Here are some very basic steps that I follow when creating new characters:
Physical: Obviously, you'll want to start by deciding on your character's name, age, appearance, where they live, etc.
Objective: What do you want the character to have accomplished when the novel comes to the end? What does the character want?
Motivation: What will the character achieve by meeting this objective?
Stakes: What will the consequences be if the character doesn't meet this objective?
Obstacles: Create both internal and external obstacles. They may be a series of small obstacles or one overarching obstacle.
Flaws: Flaws make a character realistic, and they can double as obstacles.
The past: You should know your character's past very well. Knowing the past will effect the actions that they take in the present. Create a few core experiences that have shaped your character's personality. Even if you never mention these experiences in your writing, knowing what your character has been through will allow you to more easily make decisions for them.
Tip: If you base your character off of a person that you know very well, it will be easier to be consistent in their dialogue, actions, and reactions.
A Bit On Christian's Character
My characters are often loosely based on people that I know, and more often, a mixture of people that I know. While I was creating Christian's character, I knew that I wanted him to be likeable, but flawed. I wanted to create a character that was relatable, but at the same time, admirable.
Here are a few of Christian's character traits and why I chose them:
-Fear of the dark: This is a fear that almost every person has struggled with at one point of time in their life. Even if they have already overcome this fear, it is something that they can relate to. A reader will be able to easily perceive growth in Christian's character as he overcomes this fear.
-His dark past: No matter who you are, you have gone through some kind of struggle or emotional pain. Christian's dark and mysterious past makes him interesting as a character as well as relatable as a person.
-Curiosity: Christian's persistent curiosity hints at his potential for bravery. People who are naturally curious also tend to be deeper thinkers and have more depth to their personality.
-Stubbornness: This trait can be both good and bad. Being stubborn can be a weakness, but at other times, it proves to be a very important part of Christian's personality. A person who is stubborn may get themselves into trouble at times, but they are also more likely to stand up for what they believe in.
-Youth: Christian's young age in book 1 proves to be key to the plot of the story. Having a fairly naïve and malleable mind is what makes Christian the perfect hero.
-Loving: Christian's loving character stems from the example that his mother showed to him as a child. His youth plays into this characteristic as well.