Why I Think Characters are the Most Important (in Books and Writing Because #doubletrouble)

It’s obvious that I have favoritism towards characters over plot.

Can you really blame me, though??? Favoritism exists. Just like I will always love Android more than Apple (even though my father BETRAYED ME and bought an iPad for my mother *cries*).

But seriously. Characters are awesome. And I’m here to tell you that characters are the MOST IMPORTANT part of any book, even more than plot.

Image result for gasp gif

This is my second discussion ever??? So feel free to scream at me for what a failure this is because I totally understand, yo. But I’m here to rant about how I will always consider characters the supreme overlord over everything else in a book.

flowers

Characters are more important than plot.

Of course, that’s what I think. It’s a close second, of course, because plot IS the story. But characters are the PEOPLE.

If you don’t care about the characters _– if the author doesn’t MAKE you care –_ then why would you care about the story? Why would you care about the plot? Why would you care about whether the character dies or gets hurt or wins the lottery if you DON’T. CARE. ABOUT. THE. CHARACTER???

Like would you care if an annoying boy at your school died??? NO.

(Okay probably yes because they DIED. But like what if they almost got run over?)

(Okay so maybe it’s just the EXCITEMENT of the event that makes you care, but then it goes away, okay???)

But it’s often true that if you’re annoyed by the character, you might end up DNFing the book. Because you can’t stand the character. Like if someone was irritating you, you’d probably yell at them and then stomp away in frustration*, right???

My most important point here is: If you don’t care about the characters, you (PROBABLY) don’t care about the book. Even if the plot is interesting, the characters may not be and that’s what throws you off.

*Don’t forget to flip your hair and slap them in the face.

flowersHowever, it goes beyond just caring about characters and not being annoyed by characters.

They have to be developed too!!!

Like say I walk to some random stranger and stepped  (Hypothetically, of course. Hypothetically. I SAID HYPOTHETICALLY.)

Their reaction would be:

Image result for ouch gif

Right??? And not:

 

Because characters have to be realistic and well developed. If we have bland characters with no flaws, we get bored, we get annoyed, and we REALLY DON’T CARE.

“But May,” you might be saying*, “this is the same thing with plot??? You have to develop the plot and make it realistic??? Why do you lie to me???”

Well you see here, you argument-seeking beans, I PERSONALLY THINK that if I read a book with an unrealistic and/or underdeveloped plot, I will still read it if the characters are AMAZING.

Contemporaries these days often do not have the most… “action-y” plots. Most contemporaries are character-driven, focusing on the journey and growth of the characters.

This genre has very little plot. And do people still like them??? YES. Because the characters are amazing, they relate to the characters, they care about the characters and feel what they’re going through.

*Not “might”. DEFINITELY. ABSOLUTELY. CERTAINLY. I KNOW ALL, LITTLE DARLINGS.

flowers

All aspects of a story are important.

Characters, plot, setting… They’re all EXTREMELY important to the story. But what I think is that characters are the most important part(s???) of all.

Sure, plot and setting are significant as well. But characters are people (if done correctly haha), and we people relate to other people. (Unless you’re like NOT a person???)

Characters are how we connect to the story. We might have real-life experiences similar to that of the plot, but how would we have those experiences if there weren’t people to, well, experience it?

Without characters, we CANNOT feel. We can’t feel for anything that happens in the book. Since we can’t feel, we don’t care. And when we don’t care, what’s the point of reading?

(Also I’m going to be obnoxious and point out WELL DO MOST PEOPLE FANGIRL ABOUT AMAZING PLOTS OR AMAZING CHARACTERS??? I totally fangirl about characters lol.)

flowers

Of course, everything in a story is vital.

And my opinion probably some flaws. Heck, it probably has a LOT of flaws.

But the main reason I believe characters to be the most important?

They are humans. We are humans. We CONNECT.


shall we chat

ah, now onto the discussion part of discussions! what do YOU think is the most important part of a story? do you agree that characters are THE most important? what other reasons can you add if you do? and how did my second discussion go? (i ranted a little less, right???) taaaaaalk, darlings. SPILL ALL.

PS omg guys this is less than 1000 words??? *gasp*

sign off 2.0

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122 thoughts on “Why I Think Characters are the Most Important (in Books and Writing Because #doubletrouble)

  1. I definitely think that characters are more important than plot. Many of my favorite books are ones where not much happens in terms of major events, but the characters develop immensely over the course of the story. A lot of William Faulkner’s works come to mind, especially The Sound and the Fury. Narration become so much more important in character-driven stories.
    Awesome post! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, you caught me. I’m really a robot, hiding behind the personality of a teenage girl.

    Yes characters are so important! Excuse me, the most important. In fact, most of my stories start with me creating a character, and then having an idea to go along with that character. I also have a ton of extra characters that I’ve never used, but will (probably? hopefully?) use someday.

    Great post as always! And yes, you ranted, but I quite enjoyed it all the same. 🙂

    isabel💜

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Yes, characters all the way! I work harder on my characters than on my plotline, which often ends with dire consequences. But, erm, let’s not talk about that!

    May, I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to start a comment discussion here. Do you people like relatable characters when reading a book?

    It’s weird because I’m torn. I like relating to characters. But I often feel like I’m reading to find out about their world, not see a reflection of my own.

    Please please please share your opinions, guys!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Math class?? Pshhh. I shall go read May’s post. #responsible

    YES CHARACTERS. I do think that they’re one of the most important components of a story, if not THE most. THE CHARACTERS PROPEL THE PLOT, SO BORING CHARACTERS = BORING PLOT. And that’s annoying and gross. XDDD

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This post totally spoke out to me.
    I usually hold plot over the rest, but after I read this post, I feel I’ve changed my mind. I must say that you are a truthful mango, May. *nods*

    I guess the most important part of a story is… The story? It’s amazing how every single part of a story makes a difference. A story without plot is like Harry Potter without Voldy. And a story without characters is like Harry Potter without… Well, Harry?
    I don’t think that typically makes any sense, duh. But the most beautiful thing about reading a story is knowing and acknowledging how every element of it plays a part.

    And sorting all that out is the hardest part of writing. Sigh…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, wow, I changed your mind??? *GASP* Hopefully that’s a good thing! 😄 You really can’t take out a part of a story and expect it to be a STORY. Everything is essential, and I just think characters are the most essential. 😛

      Gosh, writing is so hard, isn’t it??? 😄

      Liked by 2 people

  6. what do YOU think is the most important part of a story?: both. I think they’re equally important because they’re the same thing! *everyone gasps* Seriously, though, plot is just the character’s story. 😄 So yes, characters are most important. 😛

    do you agree that characters are THE most important?: pretty much! I think it’s important to have a well-developed plot, even if the characters are amazing. I wouldn’t read a book with amazing characters if the plot was lame or non-existent. Who wants to read about the day-to-day life of even the best-developed person? Not me! Still, without characters, the plot is dead … even more so than a plotless character-strong novel!

    and how did my second discussion go?: pretty good! I enjoyed it! But yes, there may have been a LITTLE ranting … 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well… I have to say that characters aren’t the same thing as plot… because, like you said, plot is the characters’ story, so plot can’t be the actual CHARACTERS… 😄

      Haha, yes, I wouldn’t read about everyday life either! Which is another way my opinion has “flaws”. 😄

      Oh, yes, the ranting… I gotta keep practicing though! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh this was lovely to read. I laughed while I was at it, and enjoyed your self rant. I haven’t ever thought of what’s the most important in a book, as I see them to all work together, but I can’t disagree that the characters are a very important part of a book. A lot of times, we are able to identify traits in them that are human (that’s pretty much the whole point in a good book). So yeah. I mean…what is a book without characters in them?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. You did a great job with this discussion and I have to agree. Characters are the most important. For both books and movies. When I’m writing a story I often think of my characters first, develop their personality and what problems they may face, who and how their friends and family may be like, and then these different plot ideas come to me to tell the story. They compliment each other. if you don’t have the characters, how can you have a story?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad I didn’t completely fail! 😄 I always end up thinking of character ideas. I don’t develop them first, because I need the plot to develop their backstories, but they’re definitely what comes to mind first! And yes! A story is nothing without characters.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I definitely agree with you here! And no, I actually loved this discussion because it was a lot more clear than the last one! Characters are definitely easy to connect to, and If I care about the characters, I FEEL for the, want to know what HAPPENS to them and feel so involved in the book? Like I don’t cry over plots, I cry over characters. I don’t laugh over plots, I laugh over character speech. So OBVIOUSLY Characters are amazing. Though I do love plots and premises because they’re awesome but I feel if the characters are just…meh, then I will probably DNF them. Though sometimes, the plot rules over and LIKE WHAT’s GONNA HAPPEN NEXT even when there are whiny annoying characters.

    Liked by 3 people

    • YAY I’M IMPROVING ON DISCUSSIONS. 😄 YAAAS why would I cry over plot??? I CRY OVER THE CHARACTERS. I mean, what happens to the characters that makes me cry is from the plot, but still. Plots are DEFINITELY interesting, though, and they can just be so action-packed that I just AGALKSDJLAKDS

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes! I couldn’t agree more. Characters (in my personal opinion) are by far the most important price of the story. If you want to read a awesome book with great characters I would suggest Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom (the sequel) by Louisa May Alcott. They aren’t action-y, but I love all the characters.

    ~ Pip

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOLOL WHAT HAPPENED MY COMMENT GOT BUTCHERED???? I must’ve upset the WordPress gods :””’) I WAS GOING TO SAY: I often think about how characters drive the plots of TV shows as well!! Like in Downton Abbey, for example…eventually there is LITERALLY NOTHING HAPPENING yet you still watch the show and you still care about it wHY?? BECAUSE OF THE CHARACTERS.

      SO YES ALLOW ME TO SHOUT THIS TRUTH FROM THE ROOFTOPS WITH YOU.

      *CHARACTERS [are better than] EVERYTHING ELSE

      Liked by 2 people

      • WELL WORDPRESS JUST HATES YOU. 😄 That was one messed up comment lolllll. And right??? Usually I write 1200 word-long posts and then people are like “shorter!” and I’m like “I CAN’T.” Oh yes, we definitely care about the characters so much that we’ll just keep going with the boring plot. What are we more likely to remember, plot or characters???

        WHY DOES SHOUTING FROM THE ROOFTOPS REMIND ME OF LES MIS. 😄

        Like

  11. Great post on this topic May. I’ve read a few books where the characters were amazing developed but the plot not as much and I’ve still ended up loving those books, however, on the other hand, I’ve read a few books where the plot has been amazing but because the characters weren’t well developed I didn’t end up enjoying it as much. 🙂
    As a primarily fantasy reader I love reading world-building the most but I definitely agree that characters are just as important as the plot, sometimes even more important depending on how character-driven the story is. Again great topic, and I loved reading your thoughts on this one too. 😀 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, exactly! Because we connect to characters more than plot, we just enjoy books with strong characters, no matter the quality of plot!

      Oh yes, worldbuilding is so important in fantasy! I feel like a lot of fantasy is action-packed — but not necessarily plot-driven, so it really depends! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • There’s always something we can identify with in the characters, whereas there’s not always something you can identify with in the plot. Especially if you’re reading a fantasy book! 🙂
        I read fantasy books for the world building more than anything else sometimes, so it’s always important to me. 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • OMG BETH I MUST FANGIRL WITH SOMEONE I FINISHED ACOL AND…
          😍😍😭😭
          I love it so much and now VE Schwab is one of my favorite authors and I need more??? AND AGH ALL THE FEELS I was SO CLOSE to crying when Kell was saying goodbye to Rhy. Just… SO SWEEEEEET.

          But honestly all those deaths??? I’m think of four that hurt the most, but I’m sure there were others. THIS WAS SO DARK but lovely and I just need MOOOOOOORE. *cries*

          (Okay I’m done. 😄 )

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh my god I am so so so glad you finished it! Did you love it? Were you heartbroken by the end? Have you been ruined for all other books now you’ve finished it?
            My answer to those questions was pretty much all yes when I finished.
            She’s my favourite author too, and I am so so hopeful we’ll get more from this world because I want more from this world. I think it’s open for another series in the same world, hopefully one with less death because yeah this was dark at times! 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  12. I really can’t say if I think characters are the most important! I mean, some of my favourite books are character-driven and all about their development *YESSS!!! ❤️* but I also love books that have loads of action and twists and turns and all that jazz!
    So I’m stuck in the middle! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  13. AGREEMENT.
    I love characters, and honestly sometimes I just feel like throwing the book away if I hate the main character. *laughs nervously*
    But yes, there needs to be character development. I especially hate it when the character is always perfect/always better than others (in contemporaries) or when there’s angst in a relationship that’s dragged out for plot. Grr.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. YES I totally agree. I do not like reading books where the characters are stupid and just unlikeable. It really annoys me and even if the plot is good I probably won’t finish it. But, idk, I guess mainly the main character annoys me but supporting characters who are bad annoy me too. I kind of get annoyed by underdeveloped/bad-at-making-decisions characters (if you can’t tell haha.)
    xx Em

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I LOVED THIS DISCUSSION MAY! 💛*frantically searches for mangoes to give as a reward to The Mango Queen lol* I feel that the characters and the plot have equal importance because if a character is stupid, I MAY still try to finish the book because I have an issue. I just cannot abandon a book. I have done that, at times, but I’ve always picked the book later and finished it. YOUR POINTS WERE VERY ACCURATE. Sometimes,it’s the characters I’m rooting for.*to not die, ahem* And sometimes the premise and the plot sound so interesting and take violent turns which eventually lead to cliffhangers. I hate cliffhangers but at the same time, the plot becomes really interesting, so I ain’t complaining.

    Take, for example, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. THE PLOT BLOWS AWAY THE READERS. ALL OF THE CHARACTERS ARE HARD TO LOVE AND YET, THE PLOT JUST MAKES YOUR MIND GO KA-BOOM. (Every single book of Agatha Christie is like that; though I’ve only read, like, 10?)

    But yes, coming back to the point, CHARACTERS ARE IMPORTANT. And the development they go through is certainly important as well. At the same time, the plot should also go through development and shouldn’t fall flat. IN SHORT, WHAT I MEAN TO SAY IS I’M A SMOL INDECISIVE POTATO AND I CAN’T CHOOSE BETWEEN THE PLOT AND THE CHARACTERS. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This is what I thought at first. The plot’s the main structure/body of the story and that it’s the most important part in writing. But without characters being the main part? I’ve never actually thought of that. May, you’re a genius mango queen. You’ve literally made me think that I was wrong all these days! I LOVE HOW ACCURATE AND DEFINITELY GENUINE YOU WERE. Thanks to you, I now believe that characters are the most important. I bow down to you, your mangoness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • AGAHAGAGHA That makes me so happy to hear! That I have the power to change people’s opinions, just by using my voice. And I still think plot is VERY important, no joke! Characters are just sliiiiiiiightly more important, in my opinion. 😄

      Like

  17. I agree, I prefer character-driven books than plot-driven, especially since most of my latest favourite books are books with amazing characters. It’s important for a writer to write well-rounded characters that are relatable and human, and unique and not cliche’d. It’s definitely hard, but when it’s done properly, you really fall in love with them, and the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. PREACH IT MAY!
    For me, the characters are more important than plot in any story, whether it’s in books or movies or comics. And I totally agree with you, the characters are the driving element that keeps the readers interested in the story. Back when I used to write book reviews in my blog, I always emphasize on how well/badly-developed a character is. I couldn’t care less about underdeveloped plot when the characters have depth and experienced satisfying growth in the story.
    I had fun reading this, I love the asterisk-footnotes and mini parentheses! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

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