Thoughts on developing characters in a fiction

I am currently writing a fiction that I hope to have published in the summer of 2012. I have spent most of my freelance career writing articles of various types, poetry, and short stories. This is my first novel and I am excited about the story.
I remember reading an interview of a famous author (I don`t remember who) that at the time I didn`t quite understand as I was not yet experienced enough to get what the author was talking about. She was asked about developing characters in a story and how she went about the task.  She talked about the way a character actually becomes a real person in her mind as she writes a story. She said the character would develop as she got to know the character more. This I thought was an odd statement–one I did not understand at all at the time.
I have written many short stories and in that capacity I generally know a character before I write because I have an idea in my mind that I intend to put to paper. I have a general idea of what I want to convey in the story and how I will present the stories and the characters involved. In the pre-writing and re-writing stages I do develop the characters more and more as I write but the stories are not long enough to get into too much detail–not so with a novel.
As I began to write this current work, I was beginning to see exactly what the author meant in her interview. I was learning more about the characters in the story as I wrote the story. I have seen things I need to add or subtract based on the way the characters, and the story, develop along the way. They begin to sort of take on a life of their own. One of the interesting things she stated was how one character refused to go in a direction she wanted to take him in the story–cool.
The other thing I wanted to share was the challenge of keeping track of multiple characters. This presents its own true test of memory and skill *laughing*. I once found I had written several paragraphs of dialog between two characters–one of which was suppose to be dead. This was early on in the story and I realized I had not yet become familiar with my characters–she (unknown author) was right again. We writers need a good sense of humor and we must be willing to laugh at ourselves once in a while.
William
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S.W. Biddulph

Scott Biddulph is a published writer, author, and poet from North Georgia. He began writing as a youngster and followed his lifelong dream of reaching people through the written word when he returned to The University of North Georgia in 2013 to finish earning his BA/English with a concentration on publication and creative writing. His publications include the following: an eBook, Apples of Gold: A collection of inspirational short stories and poems (Smashwords, 2010) and a paperback, Voices from the Heart, (Createspace, 2012). His poetry is published in Papers and Publications Undergraduate Research Journal. Vol 3 (2014) and the award-winning Chestatee Review (Spring, 2015), among other places (Check his LinkedIn profile for a full list of his publications). He is currently working on publishing poetry, creative non-fiction, academic essays, and his memoir. Scott has also worked as an intern editor for the University of North Georgia Press. As a freelance editor, he has done the layout and design of several books and magazines. He is currently working with several authors on various publication projects in which he is either ghostwriting, editing manuscripts, or doing the layout and design. Scott continues working on his memoir Twisted Ride. He also maintains a Christian blog: A Disciple's Journey. Finally, and most importantly, he is a father, grandfather, husband, and dedicated Harley Davidson rider (with a huge beard). He and his family enjoy the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains where they live—especially their screened in back porch where they love to bird watch. - "I love realism. I love writing about the raw, down-to-Earth, heartfelt realities of life. I love to write in a way that reaches into the human soul. I love to take the greatest pains and struggles in life, and make them a blessing to others. Fantasy is a wonderful, interesting thing—but real life situations, feelings, fears, and dreams are an unexplored ocean of stories that need to be told." ~Scott Biddulph~

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