I wrote this tutorial on character creation a LONG time ago. (2001 I think). It’s been up on Elfwood ever since, so I thought I should share it here. Periodically I get comments from others about how it helped them flesh out their characters.
A person is not only a personality. They are experiences, hopes, joys, passions, and foibles all rolled into one little package. For a writer, you must not only create these in yourself, but for several, if not hundreds of other people as well. Those with the fullest detail, I have found, are actually far easier to write about then those who I know nothing about.
This list helped me keep significant details about certain characters strait when I was working on very long pieces. It also helped when I first started writing to really grasp character development in general.