Let's talk a little more on characters.
I'm a writer who likes to get to know my characters well before I start writing. I need to picture them in my head - from what they look like to how they act in certain situations. I want to know all their likes and dislikes from their favorite activities, to their backgrounds and what makes them tick.
Once I have all that firmly set in my mind, then I can put them into extreme situations and watch them go. Usually, I think I know how they will react. Sometimes I'm wrong. Characters have a way of infusing their own will on your story.
This is where it gets tricky. Sometimes, it is better to let them exert their free will, and you as the writer, just follow them along. At other times, it's best to know when to pull the reins and drag them back. The one thing not to do is fret over your characters showing their independence. That usually means you have developed them enough into real people - and they will act accordingly.
I usually find that if my characters are just following my lead as events happen, I haven't gotten to know them well enough first. So, on that point, take some time and really get to know and understand your characters before you start writing. Many websites, books and interview techniques are out there that can help you accomplish this feat - so take advantage.Technorati: characters, writer's life, writing