on Fiction University:
Characters drive the plot, because they want something badly enough to act to achieve (or avoid) it. But don’t make it easy on them.
When I’m plotting a novel, one of the first things I ask is “What does the protagonist want?” It’s a critical question to understand my plot and even my novel, because if I don’t know the goal, I can’t possibly write a novel that illustrates how the character tries to achieve that goal.
And that’s what a novel is at the core: a character trying to have their way and get what they want.