Thursday, December 6, 2012

plot vs character development

I know there's plenty of debate, many books, and endless websites dedicated to the eternal question of whether plot or character development is more crucial to the story.  I've been thinking about this after watching this week's episode of "Homeland" titled "Broken Hearts."  There have been a lot of reviews debating the merits of the episode with many questioning the direction the show is taking and the plausibility of the events that took place. 

But one columnist made me think about my own writing when he said that "Homeland" is sacrificing character development in favor of advancing the plot at a more rapid pace.  I enjoyed this week's episode, but then I like fast paced, edge of your seat television.  TV shows that dwell too much on navel gazing fall out of favor with me pretty quick.  It goes that way with books too.  I can't stand books where a character has endless scenes of Hamlet indecisiveness without there being any real payoff.  But then, too, I don't like books where the characters are cardboard cutouts who do nothing but go from one plot point to another.  There has to be a balance, but I think I lean more towards plot than character development.

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