Have you ever had a character invade your mind while working on something completely different? I've had that happen to me recently with "Evelyn of the Sea" and this is what went down. I dreamed her into existence. Maybe she invented herself. When I awoke I drew a quick sketch of her and jotted down a page full of tidbits, then I put it aside to focus on my "homework"(edits and promos for upcoming release of "Shifters", edits and promo for "Aftermath" in the Spirited Anthology, crit group, NaNoWriMo, wife, mother etc.). Still in my spare brain creativity I would think about Evelyn and where she should go and how she handles trouble. This is how I know she'll be a great character because I can't get her out of my mind. By the time my edits and dew dates are over with, I'll have the whole plot outline in my head, ready to go. I also get to do a bunch of steampunk research which is a great excuse to buy some books! If you haven't seen the movie "Steam Boy" I highly recommend it.