character suggests plot

character suggests plot

“The beginning of a plot is the prompting of desire.”
– Christopher Lehmann-Haupt

Our idea of our screenplay or novel is never the whole story. As we inquire into the world we often discover that we must shed our idea of it for a wider perspective.

Have you ever watched a movie or read a book that wandered, and found yourself asking, “What’s it about?”

When the writer places his focus squarely on the plot while ignoring the characters, the theme gets blurry. It is character that suggests plot. It is only by trusting our instincts and allowing our characters to surprise us that we are led to a satisfying plot.

We must not confuse our instincts with our ideas. Our instincts will lead us to a deeper truth, while our ideas will ultimately betray our characters by squeezing them into a box.

Please share your thoughts on this.