Creating your Characters

In order to create believable characters you have to know the characters in your story.

Character questionnaires are great for discovering who your character is. 

Are they male or female, bisexual, metrosexual? What do they look like? How old are they? Does your characters have a limp? A lisp? Or some kind of distinguishing trait or characteristic or disability? What kind of job do they have? What city do they live in? What does their neighborhood look like? Who are their friends? What are their hobbies? Are they religious, atheists, agnostics?

Once you have the story outline, create your characters.  Use the headings above - add more if you feel you need to.  The main thing is you must know your characters before you can introduce them to your readers.

The best starting point for any character is looking at real people and all the different quirks they have. Sit in a coffee house or club and just observe the people and make notes.  Watch some soapies - the characters you like or dislike in the soap - why do you feel like that about them - make notes, observe.  If you were to decipher one person you know in real life and fill out a character questionnaire on them, you would discover that people are complex and layered. Make sure your characters come across in the same way. Make them human, people that are likeable or disagreeable.

When writing keep coming back to your character questionnaire to make sure your character is staying within the character traits you have given them.  There is nothing worse than introducing a character that is a devout church goer and then five chapters later you describe them as having no religious convictions, you will confuse and lose your readers.