Character Development

Do you develop your characters prior to writing your novel or do you let them develop as your story progresses? I suppose a second question that goes along with this is how much outlining do you do of your story prior to the actual writing?

I am finding that I do a combination of both. I may take a few notes on ideas I have for my characters, but when I write they seem to develop on their own and often they take a turn completely different from my notes. I’ve begun to wonder whether taking the notes before I even begin developing the character in the story is necessary. I can certainly see the point of taking notes after I’ve written and developed the character so I can keep track throughout the story and stay on top of who is who and what each character brings to the table, but before? I am curious as to how other’s handle character development.

As for my novel, it’s going well, I think. I had a ‘do over’ already, but it was well worth it as now I have my story more on track. Lot’s of characters were introduced today, which is why I started thinking about how characters are developed by various authors.

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