And Now an Informational Question

(Does "Informational Question" even make sense? I don't know.) Anyway: I am thinking about the questions I want to answer for myself in this character talk, and while I have a pretty good agenda to cover based on the published description below, I'm struggling to get beyond theory into practicality. So if you're a writer, please tell me: Do your stories usually start with situation or character? Or with something else? And what are some of the things you struggle with in relation to characterization? Making them likeable? Giving them depth? Not saying too much? Do you struggle at all, or is it just there? This inquiring mind wants to know. Feel free to be anonymous in the comments.

Talk Description: Being Alive: Creating True Characters and the Stories They Live

Great stories don't necessarily begin with great characters, but they come to life only if the characters are as rich and compelling as the story the author wants to tell. In this talk we'll discuss what makes a character real and interesting to the reader; see how the unique qualities of a character's psychology can drive and/or enrich a story; and solve the ancient problem of free will vs. predestination -- ­at least as it relates to fiction.