That’s a really good question.
As a writer this is something I have to know. How else will I be able to write them? As a newbie writer this is something I am still learning. I took a class last week to shed some more light on the subject. A lot of light really.
RWA offers free classes to its members every other month or so through its RWA University. In between it offers a class at the cheapest rates ever. I can’t not take a class for ten dollars! This one was well worth it too. It was Building Great Characters by HelenKay Dimon. She deftly taught us to take the obvious traits we give our characters and find out why they are the way they are. Then dig deeper and see how they walk through thier world.
One of the tools she provided for us was this link: 100 Character Development Questions for Writers.
Oh. My. Goodness. It took me over an hour to fill out the questions on my first person. The questions delve into the past, pulling up back story and history. Some of it had to be revealed by that character as I sat and ruminated on it. I found this filled in bunch of the plot details, because I like character driven plots.
Yes, I have found the character sheet of all time. I should tell you I have a collection of them too. I can’t find the one I really like either, because half of them are hard copy and the others are in some file on my computer. I have no clue how to get organised. Except, I put this sheet into a Scrivener template to drive me crazy when I start a new project.
If inclined, check it out and let me know what you think.