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The Da Vinci Code – Decoding Plot-Driven vs Character-Driven Novels

Robert Langdon, literature’s most famous symbologist, is called in to solve a bizarre murder at the beginning of The Da Vinci Code. The murder sets the plot in motion, driving the hero into a race to solve the puzzle before the villains. Certainly, The Da Vinci Code must be a plot-driven novel.

BUT Robert Langdon uses his specialized knowledge to advance to the next step in solving the puzzle, so The Da Vinci Code must be a character-driven novel.

Writers have been arguing the advantages and disadvantages of plot-driven versus character-driven novels since the birth of genre fiction. At a recent workshop, best-selling thriller writer, William Bernhardt, had a different take.

Plot and character must be interwoven for a story to be successful. The character is chosen for the plot. The plot is chosen for the character.

Every scene should have something happening that changes the protagonist’s life. That change, in turn, affects the next plot twist. The character is revealed by how she reacts under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation.

So don’t try to define your novel as plot-driven or character-driven. To be successful, it has to be both.

Jurassic Park meets Inception in New Thriller Book

I am thrilled and relieved to announce that The Emerald Tablet, the second book in the Christa Devlin series, is now available as an ebook and print book on Amazon. Check out this description of what I’ve been working on for 2+ years:

Click cover to buy it now.

Click cover to buy it now.

NEW HIGH STAKES THRILLER FROM BEST-SELLING AUTHOR ASKS READERS, WHAT DO YOU DREAM?

Trapped between a man who vows to save her future and a lover from her past, Princeton historian Christa Devlin is thrust into a heart-pounding quest for one of the world’s most dangerous and powerful artifacts. . . the Emerald Tablet. Last seen in the hands of Alexander the Great, the Emerald Tablet can open the portal between life and afterlife, between man and spirit and, Christa hopes, between her and the traumatized mind of her beloved father. Her ruthless adversary will stop at nothing to find the Tablet first and weaponize its power using the mind-controlling nanobot technology at the island’s prototype Dream Resort. Christa races through the jungle-choked island where the imagined becomes real, prehistoric animals morph into nightmarish beasts and love can twist into evil. She must find the Emerald Tablet and solve its ancient puzzle before the world spirals into a catastrophic future and she loses her father forever.

FROM THE AUTHOR: What if technology could tap into your inner thoughts and make the imagined become real? Some might develop this as the ultimate amusement ride or, taking it deeper, realize that it’s a portal to our inner soul, a way to strip away physical limitations and discover what truly makes us human. But this concept is as old as humanity. I knew little about the Emerald Tablet before writing this book. The more I learned, the more it emboldened me to weave its history into an action-packed adventure that, I hope, inspires as well as entertains. It’s a thrill ride through history, from Merlin and dragons, to the Greek Minotaur, to a mysterious vanished Mesoamerican civilization, looped together by the Emerald Tablet.

Thank you to all my readers and friends for your support! If you choose to buy it, I hope you enjoy it. If you enjoy it, I hope you review it on Amazon.