Start with this. "My character is a _____________ _______________ who _____________." The first two blanks should be the two most defining characteristics of your PC, and the third blank should be their shtick. Use the third blank to flag to the ST how you are interested in interacting with the world.
Example: "My character is a Rich College Kid who Digs Up Artifacts.
I would prefer that you do background before sheet, but if you really can't stand to do that, that's okay. Your background (as submitted) should be no more than one page, and have only what you consider the most crucial and defining info about your PC on it. These things should be things that you consider important in shaping who your PC is.
Things in your background that are represented mechanically on your sheet (such as Allies, Contacts, Resources, or Mentors) are things I, as the ST, will consider inviolable. Because of that if you put something in your background and you don't want me to mess with it, you need to pay points for it. The flip side is, if you pay points for it, you will always have veto power over anything I narrate in regards to the item.
Example: Nick Jones has a loyal butler named Percy Pennyworth. He has represented Percy with the Retainer merit. When I want to narrate that Percy is in a car accident, Nick's player (Rowan) says, "That's okay, but he isn't allowed to die." As the ST, I have to abide by that.
For creation you may start with any of the following builds.
Book + 25 XP: You're a newish mage who hasn't learned much about Awakened life yet. You will earn 10 XP a month until you reach 125 XP.
Book + 50 XP: You're a mage of middle experience. You will earn 8 XP a month until you reach 125 XP.
Book + 75 XP: You're quite experienced as a mage, you've been Awake for some time. You will earn 5 XP a month until you reach 125 XP.
(XP earning will happen at the beginning of every month, as long as you are somehow active at a Game or downtime during the month. Send me a log of a scene, that counts.)
Once PCs reach 125 XP, they will earn only 4XP a month.
The Computer skill is replaced with Technology.
The Crafts and Expression skills require you to specify how they apply. To be proficient in more than one variety of the skill requires purchasing the skill a second time. Attempting a Craft or Expression at which you are unskilled will take the usual unskilled penalty.