Let's face it. We writers spend more time with fictional people than real ones. They become real. Friends. In our minds they are living, breathing people with actual flaws, or at least they should have flaws because no one is perfect. Even Edward Cullen has creepy stalkerish tendencies.
So my question is how do you as a writer come up with your character traits? Where do you draw the most inspiration? Is it while watching a television show? Where you see the people weekly and learn traits that you love and kind of use that as a spring board or maybe you've made a character based on an actual person you know.
Music helps me a lot. Sometimes the lyrics of a song will call out to me and will let me inside someone else's head for a little while--gives me ideas on how my character may feel about a particular thing. Internal thoughts and feelings is, what I think, a building block to creating external characteristics. So I build a playlist. They tend to be a dark songs because my stories are not all puppies and rainbows.
I also read. A LOT. Reading is studying. When you find a book you like, study the characters. What makes you love them? Take that information and figure out how develop your a character people will love and want to read about.
Anyone else want to share about their character development process?
Reading, Writing and Waiting