Character development is a tricky thing. When considering a character in your new story you must consider that character’s purpose too. Why do you need that character? Even the small side characters have purpose. Some are for comic relief, and some fill a gap missing between other characters. Some are there for the soul purpose of providing an emotional link to other characters.
Always remember that to engage others, you must first engage yourself. Your characters should feel real, they should evoke emotion in you the writer otherwise how could you expect to evoke emotion in the reader. I remember clearly in one of my books during a difficult and sad moment I cried as the words flowed from my mind to my typing fingers. I had to pause often to compose myself only to feel that grief as I began again. I immersed myself in that one moment and could see it unfold within my mind as if I stood upon those cliffs myself.
I always think about my own personal relationships when writing about characters. I think about my friends, sisters, brothers, and children. I think about my husband, and all the things that make our relationship so great. I think about those I have lost in this world, and how they influenced me in my life. Then I build my fictional characters with the same relationship dynamics. This way to me all of them are real, all of them are really a part of me on a personal level.
When I write an argument I pull from the arguments in my life I remember, when I write a funny moment I laugh as if that character was speaking directly to me. Every emotion I bring forward in my fictional story is an emotion I pull from within myself. The old adage, “Write what you know, and know what you write,” Applies to your characters. Know your Characters, Know their struggles, know their happiness, make them real to you and they will feel real to everyone else. You only need to reach within yourself to build exciting and lovable characters!