I have been thinking about my writing process a lot recently, and have come to realize that quite often, I am initially plot-driven. This has become clear to me as I wrestle with a story I thought up about a month ago. The main, and very spooky / cool aspect of it came to me, and then the characters started to form. They are still very fuzzy. And I won’t write the story until I have a solid handle on them. A really great three book series came to me a couple of years ago, and I can’t wait to write it, but I need more from the characters before I do. The plot rocks, but that isn’t enough.
I know plot-driven isn’t always considered a good thing, although the end result is what I think makes or breaks any work, not the route taken to get to it. But I do believe that no matter how great the plot, unless you have a reason to care why character X is in trouble, chased down by werewolves or taken off with the fairies, the best plot in the world will fall flat.
I know some writers start with a character and built a story around them, I think I work more the other way, I have the bare bones of a story, or just one very clear, very powerful image from a story, and work out what sort of characters belong to that world.
How do you work?