Forty-eight chapters into book four of the 'Tony Rains Novel Series,' and I haven't decided 'who done it' or why. Although I do have some very good candidates to choose from, and all for a good reason.
"What," you say. "You didn't identify the killer in the outline?" The fact is, I don't write outlines. I write stories.
For me, character development is tied to the evolution of the storyline. When I need a rookie cop, for example, I piece them together in a way that best suits the circumstances. If the storyline calls for them to die violently in the line of duty, I give them a courageous warrior-like persona. And whether the plan is for them to appear once or regularly throughout the novel, I follow the same process for creating 'walk-on' characters, who sometimes become primary figures in the story and even the series; Sam Becket and John Fitzgerald are perfect examples of this.
I know, not writing an outline is just wrong, but I don't care. I will continue going against the grain. It works for me. To each his own, and this is mine.