|Winston doing what he does best.|
So I realized that I was probably thinking about it upside-down and I did some more thinking.
My mistake was a common one. I was ignoring the part of production that was easy for me and focusing on the thing I had to work at. "World building" is a fairly base level thing for my little brain. It's sort of like a task that runs in the background.
Of course the world comes first. And it's not built from the individual character outward. You have to know what the world is in order to (for instance) figure out what everyone is wearing. Sheesh! Why I so dumb?
Well... there's a reason I'm so dumb...
That old cliche of movie trailers where the guy intones "In a world where..." and then goes on to "One guy/girl/robot/well-meaning rabbit must..." you really have the most fundamental things about your story. You have to fill in the blanks. In a world where _________ one dude/princess/rat-of-NIMH must ________.
And although I know that, I don't actually pay attention to that in day-to-day life. I mostly pay attention to cats. Sometimes sparkly things. Sniff sniff... ooh! Is someone baking something? ;-)