I recently came across some blog posts focusing on characters (I think there may have been a blogfest but I missed it). In my "travels", I also came across this Character Chart. I thought it was interesting and helpful. For linear processers it will feel comfortable and for those more right-brained this chart can help organize thoughts. As for me, to flesh out a character I need to use the senses as I find it much richer. I'll use Shayla as an example.
Quick-List (these details originally came out as I've written her story):
15 year old female
A bit awkward, clumsy physically & socially
Colored red hair, black streaks
Long parted bangs covering eye
Enjoys writing and art
Labeled with mental health diagnoses
OR, the actual character sketch that I wrote, which may look familiar as I included a variation of this in an earlier post:
Shayla felt like an alien transplant in a world filled with coffee shops and malls, tight clothing and short-shorts. Shayla could not stand the concrete crowds. She did not hear their thoughts. She heard their feelings, deep in her veins, pulsing through her heart. Insecurity feels like a flutter of baby bird wings not quite ready to hit the air current. Sadness feels congealed, sluggish; blood moving through quicksand. Guilt feels like tapioca pudding. Anger matches the cliché of boiling blood combined with a brewing thunderstorm. And happiness, well happiness tickles its way through my arteries, causing me to laugh out loud.
I used both emotional and physical feeling in this passage. I will also explore Shalya by answering questions through story such as what color does she see the world, what song does she hum in the shower, what smell triggers a memory and what textures soothe her. Oftentimes I will collage images for the visual and sometimes I come across an image that begs to be written. Perhaps this is how others work with their characters as well? [Although I've written for years, this sharing of thoughts with other writers is new to me:)]