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Which is More Important...The Characters or the Plot?

Hello All,

More than a week has passed since my last post, which as I recall, was whiny and sad.  For what it is worth, I am in much better spirits now that I've moved onto the next chapter in my book.

 Last weekend my family and I celebrated an early Thanksgiving with my in -laws in Virginia. They own a quiet place in the country where one can read,write and debate in an environment that is free from distractions of the modern world.

 During the visit, my mother-in-law, Ruth, who happens to be an avid reader and supporter of my novel, somehow fell into a discussion with me over the question of which is more important, the plot or the characters.  Ruth felt that both the plot and characters propelled the story line forward, and if one of the two was lacking, the reader would lose interest.

 In contrast, I believe the characters are the story.  The reader often forms an attachment with each of them, some characters are loved, while others are hated.  Even if the plot is somewhat contrived, this attachment will force the reader to finish and even enjoy the novel.  For example, although I have not read book five of Harry Potter, some of the reviews I've checked out, insist that the plot was forced and disappointing.  Despite this plot glitch, all of the reviewers finished the book.  Why?  because they like Harry, Hermione, and Ron. Also, readers love to hate Voldemort and Malfoy.

Which do you think is more important, the plot or the characters?  I'd love to get your feedback.
Until next time, happy writing.

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