. Maybe it’s because I’m a Libra…. 😉

  3. I think I start with the Characters, but now that I actually ponder the question, I’m not sure. I know that usually, I can see my characters in a certain situation (usually the defining point of the story), and the story grows from there as well as my curiosity as to who these people are. They’re so intertwined it’s hard to decide which comes first, the plot of the story or the characters. It’s as hard as deciding the chicken or the egg.

  4. For my current novel, I had the concept first, but the characters followed shortly after, and soon, I could think of no better characters to help create my plot. 🙂

  5. All my stories have centered around characters, who gradually tell me their story.

  6. I usually start with characters… most of which I love and find interesting. I tend to have difficulty weaving a plot around them that’s as interesting as I find them… :/

    Congratulations on the publications and happy holidays!

  7. I would say that more often than not I start with the plot – I’ll probably have a vague idea of some of the main characters involved in the plot but the characters are a secondary development to the plot for me. But it’s an interesting question, and as an exercise I think I’m going to have a deliberate attempt at doing it the other way round; developing some strong characters and then deciding what will happen to them after. I’m going to go and read what your answer was now…