Stephen King takes an interesting (or soon to become interesting) character and sticks him in situations that run from the absurd to the horrifically fatal, and sees what happens as he is writing the story. He does this without an outline in mind. Sometimes they die, sometimes they triumph. Sometimes they die triumphantly.
If it works for King, I thought I would try it. I put one of the main characters in an absurd situation. As the story progressed and this poor fellow overcame his hardships, he went from war-weary mild-mannered coastal citizen to a man of firm convictions and outstanding moral character.
Granted these problems were not horrific in nature, rather social and tactical. Now, he is able to apply his former Army experience to his social situations.
Well, damn. That was unintended. He is overcoming problems with such acumen that he might become uninteresting to read about.
Dude, stop that. You’re smudging my plot. I’ve got my eye on you.