Plotting vs Character is often in hot debate among writers, as if, incidentally, one can survive without the other. Lots of folks love PLOT PLOT PLOT, especially mystery and thriller writers, I think, because really, what is the detective without a complicated murder to solve? But character...characters make the fictional world go 'round. If we don't love our character, why write about them? Then there are the Centrists, who advocate vague organic approaches, none of which ever make sense to me because obviously, one has to come first, a plot concept or a character, even if by miliseconds.
I've worked both ways and I lean more toward starting with concept and plot now. This is not to say I don't dream up characters constantly. They assault my psyche day and night. But they are plotless, unformed creatures. So before I start writing I make myself do the grueling task of plotting, at least in synopsis form. Dinner before dessert, after all. Characters must prove themselves to me. Also, I think as I delve deeper into the speculative aspects of fiction, I find myself wanting to explore concepts rather than characters, at least at the outset.
However, I'm not advocating one or the other. We all have our processes. I know successful writers who start with just a name and a face and go on to sell thousands of books. So which do you start with first and why?