When I teach writing, one of the most common questions I get is about character development. Certain how-to books tell you to make lists of character traits and what people wear and how they talk and what kind of childhood they had. I do none of this and I venture to guess that most fiction writers do not. By the time you finish writing a book you might know what your characters keep hidden in their dresser drawers, but you can’t create a character by deciding this before you start… unless of course what is in the drawer is part of the premise. There’s always an unless.