- Major trait. Are they a coward? Stubborn?
- What drives them. Are they moral? Will they crack under pressure? How much pressure would be needed?
- What are their fears? This can feed into 2 above. Also what they do to avoid their fears can make for interesting stories. Are their fears sub-conscious so you, as their creator, reveal these as the story goes on and you discover just how your character reacts or do you know from the offset? You need to decide.
- What are their aspirations? Leading onto what are they prepared to do to achieve them?
- Their position in society. It doesn't matter what world you're on, fictional or otherwise, but there will be a hierarchy of some sort. It's almost impossible to avoid given someone has to have more power than someone else (who else would govern?). How does this position affect your character?
One great joy in writing is discovering more about your characters the more you write about them and the further you get into your story. This adds depth and helps you write with even more conviction (which I think always shows through to the reader), but there are things you should know about your characters from the start. This is not a prescriptive list but what I like to know about my characters before I start includes:-
I'm Allison Symes and write fairytales with bite, especially novels and short stories.