Writers Software SuperCenter
   Writers Software SuperCenter LLC presents...
The One Stop  
for Writers Software & Writing/Editing Services
Writers Software SuperCenter




 
writersupercenter.com - Your Writing Partner Since 1997
 
05/30/2006 - SUBSTANCE VERSUS STYLE: WHO'S IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT?
[BACK]

Which comes first in developing a new project: the characters (substance) or the plot (style)? There are those who like to build a story from the inside out, starting with a protagonist and/or a core group of interesting personas and devising a crisis that will bring out their best and worst traits. Others prefer to work from the outside in, launching a story from the standpoint of the crisis itself (i.e., a giant asteroid is headed toward L.A.) and then determining what types of people will be affected by this particular event.
In the first instance, a script is labeled "character-driven". In a character-driven story, the protagonist is on an emotional journey in which he or she will discover aspects of their personality which will undergo acts of internal renovation predicated on good (or bad) judgment. Think of the external catalyst (conflict) as a passenger in the backseat of a car your lead character is driving. As many directions as that passenger may be shouting out, it is the driver who ultimately decides on the best road to take based on the completeness and practicality of the information provided.
In a "plot-driven" story, the conflict comes from external forces that are generally beyond the control of the parties involved. That external challenge now puts someone other than the protagonist in the driver's seat, forcing the latter to react and adjust to circumstances more than direct them. A plot-driven story requires that the crisis itself be satisfactorily resolved as opposed to characters themselves needing to undergo substantive emotional transformations in order to deal with it. To use the car analogy, the passenger/protagonist is only trying to stop or disable the vehicle (or get out of it), not analyze whether his or her own actions or self-doubts put it on the road to begin with.

$75 COVERAGE FOR BEGINNERS SPECIAL

Get your script read and evaluated by the same folks who read for the agencies and studios. Discover what's right and wrong with your script and how to improve it.

More Info...

 

Copyright © 1997-2015 Writers SuperCenters and StudioNotes. All rights reserved. PLEASE READ THESE TERMS OF USE CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THIS SITE. By using this site, you signify your assent to these terms of use. If you do not agree to these terms of use, please do not use the site.

 
  Contact Us | Coverage Ordering | Software Ordering | Disclaimer