I've mentioned in previous posts that I receive a lot of questions on my process of creating characters. So, I am going to attempt to break it down for those that are interested. These are the techniques and inspirations that work best for me but everyone is different, so feel free to pick and choose which things you'd like to try for yourself.
Since I've already written about the basics of character creation, I'm going to assume you already have a character established and that we're now working on fleshing them out so that they will be a fully individual and original character. Generic tropes are boring for everyone.
Write A Character Sheet
I usually write my character sheets in the same notebook where I've outlined my story. This is so you can easily reference all of those little details that you might have to refer back to while writing (i.e.- Physical Attributes, Strengths, Weaknesses, Personality Traits, etc.). It doesn't have to be long. Mine are usually written in bullet points and only take up half a page for each character. These are your building blocks so don't feel bad if each description is only a few words; you'll be constructing more along the way.
Create An Inspiration Board
This is incredibly easy and not very time consuming (Unless you want it to be.) since Pinterest exists. Look up some quotes, mood setting photography, and maybe even some actors/models that match the vibe you want for your character. Pretty self-explanatory and extremely fun.
Curate A Playlist
I like to use Spotify for this but use whatever service you prefer. Personally, I make a playlist for each book and certain songs reflect certain characters. However, making an entire playlist dedicated to one character would also be useful. Just don't go overboard. I try to keep my book playlists at 20-30 songs. So, for a single character, I'd probably only make one with 5-10 songs that would effectively score their story arc.
(vibes // Vincent Roam)
Cast The Role
This can tie in with the Inspiration Board tip. You don't have to do this but a lot of writers do. Thinking of an actor/model/etc. as a "face character" is a fantastic tool once you begin writing. It helps you envision things like expressions, tone, and body language. Try to think of at least three people you would "cast" in your role.
Playtest Them In Action
I mentioned this tip in a previous post. It's very important to play out scenes in your mind more than once, or even to act them out for yourself, before you write them. It forces you to really conceive all of the ideas, mannerisms, and feelings your character would be grappling with in a situation. Also, it helps with constructing dialogue.
I hope these methods help you out with your process! I've found they're a great way to develop characters and have a lot of fun in the process.
If you've created a number of characters already, are there any special habits you've formed along the way? I'd love to hear them!
Thanks for reading!