Once again, I don’t remember who I stole this from (so, if you know, speak up and I’ll give them credit). But when I first started writing I found a character profile that was pretty thorough and is easily adapted.
Chinese Zodiac Sign:
Marks, Scars, Tattoos:
Least Favorite Food:
Most Prized Possession:
Vernacular (Way of Speaking):
Social and Other Pressures, Problems:
Relationships (With Who and What Kind):
Belief, Superstition, Moral Value:
Some of it seems silly and redundant. But when I’m mid-really-awesome-scene-can’t-even-stop-to-eat, it’s an easy reference when I forget my MC’s eye color. It’s also nice because you get be as vague or in-depth as you want.
You could write an entire paragraph about your character’s favorite food and how it became their favorite when their mom lovingly made it for them every birthday, or you could just write tacos.
What I learned when I was creating profiles for my new MCs was that it’s all about the little things. If you want your characters to seem like people, they need to have a weird quirk or two. Some irrational fear or guilty pleasure. One of my characters is afraid of microwaves while the other hates the texture of cottage cheese. Stupid, but they feel more like people now, because people are just plain weird once you get to know them.
PS – I’m afraid of venetian blinds. Just in case you were wondering.