Guest blogger Marlene Cronkhite on creating characters.
I like to create real life characters. I think it's one of the most essential parts of what makes a story come to life. I love all my characters, even the bad guys. It's like creating the good, the bad, and the ugly, each character with his own persona—each with a tangible history, a cause and effect that motivate actions and dialogue.
It's a lot of work, but a large part of this stems from creating a believable history for my characters. I find if I write their bios in first person this helps me get to know them and become a part of their lives. Their history turns them into real life people and they grow on their own throughout the story.
Marlene blogs on writing at http://story-gems.blogspot.com/