Plot, Story, Character, Person

This is a post I put in the comment thread over at Devil in my Dreams.  I just thought it was interesting to think about it – I hadn’t articulated these things quite this way before.  Anyone else do that – figure things out in the moment?

I think that Plot is one step removed, one step into the abstract, away from Story.  A Plot is a plan, a schematic, something you can diagram on a dry-erase board.

Same with Character, which is one step abstracted from Person.  A Character has attributes you can list – you could fill out a character sheet.

For both Story and Person, though, you can only experience them.  They exist as unabstracted as possible.  You experience a Person.  You experience  Story.

I think it’s telling that your example is presenting something on a stage – a performance piece exists only as long as the performance exists.  A play or a musical performance is like a sand mandala – it is only present for a moment before it is gone.  You can record it and replay the recording, but a recording is not the same as a live performance.  A photograph of the sand mandala is not the sand mandala.

The Plot is not the Story.  The Character is not the Person.

2 thoughts on “Plot, Story, Character, Person

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