Story vs. Plot

Sparrowsabre7

Za Warudo
I just read this article on IGN and I thought it was worthy of discussion.

http://uk.pc.ign.com/articles/119/1192668p1.html

What are some animes/ films/ games that you consider to have a good plot or a good story?

FYI one of the definitions of story is plot, so while the semantics used in the article is a little flawed I understand what the writer means.

For my 2 cents, I would list two of my favourite anime as examples of each: Paranoia Agent has a great story, it's interconnected, the characters all have their own arcs and the mythos of Lil' Slugger is explored and expanded.

On the other hand I would cite Death Note as having a great plot but not necessarily a great story. With the exception of Matsuda none of the characters shift in their morals or opinions from the start to the end of the series. That is not to say I didn't love the plot and think it was brilliant, I also loved all the characters, but I'm still notsure they constitute a story like the one the article suggests.

I would note a similar anime, Code Geass as possessing more of a story, since the protagonist is less sure of himself and has a number of moments where he's clearly conflicted and experiences loss. Though he does appear Yagami-esque at times it's hinted at, if not outright stated, that this is really more of a mask he wears for the benefit of his followers and enemies.
 
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ilmaestro

State Alchemist
So he's saying Deus Ex is badly written, and lacks 3D characters. I think it muddies his point to differentiate like that between "plot" and "story", but then again I would differentiate IGN from a lot of other websites with words such as "worthless" and "lacking in journalistic integrity".
 

memorium

Za Warudo
Saying Deus Ex is badly written is like saying CHarles DIckens is a bad writer, absolutely ludicrous.

I guess there is a difference between plot and story, I see the plot as sort of a sketch for a work of fiction, whereas the story is more about the inking and colouring, the plot provides the basic characters and premise, whereas the story influences the characters and the descisions they make within that sketch.
 

Zin5ki

Railgun
A complex techno-conspiracy plot that constantly makes the player say "Wait, what's going on?" is not a story.
Perhaps this video game commentator could have more tersely made his point by declaring the work in question to contain a bad story, rather than denying that it contains any story whatsoever by appealing to this poorly elaborated distinction.
 

Sparrowsabre7

Za Warudo
Ok, this isn't really the topic I wanted to brooch here =P From what I've seen DEHR has a great story, and the writer saying it does not is more his opinion really, I'd rather hoped we'd focus on plot vs story and if there is a difference and if so, what are good examples of both.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Okay, my views on this are slightly different (and probably confusing). What the writer of that article is calling "Story" I would call "Plot". What he's calling "Plot" I would call "Quality of writing". What I would call "Stories" (that is to say, fictional narratives created for the purpose of entertainment) can have a clever plot and be horribly written. Similarly they can be beautifully written but have no plot whatsoever. If the quality of writing makes experiencing the story worthwhile then I'm less concerned about the destination. In fact now that I think about it, a lot of my favourite things don't have much in the way of an overall plot. The author seems to want every story to be a Saga or Legend with a conclusive beginning, middle and end and a moral or purpose. That's only one way to tell a story. YKK, one of my favourite stories, does this:
Good stories give us characters who win our emotional investment, who develop over the course of the narrative, and who shed light on some aspect of ourselves.
But it doesn't do this:
Good stories have a palpable dramatic arc that builds toward a climax.
But it does do this:
...good stories also teach us something about the world.
So is it a good story? Yes. Does it have a good plot? No. But nor does it have a bad plot: it simply doesn't have one at all.
 

Max Takeshi

Great Teacher
One of the best examples... Dracula.

Brilliant story, poor plot. The main bug bearer being that it relies on coincidental storytelling (a contradictory statement there, perhaps).

Game wise I always adored the first Max Payne for the way it was told. The story being revenge in its purest and most violent form, but the plot told by the comic book and narration was excellent.

Well, I liked it, anyway.
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
ayase said:
Okay, my views on this are slightly different (and probably confusing). What the writer of that article is calling "Story" I would call "Plot". What he's calling "Plot" I would call "Quality of writing".
This is exactly how I interpreted what he wrote, too.

I understand what you are trying to ask with the thread, Sparrowsabre7, but I guess I essentially just agree with ayase. Things can be well written (and maybe by having strong characters they have some sort of "story") without having a good/"exciting" plot, and very much vice versa. Examples of shows off the top of my head is harder to come by. ^^;
 

Ark

Adventurer
I think what's really being discussed here is plot concept and story telling ie Basic Idea vs Execution of Idea.

For me the execution is the main thing. A good execution can compensate for a concept that isn't that compelling. Obviously if you can do both well then that's even better.

Eva: Good concept. Great Execution.

Inception: Good concept. Bad Execution.

Sky Crawlers: Banal concept. Great Execution.
 

cercia

School Idol
Plots don't exist any more. The last good plot I saw was in a Humphrey Bogart film. :cry:
But (and some of you might be interested) there's a device called the Freytag Pyramid which is used for making plots and the Japanese may use a different model.

I think anime makes up for it by concentrating on characters and their different emotions.
 

Matomi

Completely Average High School Student
Ark said:
Inception: Good concept. Bad Execution.
Woah woah WOAH! no way you dissed Inception! :D
and It's IGN, who cares. They're always bashing any game without the title Call of Duty on it.
 

CitizenGeek

Guild Member
memorium said:
I guess there is a difference between plot and story, I see the plot as sort of a sketch for a work of fiction, whereas the story is more about the inking and colouring, the plot provides the basic characters and premise, whereas the story influences the characters and the descisions they make within that sketch.
Very well said! I think it's fair to say that most games have a plot, but lack a story. They don't really have anything to say, and are only there to string together a game. The big problem with videogame story-telling though, is that it is so derivative. That's why videogame-based movies are always dire - it's been done a thousand times before in cinema as things stand.

Examples of games with a plot would be things like Call of Duty, Fallout 3 or Genji. The characters in those games are never developed to any real degree. I suppose you could say many JRPGs have storylines (that more closely resemble the story-telling of other mediums) rather than just plots. It would be unfair to say that Metal Gear Solid doesn't have a very, er, solid story.

memorium said:
Because most of us prefer Paprika
I think Paprika and Inception are two very different movies. For starters, it's actually humanly possible to follow the story of Inception, whereas this is basically undoable for Paprika (at least for the first few viewings, anyway) ....
 
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