When you begin a new project, do you find it easier to build your characters first, then their environment, or build the environment the characters are in before going into detail about them? I have tried both and one seems to be as good as the other, but was wondering how others get the reader to know their characters.

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Cool. It's a hard balance to strike, isn't it? Are you writing it as fiction?
It can be a challenge, that's for sure. My last project I unintentionally based on three people who all had the same motive in mind. To the average reader, the main characters will be sick and deprived but in real life, their crimes were far more unspeakable than what I could possibly have thought up. The saying truth is stranger than fiction certainly applies here.
My next project I'm putting out as fiction (yet again) based on one person and one person only this time. I didn't realize until after my last was complete that it mirrored a few people, so it could have been any of the them.
I believe any story has to start with a location. The characters have to be or have been someplace. I develope them and the plot from this and other places.

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