YA Apocalyptic and Dystopian Fiction discussion

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Off-topic > Plot or Character?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

The nice thing about PA books is that the plot doesn't tend to be boring.

But do you ever feel that there are some books where the author could do a great job with the characters in such challenging situations, but somehow doesn't rise to your expectations?

Or the characters are great, but the PA situation is generic and uninspired?

Which do you find fault with more, and why? When the characters are weak, or the plot?


message 2: by Bethany (new)

Bethany That's a tough one. I think I would have to go with the characters. I've read books that had these conceptually great ideas and plot lines, but the characters fell kinda flat. For me, books make me happiest when I love the characters. I connect so much more with a book if I connect with the characters. Just to give an example...
Fallen (Fallen, #1) by Lauren Kate Torment (Fallen, #2) by Lauren Kate Passion (Fallen, #3) by Lauren Kate
The concept of this series is really interesting...the whole fallen angel thing. But I just could not get into the first two because I didn't like the MC. She was really whiney and annoying to me. Then the love interest. I felt like I didn't even really know him, I couldn't understand what he was about. I liked his character, but didn't love him. However, I'm reading the third book now and it's completely different from the first two. I'm seeing so much more into the characters that I FINALLY feel like I know them. So now I'm actually invested in the story and I want to get to the end of the book because I care what happens now.

Don't get me wrong...a bad plot really blows! But at least you might still enjoy some of the characters :/


message 3: by Alli (new)

Alli Chin (allic) First off, I'd like to say that I VERY MUCH AGREE WITH BETHANY on the Fallen series. I couldn't stand Luce. I only read the first book and kind of hated it...

I also agree with Bethany on the character front, too. I've found that when I like the characters, I usually like the plot. If the plot is great and the characters suck, I can't get through it. It's kind of vice versa though, too.


message 4: by Adela (new)

Adela Clancy I think that the more developed the characters, so we feel like they could be actual people, is the best thing for a book. The plotlines really count too, but it's like Alli said, if you like the characters you usually like the plot too, if only because you want to know what happens to them. :)


message 5: by Alli (new)

Alli Chin (allic) i think both plot and character matter; if one thing thing is bad- plot or character- the whole thing sucks...


message 6: by Adela (new)

Adela Clancy Very true


message 7: by Paula (new)

Paula Williams (daystealer) | 42 comments I'm reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to my grandchildren right now and thought about your discussion. If I were to pick up that book without previous knowledge of the characters, I would almost say the characters were rather flat until his encounter with Voldemort. If it wasn't for the amazing setting and unique story premise, not to mention the mystery and creativity, I don't know if the book would've sold merely on the characters. Harry isn't developed all that much until the end and Hagrid seems the most interesting of the lot.

Suffice it to say, Rowling delved into character as she had the space with her longer books. That kept us coming back for more and the series became stronger both in character and plot. It's hard to judge the first book of the series if kept to a shorter length as the first book most definitely was, but when given full reign, character development had better be there or we'll drop it like a hot potato.


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