I'm currently developing the main characters for my new WIP and having a blast. One element of this novel is to create a strong, trio of friends. I've been reading some great posts and chapters about how to develop memorable characters, and thinking about some of my favorite literary characters, particularly in children's literature.I thought I'd share a little about how I'm approaching these characters and how I'm shaping their personalities.
As I searched around the net for tips on this topic, I knew I didn't want to fill in a huge character trait sheet. Some authors love this method when they're starting out.. And I say, "If that's what inspires you, go for it!" Instead, I thought about what was important to me, what do I like to know about someone, and tried to come up with my own brief profile for my main characters and some secondary ones.
At first I just brainstormed and took notes, particularly after listening to music which I felt represented something about that character. The floodgates of personality and backstory open up when I listen to these songs. Then I try to organize my thoughts in each character's profile. I'm also asking myself questions about how I want to portray relationships between characters and taking notes on that. Below, are a couple of links to recent posts about developing characters which I've found helpful. And I've included the brief profile and some of the questions I've been using. I hope you find them helpful.
Excellent posts on character development:
Crafting Multi-Layered Characters @ Adventures in YA and Children's Publishing
Developing Characters with multiple posts on different topics relating to character @ Janice Hardy's blog, The Other Side of the Story.
Place in family:
What is s/he good at:
Not so good at:
How did they meet each other?
What has sealed their friendship with each other?
How do these friends relate to their parents/family? How does affect who they are and how they relate to each other?
Do you create your characters before you start writing or develop them as you go along? Do you use a profile or character sheet? What do you like to ask yourself (or your characters) as you create them?