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Reblog It #7: The Difference Between “Flawed” Characters and “Too Dumb to Live”

One of my favorite books “Clan of the Cave Bear” fell into the too perfect trap and by the fifth book I was done, so it’s not advice just for the newbies!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 11.16.09 AM

Which is more important? Plot or character? Though an interesting discussion—sort of like, Could Ronda Rousey take a Klingon with only her bare hands?—it isn’t really a useful discussion for anything other than fun. To write great fiction, we need both. Plot and characters work together. One arc drives the other much like one cog serves to turn another, thus generating momentum in the overall engine we call “STORY”.

If we goof up plot? Readers/Audiences get confused or call FOUL. Watch the movie Ouija for what I am talking about *shakes head*.

Goof up characters? No one cares about the plot.

New writers are particularly vulnerable to messing up characters. We drift too far to one end of the spectrum or the other—Super-Duper-Perfect versus Too Dumb to Live—and this can make a story fizzle because there is no way to create true dramatic tension. This leaves us (the frustrated…

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One comment on “Reblog It #7: The Difference Between “Flawed” Characters and “Too Dumb to Live”

  1. Susan
    March 10, 2015

    I was sucked in when I read the words “…dramatic tension..” I am not a baby, but a toddler writer, with published essays, and a few short stories. The novel, ah, the seven year novel that still needs so much revision. You hit the nail on my head with dramatic tension. I hate drama in my personal life and someone real smart said, hmm, you avoid it on paper just as much.

    So, with this reposting , I am reminded – tension is good! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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