Loz (lozenger8) wrote,

The Great Debate: Character Versus Plot...

So, I'm conducting a poll on the wonderful Life on Mars community lifein1973, and one of the questions I have asked is "Which appeals to you most in LoM; Characters? Dialogue? Plot? or The Ford Cortina."

So far, the answers are very much shocking me. I know that the characters in Life on Mars are well-written, as is a lot of the dialogue, but I was expecting plot to be much higher than having the one vote it currently holds. Life on Mars is a plot-ridden show. It has plot coming out the wazoo. A lot of the mystery and suspense is plot-based. Yet, this is not the element which is necessarily appealing to the audience - not predominantly. At least, it isn't the element appealing to the audience which frequents online communities.

I tend to think that fandom in general is mostly character-centric anyway. The number of times I've seen fan fiction writers state that they have difficulty with plot could feed a small army of flying monkeys. They then usually go on to say that they think they have a good grasp of characterisation, though. (I say it myself - because it is true.) I also think that in some cases it might not be possible to separate character and plot as neatly as is necessary to say that you prefer one over the other. I could look at an episode of any program, but especially Life on Mars and discuss the bare basics of the plot, but it has little meaning without the characters who promote the action.

If you think about your fandoms, do you find that it is the characters which appeal to you the most? Or do you actually enjoy the plot and action of the piece more? Can you have largely plotless fare with fantastic characters, or are brilliant characters pointless without the events they enact? Can there be brilliant characters without plot?
Tags: life on mars
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