A great question in a comment to an earlier post, from Judith:
You say you write everyday, but you listen to your characters while you go about your daily life, right? So does that mean you like to listen to your characters first and get a clear sense of who they are, and then write, or you write right away even if the characters are still not fully developed? Basically, I guess I’m asking how soon you
Essentially I start writing in order to find out who they are. I start with an impression, a vivid image or thought about them that is like a door. When I open the door it reveals a passage to other parts of them and who they are. Sometimes there are dead ends but I like dead ends. They can be very important in finding out who a character is and what your story is really about. The trick is to trust that who they are will be there. What happens to them is there, but events are just events, things happening is not a plot. Character revealed, tested, altered, that is plot. I’m a firm believer in the idea that I write not to show what I know, but to find out what I know.