Plot Driven Characters or Character Driven Plot?

Photo by Kate Graur from Pexels

As I’ve written about before, my dad was a writer. His writing technique was definitely character driven.

Also as I’ve mentioned before, my dad seemed to get bogged down in his characters. Never going much beyond index cards full of characterizations.

I’ve been taking Masterclass lessons on writing from some of the greats. As my work in progress is a psychological suspense thriller, I started with Dan Brown.

Dan makes the argument, a very convincing argument, to let the plot inform the characters. This makes sense on so many levels. I’m just not sure how it applies to me.

My WIP started with just two characters, a good guy and a bad guy, and a premise. My premise is solid and had received very encouraging feedback. My characters are also solid. I have much of their backgrounds on paper and in mind.

I know the beginning and the ending of the book. It’s the middle that is giving me heartburn. How to connect these characters (there are now a few more) in a thrilling way.

At this point I feel like a seven year old telling a story, “And then . . . and then . . . and then.”

So, which would you use to inform your story? Plot driven characters or character driven plot?

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