Did you guess? It's a trick question. They ALL are. The truth is Character, Plot and World are vital to an excellent book. Sure it can be good with one stronger than another, but we all want more than just "good" right? I look at it like a triangle. All corners have to be strong to maintain the shape. Many times a writer is inherently good at one area and that's wonderful! The others can grow strong during revisions.
To prove my point, let's take a look at two extremely popular books and see what would happen without one of the corners.
- Harry Potter
- Plot - where can you find a more complex plot than the boy who lived, Horcruxes, Hallows, and the drive for immortality?
- Character - Even the supporting characters are unforgettable. Peeves? Fred and George? Luna?
- World - An entire society complete with government (Ministry of Magic), school (Hogwarts), and creatures (dragons, goblins, etc.). It was so believable, many secretly hoped for an owl on their eleventh birthday.
- BUT what if one of these were missing? Would it be the same to visit Hogwarts with a generic student? Or to explore the halls with Harry without the threat of Voldemort or whatever mystery lurked in the shadows? No way!
- Plot - Children pitted to the death in an arena for sport. Need I say more?
- Character - A survivor built from the conditions the Capitol imposed on her. She protects her sister with her life, and is determined to succeed. The boy who loves her and would do anything to protect her.
- World - the arena itself. The Capital. The districts.
- BUT what if Katniss played the games in an open field. Sure it would be frightening because of the other players, but it's nothing compared to the threat of dehydration, starvation, and fire driving her toward unwanted battle with the others. Or none of the other players being worth saving? We'd root for Katniss. But isn't it better to be torn because we know she, Peeta, and Rue can't all survive?
Do you see my point? The triangle must work in harmony, each piece being held firmly in place. Don't skimp or try to avoid working at one corner you think you are weakest at! The whole thing could collapse. Instead, use revision to build, build, build until you have something truly unforgettable.