Plot Versus Character

A balanced approach to writing great fiction.
Author:
Publish date:
Image placeholder title

Plot Versus Character
A Balanced Approach to Writing Great Fiction
by Jeff Gerke
Writer's Digest Books, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-58297-992-2
$17.99, paperback, 272 pages

Buy the Book

Read an excerpt

Author Jeff Gerke discusses conflict in this excerpt from Plot Versus Character.

Read an author interview
Jeff Gerke discusses writing and publishing advice, how studying movies can help you understand storytelling structure, and more in this interview.

About the book
Plot or character? A long-time sticking point for novelists. Yet, while literary novelists argue in favor of character-based novels and commercial novelists argue in favor of plot-based stories, the best fiction is rich in both plot and character.

In this exciting new book, author and writing instructor Jeff Gerke shows you how to create realistic characters, assemble a solid three-act story structure, and seamlessly intertwine both to create a compelling page-turner filled with characters to whom readers can’t help but relate.

You'll learn how to create layered characters, develop a character’s emotional journey and tie it to the plot’s inciting incident, construct a three-act story structure that can complement and sustain a character arc, reveal character backstory to accentuate plot points, and much more.

About the author
Jeff Gerke (www.marcherlordpress.com and www.wherethemapends.com) is an author of fiction and nonfiction including such books as the Operation: Firebrand novels. He has worked as an editor for numerous publications and is the founder of Marcher Lord Press, an indie publishing company dedicated to producing the finest in Christian science fiction, fantasy, and other wonderfully weird genres.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION
Chapter 1 Does It Really Matter?
PART I Memorable Characters
Chapter 2 Core Personality
Chapter 3 Physical and Natural Attributes
Chapter 4 Major Events, Likability, Perceptions, and Speech
Chapter 5 Overview of the Inner Journey
Chapter 6 The Knot
Chapter 7 The Moment of Truth
Chapter 8 Initial Condition
Chapter 9 The Inciting Incident
Chapter 10 The Escalation
Chapter 11 The Final State
PART II Marvelous Plots
Chapter 12 The Stew
Chapter 13 Of Prologues and Introductions
Chapter 14 Understanding Three-Act Structure
Chapter 15 Act 2: The Heart of the Matter
Chapter 16 Act 1: Introductions
Chapter 17 Act 3: Climax and Dénouement
PART III Plot and character: together at last
Chapter 18 Integrating Plot and Character
Conclusion
Index

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

In this article, Brian Freeman, author of Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Treachery, discusses how he took up the mantle of a great series and made it his own.

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Learn how to distinguish the sole from the soul with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

In this brave new world of virtual learning and social distance, Kristy Stevenson helps us make the most of the virtual conference.

When Is Historical Accuracy Inaccurate?

When Is Historical Accuracy Inaccurate?

Writers of historical fiction must always ride the line between factual and fictitious. Here, author Terry Roberts discusses how to navigate that line.

What Is Creative Nonfiction in Writing?

What Is Creative Nonfiction in Writing?

In this post, we look at what creative nonfiction (also known as the narrative nonfiction) is, including what makes it different from other types of fiction and nonfiction writing and more.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Four WDU Courses, a Competition Deadline Reminder, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce four WDU courses, a Competition deadline reminder, and more!

Funny You Should Ask: What Is Going to Be the Next Big Trend in Fiction?

Funny You Should Ask: What Is Going to Be the Next Big Trend in Fiction?

Funny You Should Ask is a humorous and handy column by literary agent Barbara Poelle. In this edition, she discusses the next big fiction trend, and whether or not all books are the same.

From Script

A Change in Entertainment Business Currency and Disrupting Storytelling with Historical Significance (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by ScriptMag.com, learn about how crypto currency is making a wave in the entertainment business, what percentages really mean in film financing, the pros and cons of writing partnerships, an exclusive interview with three-time NAACP Image Awards nominee, co-creator and former showrunner of CBS’ 'S.W.A.T.' Aaron Rahsaan Thomas and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Putting Off Submissions

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Putting Off Submissions

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is putting off submissions.