Plot Vs. Character

This post is aimed more towards my fellow writers. I have been absolutely riveted the past few days by the most helpful book in the world (and that’s only a slight exaggeration). Friends, if you haven’t read this book, go buy it. If you’ve read it but don’t own it, go buy it. I’m serious.

The book is called Plot vs. Character and is written by Jeff Gerke. I picked it up at a recent writer’s conference after an editor recommended it to me. Let me just say. Wow. I swear that book could read my mind. It centers on the idea that all writers naturally come up with stories one of two ways; they either dream up compelling characters or exciting plots. You probably know which one you are. And chances are, you’re not so good with the other. I’ll admit, I’m awesome at character development. Plot, not so much.

Gerke literally walks you through the process of developing both. It’s a wonderful exercise in writing and you finish the book (if you do it correctly) with a wealth of information for your story. It’s not just a book of theories or ideas. He has you writing character monologues and drawing plot maps. If you take the time and put in the effort, you will have intriguing characters and intricate plots. 

The funniest part of the book (besides the dry humor it’s written with) is that in actuality, plot and character are very closely tied. More so than you would think. After all, a book is just the story of the main character’s inner journey. And the external events are the stage upon which that journey is set. 

I won’t often promote writing books here because there are so many. Also, there’s no right way to write; you just do it. But this book was so helpful, I had to give it a post. Just ask my family. My nose has been deeply planted in this book for the past three days. And now that I’ve finished reading it, I’m going through it again with a specific story to work on. I highly encourage all you writers to at least look through it if you get the chance.

Even though I won’t promote writing books here often, I’m always on the lookout for more! Comment below and let me know what the most helpful, or entertaining, writing book has been for you!

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