My writing preference is character centered stories – focusing on the characters, their challenges, their triumphs, and their despair rather than on plot and setting. I go even further in my stories – prejudices, dark motives, hatred, and jealousy. Good raw emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I think plot and world building are also important, but I don’t want them to be central focus of my stories.
Some of this, of course, is based on the “21 Days to a Novel” from Michael Stackpole which helped me plan for and successfully win my first NaNoWriMo thereby solidly guaranteeing that it will be a guide post for my writing. Tip of the hat to Mr. Stackpole I think he gets it right on a number of levels. My first encounter was in a seminar where his opening premise was the importance of character vs. setting driven stories – his recommendations was character driven all the way.
Another rationale I have heard for Character vs Setting is based on the adage: “show don’t tell.” I apologize that I cannot credit the source for this because I haven’t the foggiest where it came from! Basically, it goes like this:
Focusing on characters is engaging the heart, whereas setting and plot being central is engaging the brain. Similar to show vs. tell. Telling requires the brain to be engaged where Showing lets you engage the emotion. Connecting emotionally engages and connects better with the readers than intellectually.
Applying to my own writing preferences – the deeper, more intense the emotion, the greater the engagement (by logical extension) (at least that is my theory!)
Ok – so many more established writers are thinking of course that this is all obvious, but for me, I am seeing it play out as I struggle to write my own stories!
My publisher is planning a Kickstarter for the end of July to publish my short stories. For more information, and to sign up to be notified when it goes live, head over to: www.brymlight.com