Between a story's plot and flow, which do you think is more important?

Yiphen

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Quick thing on how I would define the two:
Plot- What is the actual thing the story is about (Character interactions, the end goal, world-building...)
Flow- How immersive is the reading (Grammar, descriptiveness, understandable...)

For me, I think that its more important for a story to have good flow, as there were multiple times where I was reading something only to stop after one too many times of trying to understand what the story is actually trying to say.
 

Kldran

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I don't really consider either to be more important. I've read stories that were all flow, with nothing actually happening, and I've read stories with terrible flow that I could barely even read, but had interesting plots. I'd say they are equally important.
 

NiQuinn

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Flow for me. I can somewhat forgive an aimless story if I can read it well. In that respect, I can't read a good, plot-driven story if the flow is a mess. The plot is great, true, but...if I have to work double just to understand where the story is supposed to go because of terrible writing, then I'm outta there.
 

Azrie

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I think flow has to be decent, but for me, it's plot first. This is as a reader. As far as my writing goes; it's reader and flow first, characters first, story and description seconds. I like using simple words and sentences to keep things easy to digest for the reader. I like having characters that have actual struggles and motivations.

I think to a reader is the story first, I mean... I read arifureta entirely, sure it wasn't so bad. But recently I tried to re-read a bit of it to see how good the writing was. Honestly speaking - it leaves a lot to be desired. So with this conclusion I can say - if it's half-readable and the story is good your average binge reader won't care.
 

Ral

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I'm on equal importance side.

Plot is essentially the content of the story while Flow dictates how you experience the story. A story with a great plot but terrible flow is like watching TV with a blindfold and earplugs. A story with great Flow but no Plot or terrible Plot is like watching TV showing nothing but white noise or watching The Emoji Movie respectively. None are enjoyable.
 

PrincessFelicie

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I wouldn't count grammar as part of flow, that's just pure technical skills. Technical writing skills are straight up a requirement, you can't have a story with them being lackluster. Now as to whether story or flow is more important? ...Well, I've read Homestuck, so. A story can be utter nonsense, but if the characters are nice, the action scenes are amazing, the dialogue flows naturally, you've got yourself something people will gleefully read.
 

ohko

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For me, the most important thing is for a story to say something meaningful and to speak to somebody in some way.

I don't always consider that to be the same thing as plot, nor do I totally consider that to be flow either.

I'm not sure how I categorize it! :blob_happy:
 

GDLiZy

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Plot first, no doubt. If the plot is interesting enough, I'm willing to read twice or thrice just to catch the slipped up information.
 

Ral

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For me, the most important thing is for a story to say something meaningful and to speak to somebody in some way.

I don't always consider that to be the same thing as plot, nor do I totally consider that to be flow either.

I'm not sure how I categorize it! :blob_happy:
Maybe, purpose? Is it to entertain? To teach? To persuade? To relax?

Or maybe you are thinking about theme?

But still, to achieve anything, the story has to have a good plot and be told well. I mean, Norm of the North does try to say something but just f*cked up. Almost no one liked that movie.
 

AliceShiki

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For me, the most important thing is for a story to say something meaningful and to speak to somebody in some way.

I don't always consider that to be the same thing as plot, nor do I totally consider that to be flow either.

I'm not sure how I categorize it! :blob_happy:
Agreed~

I mean, a plot-less story can totally work (most 4-koma manga don't have a real plot to them, for example), and while the flow of the story is undeniably important, I wouldn't put it as the most important thing ever.

Making it meaningful or relatable in some way seems like the most important thing to me~
 

Ral

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Just as I though, this would soon happen. The original poster doesn't really use the proper terms. What was called Plot is actually Story and what was called Flow is actually Storytelling. The original poster did try to explain her own definition but still the definition reverts to what those words actually mean.
 
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Moshi

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This are pretty broad definitions of plot and flow - one is basically what you're writing, and the other is basically how you're writing.

That aside, I personally think plot is more important. There's only so good anyone's English can be - unless their doing a literary analysis, they won't particularly care about it. I'm not reading for the writing, not matter how well written, I'm reading for the story.

Of course, it has to be understandable, and hopefully grammatical, but past that, I couldn't really care less.
 

CL

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This is going to sound mighty fine authoritative, and I apologize for saying it like this, but it is how I truly think (aka; my opinion, not a fact written in stone): the question here is wrong. What you are asking, "Which are important," makes it out that you could do one without the other. I believe both are important, but one takes priority over the other. Story first, then the flow. That is why authors proofread and edit their work before publishing the final draft.
 

Ral

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This is going to sound mighty fine authoritative, and I apologize for saying it like this, but it is how I truly think (aka; my opinion, not a fact written in stone): the question here is wrong. What you are asking, "Which are important," makes it out that you could do one without the other. I believe both are important, but one takes priority over the other. Story first, then the flow. That is why authors proofread and edit their work before publishing the final draft.
Yep. Both are important. Though I don't think that one takes priority over the other exactly. It is more of steps and efficiency. You should refine what you are telling first before you can refine how you tell it. There are two writing process that corresponds to this, Revising, and Editing and Proofreading.

Still, it would appear that editing and proofreding is less important, but that is because most are actually constantly editing and proofreading things as they go. Each time you write a sentence you would consider the structure, clarity and spelling and whatnot. At the very least, your early drafts would be understandable. There is already work done on editing and proofreading before you actually go and "edit and proofread" your story.

It would be fun to see some of the authors their early drafts. That is, the early iteration of their story where they don't bother to actually edit and proofread it yet, just to see how the story really is like without editing and proofreading.
 
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CL

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It would be fun to see some of the authors their early drafts. That is, the early iteration of their story where they don't bother to actually edit and proofread it yet, just to see how the story really is like without editing and proofreading.

On the Scribblehub Discord channel, there are live sessions held for those who want to sit in on their WIP. The channel is called #live-writing. I do not know how often this happens, likely not everyday, but I think the last time someone offered us an opportunity was in the middle of this month (roughly somewhere between 2/14 - 2/16). :blob_hmm_two:
 

XianPiete

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ioriangel

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I'm sorry but a true story has all this, there's no order of importance. you write the plot, you set the flow and continue like this.
 

Jemini

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Quick thing on how I would define the two:
Plot- What is the actual thing the story is about (Character interactions, the end goal, world-building...)
Flow- How immersive is the reading (Grammar, descriptiveness, understandable...)

For me, I think that its more important for a story to have good flow, as there were multiple times where I was reading something only to stop after one too many times of trying to understand what the story is actually trying to say.

I think this question is like asking what's more important, the brain or the heart? Both are more or less indispensable.

That said, I would compare the brain to the flow and the heart to the plot. As in, if the brain has problems they show up immediately. However, you can keep on living for quite a while even with a brain (flow) in bad condition. However, if the heart (plot) has a problem, the issues will not be obvious immediately, but it's just a ticking time-bomb until the person (story) just up and dies unexpectedly, before even the person (writer) realizes the end is coming.
 
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