Fun Questions | What Matters More – Plot or Characters?

August 10, 2013 Fun Questions 5

Obviously a really truly good book has an exciting plot AND compelling characters, but what matters most to you?


If the plot is slow-moving, it’s pretty easy to get bored with a book. I know that I have fallen asleep plenty of times because my current book doesn’t have enough going on to keep me interested. I want to be anxious, emotionally distraught, excited, romanced – and more often than not, it’s the plot’s various twists that make me feel that way. Basically, I want a plot that’s going to mess with my emotions big time and often. So, yes, plot is very important.


Characters are what make me care about what’s happening in the plot. I need to love the main character and s/he needs to be believable. I say that last part lightly of course, since I read lots of fantasy novels where the characters are vampires, werewolves,, fae, etc.

What I do care about is their personalities. I need a character with lovable traits and personality flaws (I’m actually a sucker for hopelessly flawed characters) and, most importantly, I need characters who act in ways consistent with their character traits. Yes, they can have moments that are out of character, but they need to be perceived by all within the book as exactly that, out of character. I hate it when a character does something that doesn’t make sense but everyone acts like it was completely normal and to be expected.

I also love characters that grow and change – probably why I get so addicted to series; watching them conquer their demons (sometimes quite literally) and grow into better people is thrilling for me. So, yes, characters are very important.

The Verdict

It’s probably pretty obvious based on what I had to say about both points, but for me characters are more important than plot, without a doubt. If I have an incredible plot but don’t care about the character involved in it, I don’t really care about the plot either.

What do you think?

What’s more important: plot or characters?


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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

5 Responses to “Fun Questions | What Matters More – Plot or Characters?”

  1. Julie S.

    This is a hard one for me because I really need the plot to move or I get bored and move on myself. However, if the characters are not developed and I can’t enjoy their story or identify with them, then what’s the point, right? I guess I lean a little more plot but both are extremely important to me.
    Julie S. recently posted…Love Exactly ReviewMy Profile

  2. Lauren

    Obviously it is better when you have both an engrossing plot and characters who grab you but the deciding factor for me is plot. I can get past so-so characters who don’t necessarily appeal if the story is well written and exciting.

    The example that comes to mind is Black Dagger Brotherhood. So many of my book friends rave about the characters and how sexy and hot they are (the men not so much the women) but for me the books were a dud because the plot was ridiculous (villains who smell like baby powder – seriously?) and the dialogue idiotic. No hottie can compensate for a bad story.
    Lauren recently posted…Musing Mondays #7: Censorship on GoodreadsMy Profile

    • Berls

      I definitely love it when authors manage to hit the sweet spot and get both an amazing plot and beautifully complex characters! Although I’m a character driven reader, I think I’d have to agree with you on your example. I haven’t read the Black Dagger Brotherhood – but if a plot is that ridiculous, I don’t think even great characters could make up for it. Although for me, as much as I love sexy characters, that’s never enough for me. I need characters that are complex – the sexy factor has to be the icing on top. If that’s all they’ve got, they fall flat for me too. I’m a demanding reader! LOL Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. Esther

    I like a good plot but the characters are more important to me. It’s the connection with the characters that makes me care what happens. It’s what makes the read engaging and sets reading for pleasure apart from research.

    • Berls

      I couldn’t agree more! Great characters are just such a big part of why I love a book (or movie actually).

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