My characters are born so easily. They're my children, my family. They each have quirks and they each have a purpose, just like you and I. Ever feel like they sometimes have minds of their own? I do, oddly. I give them life; they give me escape.
Their personalities develop over time just as babies' do, although my little bundles of joy bloom at a somewhat more accelerated rate. "I hear babies cry, I watch them grow. They'll learn much more than I'll ever know." God, the place in my head is a wonderful world.*
Do you get attached to your characters? What effect do you think bonding with them has on your overall story? Keep in mind, I write what I must if the story calls for it.