Well, for starters, many writers create their character from their imagination. But what happens if this doesn’t work? What then? Well, I have one idea you can test. Try looking at people you know as your source: family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, schoolmates. You’d be amazed at what you can come up with. Most of the work has already been done for you. How? The person you are studying is living the character. All you have to do is capture his/her description on paper and add some dialogue to get things rolling.
In a conversation with a friend of mine, he discussed the neighbors in the town he grew up in and thought of writing a book based on their lives. Trust me, his description involved such a myriad of character types, any writer would be eager to take the idea.
Another place of “unique study” is…wait for it…Wal-Mart! If you don’t believe me, go to Google Images or Youtube and type in “People of Wal-Mart” and you’ll understand. Try going into one, take a seat, and watch. Be sure to have a mini-recorder, pen and pad, or a video device. You don’t want to miss these folks wandering about. Hopefully, you can do this without attracting law enforcement.
Old photo albums from your relatives might conjure up an idea or two as well as yearbooks. At the next family gathering, sit around with your relatives and get some of the older folks to share family stories. I’ve done this before and I’m glad I did. I would have never dreamt of some of the colorful antics my relatives have done. Again, another source for character development! I hope you enjoyed this little tidbit since my temporary dormancy.