So there's a [[TheEmpire malevolent empire]] threatening to {{take over the world}}, and only a [[RagtagBandOfMisfits small pocket]] of [[LaResistance resistance]] must combat it by any means necessary. However, each of the resistance troops have their own [[{{Backstory}} backstories]] relating to why they're fighting said empire, as well as internal conflicts that mostly relate to deciding between succumbing to their pasts, or leaving them behind for the present. So now, they must fight two conflicts: The malevolent empire (the plot), and their own pasts (the characters).

When creating a work of fiction, the writers often have to develop it on a macro level (the overall plot), as well as a micro level (the individual characters). On the macro-level, the various characters have to unite to achieve a common goal, from surviving an island, to overthrowing a villain, to preventing a cataclysmic event from destroying the world. On the micro level, meanwhile, each character faces a difficult internal conflict, whether it's with a past crime, a disease or disability, or a lost loved one.

Here's what the story can be like, based on what it's focusing on:

* '''More Plot Than Characters:''' Everyone remembers the external conflict and how it would later on be resolved, but the characters range between there for the sake of it, and almost non-existent. Mostly an action/adventure, mystery/thriller, or horror. [[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness Hard science fiction]] can follow this, as the central plot is ''intended'' to be the focus, not the interpersonal relationships. It's one of the issues creating the ScifiGhetto.
* '''Equal Focus Between Plot and Characters:''' The plot and characters don't interfere with each other, and instead work in concert with each other to create something memorable.
* '''Less Plot Than Characters:''' The overall story isn't very memorable because of how boring and mundane it might be, but the characters gain a lot of development, as they resolve their own respective internal conflicts, rather than an overall external one. Mostly a drama, comedy, or romance.
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' leans heavily on the character side of the plot, with the author suggesting that whenever he encounters WritersBlock, he solves it by adding new characters.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' is somewhere in the middle of the scale, as it is driven both by the brothers' personal quests and conflicts, and by the wider-reaching conspiracy they find themselves fighting against.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'s'' is slightly on the character spectrum, with some of the characters' main conflicts and personal desires driving the plot.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' is slightly on the plot side of the scale. There's a large cast with various personal problems and conflicts, but they largely take a back seat to the plot unless they become relevant.
* ''Manga/DeathNote'' is heavily on the plot side of the scale. Though characters do undergo development, it is usually very simple and straightforward, so it does not garner much screentime. Their pasts are rarely mentioned and if so, only in passing.
* ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'' falls on the plot side of the spectrum. Some of the cast's personal conflicts and development is shown, but it does not take up much time.
* ''Manga/{{Saki}}'' is heavily on the characters side of the spectrum. The plot mainly consists of a mahjong tournament, but all the characters have their various reasons for competing shown in depth.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' is ''very'' character-oriented, progressively so as the series advances (particularly from episode 14 on) to the point that the last two episodes completely reject traditional narrative to display the inner thoughts and feelings of the major characters in a hasty version of talk therapy. Not surprising, given that the series’ creator, Creator/HideakiAnno, suffered from depression himself and read a lot about psychology because of it.
* ''Manga/YamadaKunAndTheSevenWitches'' is largely on the character side of the scale, with the plot mostly revolving around the eponymous character helping people with their personal problems and troubled lives - and the SeriesGoal is to find out why he has his [[PowerCopying copying power]] and [[spoiler: what hides in his lost memories]] so that he can get to know himself better. While several characters are good fighters, major conflicts are almost solely solved with [[BattleOfWits battles of wits]] and talking.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' is initially heavily character-oriented, the earlier parts' plots could be considered [[ExcusePlot Excuse Plots]] to provide a context for the awesome characters to fight each others, and the story focuses more on how the characters drive the events than the events themselves. The latest part ''[=JoJolion=]'' is however a QuestForIdentity where the plot and the characters take an equal part in the overall story.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* ''Fanfic/MyLittleUnicorn'' is on the extreme end of the plot side of the spectrum, in that the author explicitly says that he believes complex characterization is confusing and can hold back the plot.
* ''Fanfic/PerfectionIsOverrated'' leans somewhat on the characters side of the spectrum, as most of the Himes' personal conflicts have a great deal of focus, and [[ParodySue the SUEs]]' personality flaws influence their actions, which drives the plot.
* ''Fanfic/{{Team 8}}'' is somewhere in the middle, with characters' personal conflicts getting a fair amount of development, but also being tied to the plot. {{Naruto}} is ostracized in Konoha, as a result of a GovernmentConspiracy against him. Hinata suffers [[AbusiveParents abuse from her father]], who is also part of that conspiracy. Kurenai, while mentoring a team of genin, often thinks back to the fate of her old team, and the belief that someone in the village, quite possibly the aforementioned conspiracy, was responsible. Even Shino, who has less at stake, finds himself learning more about his teammates' problems and getting involved in them, such as by learning that Naruto is host of the Nine-Tailed Fox.
* ''Fanfic/NecessaryToWin'' lies toward the characters side of the spectrum, as the characters' various conflicts drive the plot. Entire chapters, known as Interludes, deal with characters' backstories, which become relevant in the present.
* ''Fanfic/TheStalkingZukoSeries'' leans somewhere toward the character side of the spectrum, with it largely being about Zuko and Katara's relationship.
* ''FanFic/SonicXDarkChaos'' is heavy on the plot side, although the rewrite does add more characterization to everyone to help explain the plot.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films - Animated]]
* ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' is mainly about two sisters, Elsa and Anna, reconnecting after many years apart, and about Elsa's struggles with her magical powers, making it somewhat heavily on the characters side.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films - Live-Action]]
* The original ''StarWars'' trilogy falls in the middle of the scale, being about more than just about a small group of rebels doing battle against the Galactic Empire, a force several times larger and more powerful than them. It was also about several issues that were smaller than the rebellion itself, two of them being the most vital of them all (Luke's quest to become a full-fledged Jedi, and Han and Leia's relationship).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' falls in the middle. There is an overarching plot of the quest to reach Mount Doom, but it is also driven by the characters' internal conflicts. For example, Frodo doesn't just have to reach Mount Doom so that he can destroy the One Ring, but do so while resisting its temptation.
* The Literature/{{Deryni}} works are equally plot and character driven, largely because many of the protagonists have to deal with the powers and the persecution that come with being Deryni, as well as the strife between the rival kingdoms of Gwynedd and Torenth. In particular, Denis Arilan and Duncan [=McLain=] have to resolve a basic personal conflict between their arcane abilities and their vocations; they both choose to be priests, but Denis chooses to keep his secret as far as possible, while Duncan eventually chooses to live openly as a Deryni priest. Alaric Morgan has spent years cultivating an ominous reputation, yet he has to adjust when a new king (Kelson, himself half Deryni) takes the throne and works to end the persecutions and regain lost knowledge. Kelson has to grow into his own as a man and a king, cope with his heritage on a personal level and cope with rebellions, church schism, and the rival kingdom to the east.
* ''Literature/TheCatcherInTheRye'' is almost completely about the characterization of its main character, Holden Caulfield. There isn't a plot insofar as there are a series of events that Holden goes through.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' was powerfully renown for this, as while the show's trademark [[FreudianTrio trio]], including [[TheKirk Kirk]], [[TheSpock Spock]], and [[TheMcCoy McCoy]], face a huge variety of external conflicts in each episode, they also internally argue amongst each other on how to resolve each external conflict. The calm and intelligent Spock would often pick the logical-yet-immoral choice, while the brash and emotional [=McCoy=] goes for the illogical-yet-morally-correct choices, leaving Kirk to either side with one of his two crewmates, or [[TakeAThirdOption invent a third option that satisfies both sides]].
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'' turns this into a pretty monumental task by combining it with {{Loads and Loads of Characters}}. Almost every one of the many main characters has a heavily layered backstory to accompany the main plot of the series, and they are represented in flashbacks, flash forwards, and their own invention: flash sideways.
* For the first eight or so seasons, ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' focused more on the players day to day lives at camp, but in later seasons, it increasingly focuses on game strategy and twists to the point where most of the characters are flat out [[LivingProp ignored]].
* ''LawAndOrder'' is on the plot-centric side of the scale. The focus is on the plot of each episode, and there's not much character development. In fact, all of the main characters are replaced, and nothing about the show really changes.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' is in the middle of the scale. There is a strong plot to all of the episodes, seasonal and even series-long story arcs. There is also a lot of character development, for all of the characters, and some of the plots, small-scale and large, even focus on character development. ''Series/{{Angel}}'' is in a similar space, but slightly more plot-driven most of the time.
* ''Series/{{Roswell}}'' moves around on the scale. The first and last seasons are very character-driven, despite the sci-fi plots. The second season is much more plot centered. Both styles work, too.
* ''Series/GossipGirl'' is on the character-centric side of the scale. The plot is there, and it is important, but what it really does is drive the character development. What's happening is important because of what it does to the characters and how they react to it, feel about it, and grow from it.
** ...until it stopped following a strong, compelling plot. Turned out they had no idea where the story was heading.
* ''Series/CriminalMinds'' is mostly on the plot side, although the show does try to flesh out its characters somewhat and does have character story arcs, like Hotch and the Reaper, Reid and his girlfriend, "Profiler, Profiled"/"Restoration" and the Prentiss/Doyle arc.
* This tends to differ in the multiple incarnations of ''Franchise/SuperSentai''. Some of them are very episodic and tend to focus more on the characters than an overarching plot. Examples of this are ''Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger'', ''Series/EngineSentaiGoonger'' and ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger''. Other series have an overarching story, in which character development takes a backseat. Examples are ''Series/JukenSentaiGekiranger'' and ''Series/TokumeiSentaiGobusters''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* One the (many) reasons that ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' is considered such an important work of literature is that it was one of the first English plays ever to make a deliberate decision to focus on character over plot, when the dominant trend in Elizabethan theatre (largely thanks to the influence of Aristotle's ''Poetics'') was to do the reverse. Though the play never completely wavers from its overarching plot-Hamlet's quest [[YouKilledMyFather to avenge his father]] by killing Claudius-its exploration of Hamlet's troubled mental state dominates the play proper, with Hamlet [[ContemplateOurNavels regularly stopping the action to soliloquize about his existential angst and his emotional confusion]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' is somewhat character driven, with many of the characters' personal struggles against their own pasts and weaknesses driving the plot.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' starts balanced between the war against the empire and the development of characters, but after the second visit to Narshe, it slowly skews towards being more about the characters. By the time the map changes to [[AfterTheEnd the world of ruin]], Kefka is a complete afterthought, and the rest of the game's narrative is about uniting the cast for the final battle while helping them resolve their own personal struggles.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' is almost entirely character-driven until chapter 12 or so, when the RagtagBunchOfMisfits finally sort out their issues and personal differences and become TrueCompanions. After that, the overall plot kicks into full gear, but the characters still remain the most memorable aspect of the game.
* While most people believe the ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' franchise's characters are flat and underdeveloped, they weren't ''that'' much so, as they ''do'' have internal conflicts of their own.
* The three games in the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series are on different points of the scale:
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' is in the middle of the spectrum. It had the main protagonist, Commander Shepard (and in turn, the player controlling him), face two conflicts as expected in a main protagonist: Chase Saren throughout the galaxy (the main arc), and decide whether to take the Paragon route or the Renegade route to do so (Shepard's personal arc). The two chosen backgrounds each player gives to his Shepard simply adds more to the character's personality, as implied by the bonus Paragon/Renegade points gained from each of the two chosen backgrounds. Is Shepard afraid of killing innocents because he wanted his actions to be consistent with the day he saved Elysium from the Skyllian Blitz? Or, does he show no remorse to the people he kills, just as he displayed none of it during the raid on Torfan?
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' falls heavily on the character side. The focus is on character development of a large group of playable squadmates who have little connection to the main plot (stopping a mysterious race from kidnapping human colonists). The majority of the game is spent helping them dealing with issues their respective pasts to help them focus on surviving the final suicide mission.
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' is extremely plot oriented, since the nature of that plot (finding a way to save every species in the galaxy from being exterminated by an incredibly powerful group of sentient spaceships) forces the personal lives of the characters to take a step back. A contributing factor was how any of the Mass Effect 2 characters could have died on the final mission, making it difficult to incorporate character development for them in the plot.
* While the ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' franchise was more well-known for the external conflict against Umbrella Corp's T-Virus zombies, that doesn't mean it had no character-driven internal conflicts of its own, either. These internal conflicts mostly revolve around the characters' various interactions with each other, rather than their respective backstories, or lack thereof compared to Umbrella.
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'', for example, had multiple endings that changed depending on the player's actions. To get the best ending, the player has to rescue both Barry and Chris if he chose Jill as his character, or both Rebecca and Jill if he chose Chris.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' is more on the characters side of the spectrum, being chock-full of characters facing difficult internal conflicts throughout their quest to resolve the external conflict of uniting both worlds back to one.
* Compared to ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' is much more character-driven, with almost every party member being the driving force behind one or more overarching plotlines, rather than serving as the support team and occasional distraction from the central conflict, as in the first game. It serves well to emphasize the game's ongoing theme of many minuscule, unrelated factors adding up to the major disaster that is foreshadowed right from the opening shots.
* Due to being set AfterTheEnd, ''VideoGame/{{Bastion}}'' only has four named characters, the rest being [[PosthumousCharacter dead]] [[spoiler:with the exception of [[EliteMooks The Ura]]]]. The game has an external conflict, but as the game goes on it is revealed that almost everything that happens in the plot can be traced back to the internal conflicts between the characters. ([[spoiler:Rucks working on The Calamity and Zia's father causing it, Zulf reading the journal which leads to the second half of the game, etc.]])
* ''VideoGame/{{Blazblue}}'': Its a series that goes through the entire scale, that started off more character driven given that the plot hadn't really kicked in yet, but slowly became more plot focused as the series went on. Its generally divided as followed:
** [[VideoGame/BlazblueCalamityTrigger The first game]] introduces and establishes the characters and their distinct personalities through their own individual story routes. There's very little plot to speak off until the game's TrueEnding, which reveals the series` most recurring antagonist. Which leads to...
** ''VideoGame/BlazblueContinuumShift'': The villains begin making themselves known and what their plans are and have now started directly opposing the protagonists. Additionally, many of the characters experience their own personal struggles that they strive to over come and still retains the previous game's individual character routes.
** ''VideoGame/BlazblueChronophantasma'': The villain's plans have nearly reached completion and most of the lingering character plots from the previous game are resolved, so most of the plot is dedicated to the series` setting and backstory and stopping the EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. The plot structure in this game is more streamlined, with some characters getting less focus than in the previous two games.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* The comics of the ''Franchise/{{Buildingverse}}'' (''Webcomic/GirlsNextDoor'', ''Webcomic/DownTheStreet'', ''Webcomic/{{Superintendent}}'', ''Webcomic/MeanwhileUpstairs'') firmly fall on the character driven side, which isn't as surprising as most fit under RomanticComedy / FantasticComedy (outside of being MetaFic and whatnot). Even ''Webcomic/{{Roommates}}'' which {{Continuity Creep}}s in the direction of SupernaturalSoapOpera or maybe even UrbanFantasy and so gets more and more serious in the plot department but to date is still more about the characters.
** For added weirdness despite being a small scale character driven story ''Roommates'' is also pretty far on the fate side of the SlidingScaleOfFreeWillVsFate and the whole verse has the TheoryOfNarrativeCausality (and {{Fanservice}}) as SentientCosmicForce. You could word it that the Plot is a character too and is kind of a {{jerkass}} and as of the ''Kings War'' arc we mean this literally.
* ''{{Webcomic/Homestuck}}'' has the interesting distinction of being almost entirely plot driven, despite having a wide and interesting cast of characters; the characters are trapped a fate-themed video game and if they dont preform a series of very specific tasks in the right order, they die. end of story. The characters all have very unique personalities, but they have no choice about their actions, so the plot leads the story
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Video]]
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic's show is all about the character. Any plot he does have is the self-hate[=/=]NoAntagonist kind.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The original ''WesternAnimation/{{Madagascar}}'' leaned heavily towards the characters, specifically focusing on Alex the lion as he comes to terms with the fact that his best friends are supposed to be his prey.
** The second was even more character-focused.
*** Alex reunites with his parents and has to deal with the high expectations they have of him.
*** Marty the zebra finds a herd to run with, but is unnerved to find all the other zebras are identical to him in every way.
*** Melman the giraffe thinks he is dying and has to deal with his own mortality, along with his long unspoken love for Gloria the hippo.
*** And Gloria must choose between Moto Moto, the handsome hippo who is attracted to her primarily for her looks, and Melman, who has been her friend for most of her life.
** The third movie, however, is heavily focused on plot. The four stars are now on the run from an insanely dedicated animal control officer, and the majority of the movie focuses on their attempts to evade her, while trying to revive a struggling circus, which is their best ticket back to New York.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' is very much on the character side of the spectrum. While there is a [[JigsawPuzzlePlot surprisingly dense plot]], it's directly tied to the characters' actions, specifically resident [[MagicalGirlWarrior Magical Girl Warrior]]s the Crystal Gems. While there were subtle clues easily missed amongst the background scenery, it isn't until the 17th episode where the viewer sees there's a bit more going on beyond [[AllLovingHero Steven]]'s adventures and character growth. By the time the first major WhamEpisode of "Mirror Gem" starts, half of the first season has passed, subtly developing the main and secondary cast. TropesAreNotBad as the slow pace and strong character focus amplifies the tension greatly when [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Homeworld Gems]] do show up. As the series goes on, the plot is revealed to be almost entirely shaped by [[DefectorFromDecadence the Crystal Gems]]. The SliceOfLife themes stay grounded even while the plot majorly picks up. Whereas most cartoons would increase the drama according to how serious the storyline becomes, SU will happily dedicate an episode to a seemingly minor character. Long story short, this provides a massive MoodWhiplash as the SpaceOpera themes collide with a sleepy beach town grounded in SliceOfLife.
* The Teen Titans slides over to the character end more, and while season arcs are there, they are still driven, or at least guided, by the characters and their desires.

[[/folder]]