Sunday, November 29, 2009

Response to Comments on Character Versus Plot

First, I'd like to thank everyone for their interesting and enlightening feedback on last week's post. I've given your comments a lot of thought and I have to agree that the importance of characters versus plot depends on the book. For example, Stephanie Meyer's first novel, Twilight (which I'm ashamed to admit that I enjoyed very much), was extremely character driven. I was totally captivated by the main character, a gorgeous vamp named Edward, who has the ability to read minds, and the rest of his undead family. Then, there's Bella who is beautiful and different, and last, but not least, is Jake the werewolf who happened to be my favorite character.  (Yes, I know, the werewolf plot doesn't come out until the second book, but I had to mention it). All of the Twilight book reviews I've read concentrate on the characters, not the plot. Mom’s debate about who they like best, Jake or Edward etc., and young girls plaster posters of Edward on their walls.
In contrast, Dan Brown's book, The Da Vinci Code, was extremely plot driven. I couldn't wait to read about the secret of the Holy Grail etc. Yet, unlike Edward and Jake, I thought Robert Langdon and Sophie were dry and wooden. Whenever I put the book down, it wasn’t Robert and Sophie I thought about, it was the secret they were trying to uncover. So in closing, I guess there isn't one definitive answer to the plot versus character question. It really does depend on the book.