Where do characters come from? You can create a character first, or you can have a story idea and figure out what kind of character belongs in the story. So what do you need to know about your character? What kind of person is she? If the story requires her to deal with a number of people and situations, she can’t be a shy wallflower.

If she has to figure out what’s going on and solve riddles, she can’t be a person who does all sorts of wild things without thinking about them.

So you need a cheat sheet for each character. First, the basics; physical appearance, background, general age, relationship with other characters. This is especially important if you plan to write a series about this person. Then you need to know what her values and attitudes are. How emotional is she? Does she cry at every little thing or is she a know-it-all?

And then you must find something that makes this character unique. Habits, quirks, unusual mannerisms, and the way she talks. Does she use certain words in an usual way? Does she always start her sentences with a certain word?

In other words, you have to write her biography. But you don’t need to put all of it in your story. If there is an event in her life that causes her to do or react in a certain way that affects the plot, then you better mention that.

And make sure your character is clear to your reader so that he can relate to your character.

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