|Right! That's what we're supposed to be doing!|
- I made a spreadsheet for one of my novels, and so far, it's working. Divide it into sections, fill it in, and KAPOW! it's all your characters.
- Character Profiles: These annoy me. I like orderly things and easy to access, and these were neither for me. I don't use them.
- Locking the info into your brain: Doesn't work. Don't try it.
- Writing it down, piece by piece: You could try it... But don't.
- I don't have a number five. You got one? Shoot me an email or comment.
The biggest thing to remember: Your characters need a motive. What do they want? What do they need in order to live? What makes them do the things they do? Answer these questions before you write a word, or you can figure it out along the way, but I'd go with the first one.
Second biggest thing to remember: They need a voice. Who is your character? How do they talk? Are they snarky, funny, rude, ignorant, polite, nice, needy, whiny, annoying, etc. Once you unearth these, you can write some decent dialogue that matches your character. Find trends in how they talk. (Check out Gimme A Call, the character discovers a trend in her speech. It's awesome.)
In order to have characters who interact well, you need to know their relationships, their history, their secrets, their faults (these make them relatable), their strengths, the things that make them angry and blow up, things that make them melt with love, etc. You need to know every single itty gritty detail. You can figure these out a you go along, I just always forget or they don't match up. Make your character unique with their own voice and style.
Examples of awesome characters with depth and a voice:
1.Harry Potter: He has a voice, you understand why he does what he does.
Get the idea? Now go write some killer characters.