I get a lot of questions about outlining and organic writing. I’m not sure why people are taught to outline as if it is the right way or the only way to write. It’s such an unnatural approach to the creative that I really don’t understand how or why people go that route.
So, to address these two specific questions, I don’t plan out my characters very thoroughly at all. Instead, I put them in interesting situations and see how they respond. Sometimes they’ll surprise me in how they act or demand a bigger part in the story, so I try to be honest and let them be.
This approach is similar to the way that JRR Tolkien wrote. As he noted one time, "A new character has come on the scene (I am sure I did not invent him, I did not even want him, but there he came walking through the woods of Ithilien): Faramir, the brother of Boromir."
Tessa did this to me in The Pawn. At first she was a rather one-dimensional snide teen girl, but the more I wrote about her, the more interesting she became. By the time I started working on The Rook, she had vied for a bigger part in the story and I had to give it to her.
The key is responding to the story as it unfolds, being honest, keeping it believable, letting the characters act and develop naturally, and go where the thread of the story takes you.
As far as the second question about editing, I continually revise and edit as I go along. Typically I will print out several chapters that I’ve been working on, as well as the new ones I’m writing, and read them through to start my day. I will edit them, rewrite them and tweak them as the broader context of the story becomes clearer.
So, allow your characters the opportunity to flex and adapt and grow, adding quirks and inconsistencies, pushing them to the limit to see how they respond, and then letting the story shape them even while they shape the direction of the story.