This is an odd one, about an intersection of plot, character, and world: How do people think a plot can develop characters as part of their background or situation in the world, to get the reader involved with the character? That is, what are the more world-centered scenes or points that can get this across-- especially toward the beginning of the story, when there's liable to be more background than plot-momentum so far? I'm thinking a lot of it could be showing things in people's goals and what ways to do them, and especially what things wouldn't work and why. If someone's a merchant, show why he's working so hard to draw in customers, and why that means, say, struggling with Lowtown robbers and that he's already tried and failed to do business in the face of Hightown prejudices. Then get into why one or two customers, suppliers, Meddlesome Guards, and so on have their own reasons to maybe or maybe not be a problem for him... and show the merchant's history as the childhood friend he also tries to keep out of trouble, or the soldier father he didn't follow because he thinks fighting's a waste... And of course, any of these could be caused or affected by the Great Dragon War that the story's about to reignite, or other key parts of the world or his life. --That's an ad hoc example, not a story I'd like specific thoughts on. I'm thinking that perspective's a good way to pick background/world points and organize scenes, when there isn't a strong plot going yet. (And of course, when there is one too.) So, how do other people lead readers through their character's place in the world?