Do you find one more important than the other?


This probably isn't a new topic, especially among writers and those who create the stories we read, and it's one professors in my literature courses have touched on as well. But, it’s a question I've asked myself and thought on plenty of times, and I’m curious about the opinions of others in regard to this train of thought.

Essentially, having a book that has equal amounts of strength in plot and characterization is what readers want to experience most, because that’s what makes a book most enjoyable to encounter. Characters we get a real sense of and eventually care for, and a plot that is intriguing, breathtaking, and really pulls us in. It’s a dream of a book to experience.

But, if you had to make the choice, which would you prefer? Would you rather have characters who you find to be wonderfully written and amazing to experience as you read a book, with a plot that’s, in your opinion, not the most stellar to witness play out? Or would you want an amazing blow your mind out of the waters plot with characters that end up being stagnant and predictable? Or, possibly, are you someone who firmly believes that you can’t have one be amazing without the other one being equally amazing? Do you have even more complex opinions on the two?

Personally, if I were to choose, I think I’d make the choice of the characters. Over the years, as a reader, I've been so much more enraptured by the ability of writers to create these characters that leap of the page and seem so real. Characters that I acquire so much emotion for as I experience their journey and what they have to face. Even if what they’re facing in the story isn't something one would usually find that interesting in the story. But with these kinds of characters, it adds a sort of additional improvement to the plotting used. Simply, characters are very near and dear to my heart and I sometimes am so in awe of the ability to get me and others so hooked on them.

For example, I'd say quite a few Throne of Glass characters. However, that series is also great plot wise too so maybe a better example could be the way several romance novels repeat certain plot tropes, yet many authors still succeed in creating characters you really enjoy and root for. With unique characters, it brings a bit of refreshment to certain plots, it sometimes seems.

So, I end this bout of rambling and curiosity with the questions: Do you have a preference between the two? Which do you prefer and why? Or, if no, why not?