How a Character-Driven Story Differs from a Plot-Driven Story

Fiction books can be generally sorted into two categories, as award-winning author and former underground storage tank operator Laurel Anne Hill explains. In a plot-driven story, everything deals with the plot. You can still have detailed and compelling characters, but the story revolves around the plot and story arc. If you were to take the characters out and replace them with others, you would still have the same story and story arc. In a character-driven story, sometimes referred to as literary fiction, there is much more depth to the characters. Instead of following characters on a mission or adventure, they are fighting something inside themselves and must deal with their internal struggles to move forward, or fail to change. Hill lists Lolita and Madame Bovary as two examples of character-driven stories.

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