There is something unique about stories today, and in ways they are stronger and weaker than ever.
In Poetics, Aristotle emphasized the importance of plot above anything, and character was considered secondary.
"For the plot ought to be so constructed that even without the aid of the eye he who hears the tale told will thrill with horror and melt to pity with what takes place. But to produce this effect by the mere spectacle is the less artistic method and dependent on extraneous aids."
More often today, people are concerned about the reverse. Characters are what come above everything. We draw pictures of our characters, fill out questions about our characters, interview them, role play with them, but when asked, "So, are you going to make a story?" the response is more often than not, "Well, I didn't make it yet."
In a way, this attitude is refreshing. How many people can't get through a well respected book because they can't relate to it? Many books are worthy of respect for what the