Whether I am creating a major character, or a minor character that moves the story along, I look at the storyline, and the setting, to see what type of character I want. Am I looking for a protagonist (the good guy), an antagonist the bad guy), a secondary character that will be recurring (as in a series), or a one time secondary character that is used to deliver information, or in some way move the story along.
Then I think about the character's background - where do they live, what do they do for a living, what do they believe in. You want your character to be as specific s possible, so that they interact in a reasonable manner with other characters, an so that they serve a purpose in your story. They need to be fairly well defined - male or female, age, body type, eye and hair color, how they speak, how they dress, educational background. Are they calm by nature, do they have a temper, are they shy, are they aggressive? Your characters need to come across as vibrant and real - people that your readers can connect with!
We can also be very creative and make animals into characters. Rita Mae Brown does this very well in two of her series: "The Sneaky Pie Brown" and "Sister Jane". Her animals (cats, dogs, horses, birds, foxes etc) talk to each other and to the humans. It is all very real, and each animal is kept in character. We don't have to go that far - in most books we have humans talking to their pets, and the pets reacting. This can be a very strong component for any story.
Once you have created your character, document the information in your book's bible, so that you can refer back to it as you write. Readers will note characters that don't always follow who they "should" be. And they will put that info in their review of your book!
In my next blog, I will be discussing how to develope a character.
(c) June 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited with out written consent of the author.