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Yin and Yang

One major distinction is between the novel of incident, in which the main focus is on the course and outcome of events in the PLOT, and the novel of character, in which the primary interest is in the PROTAGONIST'S thoughts, feelings, and motives and in the ways that the characters develop.
Hamilton, Essential Literary Terms (1-31) -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)
Most successful novels, however, display the characteristics of both forms.

It makes sense. Too much of one thing can be overwhelming. If the focus is fully on the plot, and the characters are completely closed off, I know I--for one--don't generally care much about the characters. They don't seem real. If the focus is fully on the characters, there really is not much of a story. It takes a balance of the two to make a good novel.


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Comments (1)

Mike Poiarkoff:

i agree whole-heartedly. Good balance is key to creating a great story. I don't care how much an author developes a character, if there's nothing to support him, the book is shot. Even a perfect character can't hold a book together all by himself.

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