Every dramatic story that matters starts and ends with the characters. Writing the story is a focused and meditative process of entering into the most profound relationships with the characters in the story. It is the journey a writer makes in his/her quest to love the characters. What does it mean to LOVE your characters? It means that they become the object of your ultimate concern, that their presence is manifest and noted, that their views are known and respected, that their weaknesses and fears and failings are treated with understanding and empathy, and that their needs are listened to and acted upon with some degree of indulgence. Under such profound care, how could a character not flourish?