Character-Driven versus World-Driven
Thank you Helen for having me as your guest during my blog book tour for “The Treasures of Carmelidrium.” I appreciate it.
I’m going to start this post by flipping the title. What is “World-Driven?” Is that the same as “Plot-Driven?”
World-driven is a little different from plot-driven, but not by much.
Fantasy and Science Fiction are known for their worlds. I can name many, “Star Trek,” “Star Wars,” “Narnia,” “Harry Potter.” The list goes on. We traditionally think of these examples when we think about world building, or world driven. Things just wouldn’t be the same without “warp drive” in “Star Trek,” or “Darth Vador” in “Star Wars.” Excuse me a moment while I tell him to stop breathing down my neck. You naughty character you.
Another example is the one and only “Sherlock Holmes.” So you see world-driven is not just for fantasy or science fiction. A well written world will set the stage for our characters. But should it be the main focus? I don’t think so. If it is the main focus, then you have a writer caught up in, let’s say, the Elizabethan age, with endless descriptions of clothing, manners, and travel. These things are important, but not if the characters are buried in fabrics.
Character-driven. By the term, we already know, or hope, that the main characters are as three dimensional as possible. The writer has taken care not to use cookie cutter characters, each one a duplicate of earlier works. Our characters should be unique.
Let’s assume that strong willed and opinionated Elizabeth Bennett has somehow been transported onto the deck of the Enterprise. Does she belong there? Perhaps a similar character, but Capt. Prichard is not Mr. Darcy. So to build a character with Elizabeth’s strength is what the writer should study and implement. Now we have a woman who is capable of being the Captain of the Enterprise.
A good story will have the main plot, set in an interesting world, with additional twists and turns to help the characters develop and grow while searching for the answer to their journey. It’s up to the writer to craft the character’s struggle in a way that is thrilling and enjoyable to the reader.
Thank you Nancy!
Before you link away, leave a comment or question for Nancy. You can also leave your email to be entered in a drawing for a free e-book. She’s giving away a free e-book to three lucky commenters during her tour. You can enter multiple times by commenting here and on other blogs participating in the tour.