We’ve been looking at character and back-story at West Dean College. Here some ideas which could be useful. Some are probably familiar – but others may help.
Interrogation – get a writing friend to quiz you, go all Mastermind and make sure know them better than a Wikipedia entry!
Musical mindset – is your character a Beethoven sonata in a plainchant world? Bebop or folk?
Headspace – if you could map the phrenology of your character, what would each bump mean? What symbols would you use?
Try out some textures – what do they feel like? Chamois leather, birchbark, sea glass. In different moods -cork, or slate or thistledown?
Cultural refs – is your central character a Renaissance Prince in a Revenger’s Tragedy? (Greg Mosse about Hamlet) A Goth in Cranford or Boadicea in Disneyland?
Gallery – a Caspar David Friedrich surrounded by Gainsboroughs, a David Hockney among Vermeers?