Now that you've researched or reflected on the best genre, time period, and location for your story (What, When and Where), as well as the culture and its role in your story, it's time to consider your characters (Who). Let's start with your main character, the protagonist.. To simplify this, I'm going to alternate gender pronouns.
The first way we know a person is through our senses.
1. What does your main character look like? Sound like? How does he walk, move, gesture? How does she speak? What vocabulary does he use? How does she dress? Does he have any personal mannerisms?
2. Now, rather than describing all this in detail, consider which of these are defining characteristics. Which ones are significant to the way your main character sees himself, or to the way others see her? Those are the ones you're going to include.
Interesting characters are those who have strong goals.
3. What does your protagonist want? What is her compelling goal?
4. Why does he HAVE TO ACHIEVE IT? What are the stakes? What terrible loss will she sustain if unsuccessful?
5. Now list 5-8 adjectives that describe your main character's personality. Go for a mix of good ones (resilient, brave) and not so good ones (stubborn, proud). Characters who are entirely good are pretty boring, not too mention hard to believe and hard to relate to. And those bad traits are often the very ones that help your character succeed..
6. So consider the above list and write down how each of those characteristics will help your protagonist achieve her goal.
7. What are your protagonist's hobbies, interests and skills? How will they help him achieve his goal?
8. What is your protagonist afraid of? Why?
9. What does your protagonist love? Why?
10. What does your protagonist hate? Why?
11. What does your protagonist need? Why?
Did you discover something new about your protagonist? How will today's exercise enrich your story? Are there questions that you used to get to know your protagonist not listed here? See you tomorrow!