I get occasional requests from participants in my writing classes for tips on writing fiction. My best answer is, "Why ask me when you can ask the masters for their ideas?"
For example, Joyce Carol Oates, author of some 40 novels and hundreds of short stories and essays, speaks eloquently on writing characters. Early in a five-minute video excerpt from Fora.tv, Oates observes simply yet profoundly, "For me, the people and the setting are always together." More treats follow from this titan of American literature.
Here is the link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgJ809QKmas
My latest book, How to Write Fast Under Pressure, is now available.