on Jane Friedman site:
In my work as a book coach, I’ve found that writers of fiction generally fall into three camps: those who start with character, those who start with plot or story concept, and those who start with theme. In the course of this three-part series, I’ll address the natural strengths of each type, along with challenges faced in revision.
Writers who start with character tend to be empathetic people—“people people,” you might say. A new story for these folks may arrive in the form of a certain voice in their head, or a line or two that seems promising.
Or they might be struck at first by a type of character—for instance, a character who’s a bit like an intriguing person they happen to know, or a bit like a character in a book or movie they loved.
Regardless of how the character arrives, when given a name and a context, that character quickly develops a compelling backstory and three-dimensional depth, taking on a life of their own.