Because I’m curious… not just because I’m procrastinating*

So I’m reviewing a book entitled Myth in Early Northwest Europe, and I’m currently reading Craig R. Davis’ essay, ‘Theories of History in Traditional Plots’.
In this essay, Davis says, "In his Poetics, Aristotle identifies the "primary and and most important part of a tragedy" as the "organization of events" dramatized in it: "the first principle and, as it were, the soul of tragedy is the plot, and second in importance is character.""
Later, Davis also claims: "Good stories replicate real sequences accurately; they produce a valid model or theory of temporal experience."

I want to know what you think:

  1. Plot first in importance, seconded by character? Discuss.
  2. "Good stories replicate real sequences accurately; they produce a valid model or theory of temporal experience." Discuss.

*This is a perfect way to procrastinate, BTW.



  1. Okay, my academic opinion on 1 is “bollocks” – your character gives you your plot – only by following the character’s wants, wishes, hopes and desires do we get a plot.
    As for 2 – mmmm, I have a cat called Mittens.

    1. 1. I must admit I favour plot over character in my writing, but invariably love interesting characters over plots in my reading. I think this is a sign of laziness on my part šŸ™‚
      2. “My cat’s breath smells like cat-food.”

      1. So, what I get out of #2 is that good stories have to represent events in a way that is realistic, in a way that accurately represents the way things unfold in real life. This is not to say that the events described in the story have to be realistic, which is why I find this point interesting. Basically, what I get out of this is that no matter what the setting (space opera or fantasy-land, real world or time travelling head-fuck of a story) the narrative has to recognisably reflect the way things work in the real world. Stories have to mirrors, of real world experiences if they are to resonate with readers for more than 2 seconds.

      2. Don’t know what happened with that last sentence… It’s meant to read: “Stories have to be models, or mirrors, of real world experiences…blah blah blah.

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