Which Comes First?

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There are few “real-life” people I can talk about writing with. Sometimes – and really only sometimes – I can persuade my sisters to. Around this time last year, I thought it would be the most fun thing in the world to sit around and create characters. With quite a bit of no enthusiasm, my sisters helped me come up with the two characters I used for NaNoWriMo 2013.

“You can’t write a story solely based on characters! You need plot.”

I agree with my sister’s frustrated statement. I do not believe, however, that you always need a plot first and then the characters come along later. A story is about a character and how the events that take place (the plot) affect him or her. Those are the three elements essential to every story –

  1. characters
  2. events
  3. change in characters caused by said events

Take one away and you don’t have a story. I usually have a plot before characters – last year was an exception. But what about you?

When you come up with new stories, which element do you develop first?

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