What starts a novel is when a character comes alive, becomes real – they are within you but they still surprise you. When you don't have to craft them. They start to come alive on their own.
P.S. I have a draft in my email of bits and bobs that I jotted down from the TAC panel way back in May of 2014. It's mish-mash and may not mean much to anyone else, but I'll still try and post them in the next few weeks in case anyone is interested or happens to be searching for some writing advice. There are some gems in there.