Character sheets, I've found, are very helpful for developing characters. One book I read recommend you fill one out after you've completed the story, but I find that filling them out as you write is very helpful. Not only is it good for learning more about them, but it's good for keeping facts straight. How many siblings does your character have? What's his eye color? His fears, his wants, his goals, etc.
I've found many examples of character sheets over the years since I've started writing, but one of the most useful I've found is one from Gaia.online (sure it's game site but you can talk to people on it and stuff). I've listed it for you below to use and I've also posted the link to the page where it's found.
Full name of Character:
Reason, meaning or purpose behind the name:
Reason for nickname:
How old they appear:
Glasses or contacts?
Hair color length and style:
Weight and height:
Type of body (build):
Skin tone and type (i.e., harry, slimy, scaly, oily, fair, burns easily):
Shape of face:
Distinguishing marks (dimples, moles, scars, birthmarks, etc.):
Is s/he healthy?
If not, why not? Or why are they healthy?
Do they look healthy? Why/why not?
Char’s favorite color:
Least favorite, why?
Least favorite music, why?
Mode of transport:
How do they spend a rainy day?
Are they a daredevil or cautious?
Do they act the same alone as when with someone?
Is their soft spot obvious, why/why not:
If not, how do they hide it:
Type of childhood:
Most important child hood event that still effects him/her:
Relationship with her:
Relationship with him:
Siblings, How many, relationship with each:
Children of siblings:
Other extended family:
Close? Why or why not:
Most at ease when:
Most ill at ease when:
How they feel about themselves:
Past failure they would be embarrassed to admit:
If granted one wish what would it be, why?
Optimist or pessimist? Why?
Introvert or extrovert? Why?
Drives and motives:
Extremely skilled at:
Extremely unskilled at:
Does anyone know?
How did they find out:
One word they would use to describe themselves:
One paragraph of how they would describe themselves:
What do they consider their best physical characteristic and why:
The worst one? Why?
Are they realistic assessments?
If not, why not?
How they think others preserve them:
What four things would they most like to change about themselves:
If they were changed would they be the same person, why/why not:
Would changing of number 1 make them more happy? Why/why not:
Interaction with other people:
How do they relate to others:
How are they perceived by strangers:
How do they view the Hero/Heroine:
First impression of the char:
What happens to change this perception:
What do people like most about this char:
What do they dislike most about them:
How do they plan to accomplish them:
How will others be effected by this:
How do they react in a crisis:
How do they face problems:
Kind of problems they usually run into:
How they react to new problems:
How they react to change:
Favorite clothing, why:
Least favorite, why:
Where do they live:
Where do they want to live:
Spending habits, why:
What do they do too much of, why:
Most prized possession, why:
People they secretly admire, why:
Person they are most influenced by, why:
Most important person in their life before story starts, why:
How do they spend the week just before the story starts:
Gaia Online- Character Sheet
So, have you ever used character sheets? Do you find them useful? What the best one that you've ever used?