I thought you'd get a kick out of this suggestion to an author by their editor on how to create characters.
This the Character Sketch my editor has me use. (Sorry, she's not accepting any new clients.)
Using the following prompts, write a starting-point profile for the novel's main character/s. The more surprising the details, the stronger the character.
● Full Name
● Age when story commences
● Date and place of birth
● Physical description (distinguishing features, height, eye/hair/skin color)
● Number, name, relative age of siblings
● Parents (names, living/dead)
● Partner (name/marital status)
● Sexual orientation, if appropriate
● Education (level, qualification)
● Position on political spectrum
● What 5 positive traits might he/she say they have?
● What 5 negative traits might he/she say they have?
● Does the character believe he/she has a special talent?
● What is his/her biggest insecurity?
● What is his/her biggest fear?
● What is his/her guilty pleasure?
● What is his/her life goal?
The answers to the following questions may not be relevant to the story, but may help build a picture of the kind of person the character is. They can be used to help think about subjective descriptors (see above).
1. Is his/her glass half empty, or half full?
2. Does he/she prefer sunrise, or sunset?
3. Name one book he/she would take to a desert island.
4. Name the first record he/she ever bought, or the first gig he/she went to see.
5. Describe his/her favourite shoes and/or underwear.
6. If his/her home was on fire, what ONE item would he/she save?
7. Describe his/her idea of a fun day out?
8. What good causes does he/she support?
9. Outline his/her idea of a 'holiday of a lifetime'?
10. What one thing has he/she never told anyone?
11. If granted one wish, what would it be?
12. In the movie of your novel, who would you cast in the role?