SinC Puget Sound

October 2021 Meeting Recap: What Drives Story: Character or Plot?

Jennifer McChord and Roberta Trahan
Jennifer; Roberta

Jennifer McChord and Roberta Trahan provided insights into balancing plot and character development. Jennifer is Executive Editor and Associate Publisher at Epicenter-Coffeetown-Camel Press, and Roberta is a best-selling author.

The presenters pointed out that thrillers tend to be more plot driven while cozies are more character driven and that most authors have a preference for one over the other. The challenge for writers is to create both “great plots and remarkable characters.”

They provided two handouts to attendees. One covered key topics about what it means to be plot-driven versus character driven and included some development tools for each. The second handout was a worksheet to help authors with character development. The character study included questions by noted French author Marcel Proust to help authors create character bios.