When I first started writing I did the character development in my head – I thought that was enough. In hindsight, it led to my characters being two dimensional because the finer details were missing so it just wasn’t believable.
Just like with people in our lives – friends, family, patients, and colleagues. These finer details make them memorable, unique, and who they are.
I realised that working through your characters initially in a somewhat systematic way, especially your main ones can be helpful. You need to nail the details.
I use my own template in the beginning. I keep the file in Dropbox so when I think, see, smell and feel that something may be useful, I can add it on the go from my phone or tablet. Additionally, you could use it for your secondary and background characters to add more reality and texture to the story. Below is my template, feel free to copy. Another thing you could try is to immerse yourself in your character, maybe write the character’s dairy for a week.
Vinay’s Character Template
Most important childhood memory:
Role in the story and conflicts: