Amaro's point is not at all contradictory at all
The style of plot-writing heavily
depends on the writer. Some people feel more confortable in creating the characters first and then the setting, while others prefer to create the setting before the characters.
I generally apply a mix of them, i.e. I create a rough settings and rough characters, and then refine them.
Obviously, you can't create your character without the necessary background, and often, background and characters mingle together.
I'll produce an example again, a characer design for one of my previous project:
Sasha is the son of a mid-class russian family, he was born in St. Petersburg in 1989. He spent his early years playing with friends and enjoying his life. Suddenly, U.R.S.S and U.S.A. started a war in 1995. Sasha's house was hit by a missile and, as a result, his family was exterminated. He was outside at the moment of the explosion and saw the flames devouring everything, after a great thunderclap (or this is what he thought it was). Sasha's psyche was utterly ruined by that event and he became attracted by explosions. He tried to set the orphanage which hosted him on fire, and, as a result, was sent to a psychiatric clinic. After a couple of years was released, disappeared without a trace and became a terrorist who killed only by means of explosives and dynamite. He is insanely attracted by unexploded shells and uses two of thems as a couple of maces to hit enemies.
Now, you'll understand that if I haven't planned the settings before (U.R.S.S. and U.S.A war - U.R.S.S. being still present in 1995), I would have lacked the main aspect of Sasha's personality, his insane passion for explosives.
In conclusion, I think that settings and characters should be tied together to produce a good plot.
This post has been edited by Jens of Zanicuud: Aug 25 2012, 01:18 AM