I recently began playing in a D&D campaign for the first time in I don't know how long, so, naturally, I had to create a PC for myself. I had no preconceptions about what type of character I wanted to play, so I rolled 3D6 in order six times. That is, I rolled up six different potential player characters and then looked them over. From among these six, I choose the set that looked the most interesting to me -- "interesting" encompassing both utility in play and in terms of roleplaying potential. In this case, I wound up choosing the following set of ability scores: Str 12, Int 9, Wis 13, Dex 12, Con 14, Cha 10. Such a character could either have been a mediocre fighting man or a mildly above-average cleric; I opted for the latter. I decided that he was a well-meaning but not thoughtful cleric, strongly devoted to his faith and intent to seeing it spread through word and deed.
And that's most of what I knew about my new character before I started playing him. Since he might not survive to see 2nd level (never mind higher), I figured it most practical to let his personality and other details evolve through play. Plus, that gave me a lot more leeway to make things up as I went along, which is always fun.
So, my question for today is this: how do you go about creating a new, 1st-level D&D character?