Plot Driven Drama

Posted Jun 14 2013, 9:53 pm in , , , , ,

DownloadedFileI’ve probably said a million times on this blog that I’m a character person. Character is what brings me back to a story over and over. Character is what makes me want to watch certain TV shows, even if it’s something outside my normal genres. Character is where I start each of my stories. 

This is not to say that plot isn’t important, because it is. But for me, plot is just the car that drives the characters. 

This post came about because last week I took my son to see the movie Now You See Me. It’s a caper movie. A group of 4 magicians/illusionists are brought together by some mysterious guy to get revenge. At the start of the movie, as viewers, we have no idea that it’s all about revenge. 

Let me just say that the movie was fabulous. The entire plot was so well-crafted. It wasn’t one of those caper movies where the audience knows what’s going to happen and we’re along for the ride because we’re cheering for the characters. This was like being in the audience of the magic show. We had to look for clues the same way the cops and Interpol and the magic debunker had to. It wasn’t until the very end when you look back that you see how brilliant it was.

And that is why I could never write a mystery. Mystery writers are plotters. They have to know where they’re going so they can leave clues for the readers. I almost never know where I’m going when I write. I know what my characters need,  but I don’t necessarily know how I’m going to get there. I rely on my characters to figure it out.

The only thing that I wish there was more of in Now You See Me was character. We were given this crew of 4 really interesting people, each of whom brought a unique skill set to the party, but we never really get to know them. We’re given pieces of their backstories, enough that we kind of want them to get away with everything they’re doing. But we never know who they are. And as a character person, I always want to know my characters.

If you like caper movies (like Oceans 11), I would recommend this movie. It’s a lot fun. Not an earth-shattering, remember forever kind of movie, but a darn good way for me to spend and afternoon with my kid.

What movie are you most looking forward to this summer?

1 Comment


One response to “Plot Driven Drama”

  1. robena grant says:

    I agree with you. In fact our L.A. chapter of RWA is having Laurie Schnebley Campbell give a workshop that is titled: Plot is all About Character. I love her classes.

    That sounds like a fun movie. Added it to the list. First up I want to catch the new romance, a Pierce Brosnan movie, which is set on the Amalfi Coast. Can’t afford to go to Italy, so this will be fun. : )