Developing characters is one of the most important part of writing a good story. One of my favorite authors has taught me so much in this area. J.R. Ward is the author of The Black Dagger Brotherhood. Her characters are so rich and so in depth that as a reader we feel like we are sharing in their lives as they find their mates, beat addictions, heal, and fight evil. I find myself not enjoying "quick reads" as much as I used to because I want this detailed and emotional character development.
J.R. Ward has written the following titles to date in the Brotherhood series:
I've read all but Lover Avenged two times, and I will be reading that one at least twice. I just finished it this weekend, and was once again amazed at the author's talent for writing.
She's also written The Insider's Guide, which is a must have for readers and writers. I can't believe how much awesome insight she shares in this book as to her writing methods and how she thinks of characters as real people that she interacts with. You can see an excerpt here: http://www.jrward.com/bdb/books-ig-1.html . This will really give you a good example of how she works with her characters.
I'm not one of those writers that has every detail of a book thought out ahead of time because of a dream I've had. Things don't come to me that easily. Since reading the Brotherhood books I've been inspired to work on my character's details through research and creativity. I actually have two different books in my head, now I just need to get the details on paper. One if more along a young adult paranormal title and the other is urban fiction. I really appreciate the inspiration I've gotten from other authors like J. R. Ward.