What’s more important to you? Real, three-dimensional, fleshed-out fascinating characters? Or an amazing, page-turning plot?
(Yes, I know, they are both important. But if you had to pick one as being more important than the other?)
Ideally, I’d like to have both.
But when it comes down to it, I’m going to take the easy way out and say it really depends on my mood and/or reading circumstances. If I’m working out and reading (whether via physical book or audio book), I want something with a good plot that’s going to keep those pages turning and help me focus on something else besides how hard I’m working or how much longer I have left on the particular machine I’m using or exercise I’m doing.
However, there are also times when I want to care more about the characters and see them grow and develop. I don’t necessarily want every motivation or detail spelled out, but sometimes you just want a good character piece.
I will say that more often than not, I tend to go more for plot and world building than characters. But in some cases, it’s characters who keep me coming back to a universe or series for each new installment. In my mind, the author who has the most ideal blend of both is Elizabeth George, who crafts superlative mysteries but has her on-going cast of Lynley and Havers who keep me coming back to each new novel to check in on the latest developments in their lives.