Whether you write or read every book/ebook contains a story and characters. Which do you need before you are absorbed into the tale? Does fiction require both; a balance of both, or can one outweigh the other and still be a great read?
Every time I accept a request for a review project, it is the story I’m accepting. I never know the characters before I open the tale. Even as I start to read I’m never sure who is the hero; who is the villain. Those answers come with the unfolding of the story.
However, I have fallen in love with characters. It is the characters that call me back to a series.
Is it simply the surroundings of the character that I want to revisit? The fantasy quest where it doesn’t matter which characters survived the previous book. The horror tale of new attacks by the same unchanging, undying monster…wait, that might just be a movie series. A mystery set in one location with each new tale seen through new characters’ eyes.
Can you have a story without characters?
Can you have characters without a story?
Probably, but don’t think I would want to read either.