Writing in a good character is sometimes the nemesis of writing. (To me that is!) When I sit down with a story in mind, sometimes the main character is unknown to me. I have to figure out how this character will evolve in the story.
First, I try to get a hold on the timeline that the story will tell. Will this be a story that takes place over years or just months or maybe even a couple of days. That tells me a lot about the age of the characters.
Second, Attitude,Attitude, What kind of attitude will the main character have? Will he or she be a real humble, quiet person or will they be sassy and noisy?
Third, Looks! Very important in a character, to me that is. When I read a book I like to be able to picture the person as the story unfolds. It helps make the story come alive in the readers mind and in the writers mind.
Fourth, Location. Will this be in a cold wintery setting, warm southern climate, or will it go many places. also important to make sure you put as much detail in your surroundings as possible without getting long winded. Why do I put this is my character analogy? Well, you need to know where the person is from, this makes up the character themselves. If they live in Montana, Georgia, Europe, or elsewhere, this could make the story turn differently and have a different feel. You usually don’t find a beach bunny or bum in Montana! (Smiling)
Fifth, Will your main character stay the same or will they change when the story evolves?
Sixth, the dreaded name of the character. Sometimes the name is automatic when the story comes through my head, but keep in mind the time period you are writing in and the names that would have been used. Sometimes that sets the tone.
I know this may not be the way most writers see their characters, but this helps me to make a connection with the person that will consume my thoughts and musings until the book is finished. I just hope it helps others while struggling with their characters bio.