My stepmom just quit her teaching job to write full time. I am so proud of her for taking an opportunity to fulfill a life-long dream. She’s writing children’s books and also some adult fiction. We had a long conversation about writing, characters, the stories she is working on, and writing in general.
Non-writers do not understand about characters. In order to make a character seem alive to a reader, the writer has to live inside that character for the duration of the writing process. The characters take on a life of their own. They do not leave you alone until you have told their stories.
Some times a particular situation will spark an idea. That idea with create the background or situation for a character. And then the character emerges. Slowly at first, and then gaining more insights and strength. Characters can be very persistent: telling their stories in dreams, oddly popping out in conversations like Freudian slips.
Writers are not nuts. We just have these characters… May the Quill Wand inspire.