Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kamy's Back & Talking about Characters

Please welcome again to the blog the lovely Kamy Chetty!

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Character Driven Settings

I have often had to ask myself what the difference is between a character driven story and a plot driven story and which would be better for my writing. Everyone out there says it is better to engage with the character and make it real and all about making the connection with the reader. I get that.
Unfortunately what happens when you write a character driven story, you end up with a story that has a complex story structure because characters tend not to do as they are told. So have I figured out which is better and should my writing be plot driven or character driven? Well the short answer is no. I have figured out that knowing my characters does make life interesting and even though I don’t tell my readers everything about my protagonist and her prince charming, I know why they behave the way they do and it makes for a better story.

I go for all out emotion and drama and in order for me to deliver that on the page, I find out what makes my characters tick. I have always loved psychology and the way the mind works so I find human behaviour fascinating. I also understand that all stories need a plot and good conflict to keep the reader interested. So, what are your thoughts on character and plot driven stories and how they contribute to a good yarn? I would love to hear from you and thank you for having me here.

There hasn’t been a time in her life that Kamy hasn’t been writing, or dreaming up some magical love story in her head. As an avid reader, it wasn’t long before she realised her talent for turning a phrase, and add to that a profession of nursing, it’s only natural that her stories have a medical theme with that happily ever after ending.

Recently she’s discovered that all those years she’s been fascinated with TV shows like CSI and Bones, has just been foreplay for her dark side and she now enjoys writing suspense with a dash of medical and a dollop of romance.

Originally from South Africa, Kamy now lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her very own hero and two children who keep her busy. She has two dogs who keep her out of trouble and shelves overflowing with books that she loves reading when she isn’t chasing deadlines.
Kamy Chetty around the web:
BREATHE AGAIN
After a tour at war and countless shifts in the hospital emergency room, Nick knows that no matter how hard he tries to change things, people are the same. So when his estranged wife Skylar reveals that she stopped taking birth control and is pregnant, he shouldn’t be shocked. Betrayal burns and panic sets in as memories of his shattered home life remind him that he can’t play happy families.

Skylar knows one thing—she’s head over nurse’s shoes in love with the stubborn and unemotional Nick. She loves him enough to believe in the man he is, even though he can’t see it for himself and hides behind a mask. As he calls their child “hers” and tries to live apart from her, Skylar’s heart breaks, but she refuses to give up hope that he’ll do the right thing.

When disaster strikes, Skylar realizes Nick might never change, so she risks everything and sets him free, hoping he’ll come back, for her and their baby. Is heat, passion and a vow enough to seal this marriage and make them a family?


Reader Alert! Their passion and devotion will make you root for them, and their sexual tension will set you ablaze.
Read Reviews
Buy Links:     Red Sage     Amazon     Amazon UK     B&N
Family Ties
A woman with no family ties of her own, desperate to fulfill her dream of having a child

finds she cannot conceive a child naturally. A man who feels guilt over his ex-wife's death, cannot find closure. Can the attraction these two people feel be enough to overcome their conflicting desires, especially when Jack finds himself the guardian of a baby he isn't sure he can be responsible for.

Read Reviews

Buy Links: Amazon     Amazon UK 

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Thanks Kamy! I love when my characters demand that I follow them - although it can make for an unruly draft! How about you -- do your characters rule your roost?

32 comments:

  1. I am a character first person as far as my writing goes. Well, I suppose I tend to gravitate towards character-driven stories in my reading, too. I don't know if I could say which would be 'better' for my writing, except I tend to think, 'how does the affect my character?' first, rather than...whatever I would think if I were going plot first, character second.

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  2. What I write tends to be character driven. I don't plan it that way - I just set out to write a good story.

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  3. Jeff - me too - for me, it's all about the people!

    Alex - and it sure works for you!! :)

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  4. Kamy, I often call myself a pantster, but that's not completely accurate. I don't make up the story as I go. I do have a plan.

    The plan is usually plot-oriented. This has to happen, then this, and it has to end this way.

    But then the characters take over, and that's where the pantstering comes in. I never know how the characters are going to get from one plot event to the next. They show me as I write. We all get to the end of the story eventually, but maybe not by the route I expected.

    So, definitely, character driven!

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  5. I have to admit, I'm all about the characters. Can't help it. It's the way I connect and what makes me write. But you did bring up a great truth: character driven plots can get bunged up in character inner/outer drama, making the story pretty complex.

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  6. Yep. Plots are great, but you have to love the characters. Really good points!

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  7. I totally get the characters with their own minds. But that's part of what I love when I'm writing that first draft. ;D I think the answer is BOTH.

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  8. Well, I try to have it both ways, but it's tricky. Writing genre fiction helps, because the story has to have a particular framework. Then the characters can become real and have their own conflicts and motivations and set backs inside that framework. But I do have some characters who try to run away with the whole show... :)

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  9. I like to write character driven stories because that's what I want to read. If I can't really connect with at least one character, I don't care what happens in the plot.

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  10. Dianne - I love that! I have a beginning & an ending in mind when I start, but I'd like to aim more for what you have! :)

    Sheri - me too! I've had to scale back a few times when my characters went a little over the top for me! :)

    Martina - exactly!!

    Lisa - we do need that balance in there! :)

    Elizabeth - and you have some great characters running those shows - Myrtle rocks! :)

    Linda - I'm the same! It get attached and then it's easy :)

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  11. Setting is usually hard for me, I think thinking about it all this way could be really helpful! Great post!

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, With Joy)

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  12. Great post Jemi and Kamy!

    Congratulations on the new releases Kamy!

    Thanks Jemi!

    Nas

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  13. Sarah - I know! Kamy always has a good perspective! :)

    Nas - you're very welcome! :)

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  14. I tend to write character driven stories. I love reading them. People are so interesting :)

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  15. Lynda - exactly! Love people and their stories :)

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  16. Jeff- it's a great approach to have, ask what affects the character first, I like it;-)
    Alex- writing good character driven stories is what every reader wants writers to do;-)
    Dianne- you sound like me;-)
    SA Larsen- tell me about it, I have been accused of having complex story lines
    Martina-you are so right, characters have those quirks that make them stay real
    Lisa-I am so with you on that one;-)
    Elizabeth-I know the feeling
    LD- ditto:-)
    Sarah-thank you, glad you found it useful
    Lynda-like you I find people very interesting, the human mind amazes me, so psychology is up my alley. I use a bit of it when planning my character driven stories because I need to know why characters would act the way they do, so it is useful
    Jemi and Nas- thanks for organising this, I am enjoying being here and will hang around. Both the books featured have character driven plots and story structures with lots of emotion. I had planned one path but ended up on another which was interesting. As an FYI, for those of you interested Family Ties was meant to be an amnesia story but it didn't work out that way because at the time amnesia stories were overdone so it had to be changed.

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  17. Kamy - I'm impressed you could change a plot like that! I'd probably have to rewrite a new story :)

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  18. Hi Jemi, Hi Kamy, looking forward to reading your new book, having read your two previous releases especially.

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  19. I like it both ways. Sometimes I love the characters, but not much is going on, and then sometimes too much is going on but I'm not connected to the characters.

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  20. Maria - I really enjoy Kamy's stories too!

    Medeia - so true! That balance is so important! We need to have 'stuff' as well as people! :)

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  21. This is a great topic, Kamy, and one I wrestle with as I write because I can't seem to control my characters as well as some authors do. That makes my plot a moving target, requiring lots of fixing after the first draft is complete.

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  22. Pat - it's so bizarre when characters take over! we really should be able to control them, but... :)

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  23. Hi Jemi, I was tempted to -many times, I might have got that wrong by the way , it was Breathe Again that was the amnesia story,but it was such a major renovation I can hardly recognize the story;-)
    Maria- thanks, I know you will like Nick, I sure do:-)
    Medeia-it's always better to connect with the character, it mAkes for a better story
    Patricia-I know what you mean, that's why editing is like pulling teeth;-)

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  24. Kamy - those kinds of edits/rewrites terrify me!!

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  25. I usually map out the general plot and get to know my characters. Then I start writing and see where things go!

    What a great post.
    ~Jess

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  26. Jess - I wish I could map out the plot! I've tried that (a bit) with the newest story but I'm not sure about it yet!

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  27. that cover for BREATHE AGAIN doesn't really help breathe more easy :)

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  28. Dezzy - teehee! So very true :)

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  29. I love these sort of posts! Getting inside an authors head - most inspiring.

    All the best Kamy, and Hi Jemi!

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  30. Hi Wendy! I find them so inspiring too! :)

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  31. Great post, Kamy, and hi to Jemi!

    I try to keep my characters in line, but they don't always want to listen.

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  32. Talli - I'm the exact same way! :)

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