The premier issue of The Dionysian magazine carries an interview with playwright Marco Calvino.
Calvino said, “Edward Albee once asked me if I was working on something new. ‘I have this idea,’ I started, and he cut me off. ‘That’s your problem,’ he said. ‘Don’t start with ideas. Start with characters.'”
Some writers recommend writing extensive character analyses as you begin writing. Novelist Elizabeth George, in her book Write Away, says, “Once we have begun it, we continue reading a novel largely because we care about what happens to the characters.”
Her writing process: “I write about each character in as much depth as I can manage.” This allows her to develop a voice for him or her. George develops a profile for each of her characters, well before she begins to write the story.
“The beauty of doing the character analyses,” she says, “is that more and more elements of the plot start jumping out at me as I create and explore the characters I’ve generated from my initial idea.”
Start with characters.