Well Saturday night in the my house is NCIS night. Now to be honest across the week NCIS: seasons 10, 11 and 12 are being shown on assorted digital channels (along with the New Orleans and Los Angeles versions), which can be confusing as one night a relative of one character can be dead, and the next week on a different channel the dead character is still alive...
This is where box-sets come in useful.
Anyway, my OH just watches the story and whoever is in that episode- he calls it moving wallpaper; I told him that the characters and what's happening to them is as important as the story. He wasn't convinced...
That is what got me thinking about plot versus character, and which comes first?
|Which arrives first?
If you define plot as "a sequence of events" that occur through the story, then I'd have to say no that doesn't come first- at least for me.
In fact whenever I've had a story idea and some of the plot before finding the characters for it, they have never made any progress no matter how much time I've put in. The last time I tried that it was three wasted months.
For me, it runs: initial idea (that is usually the result of two random incidents/thoughts/information) - a vague scene of one or two characters, but enough to start developing them - more ideas - research - basic bios of my characters- chapter outlines - write the first draft and discover more about the characters and plot as I work.
Looking at the process that way it's 50/50.
Every writer has their own way of doing things, so someone else may have the plot and then looks for their characters to fill the story.
Others discover as they go along.
So are you plot first? Characters first? Or somewhere in-between?