Once you've got an idea for your story, and you've captured some information about it in your journal, you'll need to develop some characters. These are the individuals who will act out your story. I am often asked where my characters come from. There's no easy answer. A character could come to you at any time, from anywhere.
Other times, you might have an idea for an adventure, but have no real idea who will be taking part. So, where do those characters come from? Part of being a writer is observing the world. You do it every day, although you might not realize it.
You meet all sorts of people during your day. Some are funny, some are quiet, some are smart, some mysterious. Others are creepy. When you notice someone interesting, pull out your journal and capture what was so interesting about them by writing it down. Maybe it was something they did or said. Later, when you get a chance, go back to your journal and flesh out that character by adding other little details. If he/she was funny, how did they get that way, what other traits might they have? Where are they from? Are they human or are they something else?
You'll find that you can build an entire personality from one or two bits of information. It can spark your imagination and voila--you've got the start of a living, breathing character. Over time, as you give them things to do within your story, they'll grow and change--sometimes in ways you don't expect. That's what's so fun about creating characters--the actors in your story. Give it a try.
What are your favorite characters? Leave a comment below. I'd love to hear from you!