How to be the next Stephen King, in two easy steps:
1. Read his book "On Writing"
. Seriously, who better to tell you how than the man himself?
2. Writers write.
- Characters should be the driving force behind your story, especially since you're writing without an outline. Sure, you might have a nebulous idea of where everything is going, but don't be afraid to break your own expectations when your characters come to life and take over.
- The goal with characters is to have them react how they would in real life, if they existed, and you generally shouldn't constrain this from happening. If they curse, let them curse, if they're racist, let them be racist, if they do something they shouldn't, don't hesitate — follow through with them. The only time to even think about pulling them back is when it hurts the story, which is something you can hold back for the second drafts anyways.