Plot or Character First?
|Bringing things together! Aaaaand clap!|
I used to try and come up with an entire plot and then jam characters in there. It didn't work for me.
Then I started designing characters, only to find myself at a loss - what to do with them?
I eventually settled on a compromise - the plot is a "What If" question I pose to my character. "What if an ordinary person got caught up in a crazy adventure?" or "What if someone woke up in the past?" It's really basic stuff plot-wise, but it gets me thinking about what will happen and how my character will deal with it. Everything builds from there.
Plots and characters drive each other. The way a character reacts to or copes with something affects the plot, just as the plot forces the character to do something. I like to create the two together, let them grow with one another, because then I never feel like I'm forcing characters into a plot or a plot onto the characters.