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In any novel, plot (don’t confuse it with a story) is the basis of a narrative.
A plot means dry facts, actions and events connected by casual links (goals, tasks, motives) and ordered chronologically; this is a skeleton of a story (a hero was born – married – died).
A story is an emotional author’s description of events with additions, judgements, suggestions, possible spin-offs according to the starting chronology (before dying, a hero reminds you of how he married and what life he lived).
There are various approaches towards the character creation and algorithms to make the hero interesting for the reader. A hero needs to have: a mystery, disadvantage, treasure and a goal. If the hero has these qualities, people want to be like him or her, and this is a good character for a film or a book.
Or, for instance, James N. Frey in his book “How to Write a Damn Good Mystery” says that a detective hero needs to have the following qualities: bravery, professionalism, special talent, ingenuity and intelligence; additionally, he needs to have a wound, be an outlaw and do selfless deeds.
Other lists of that kind can be mentioned here, too.
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