So you’ve just introduced a new character. Is he or she (or it) someone important to the story?

As well as all the usual stuff (such as giving your character a name) your character needs a past.

Here’s an exercise: Take the very moment you introduced your new character in the novel and write that scene from their point of view. What’s your new characters first impression of your main character? How do they feel, how do they think?

Here’s another Activity: Now take a moment from your new characters past and write it down from their specific point of view. Need inspiration? A year ago in your new characters life – what were they doing? A situation between your new character and their parents or best friend – is your new character moral and mature or young and devious?

Why? Each character in your novel is important, they need to create a part of the story and they need to be unique in some way from the other characters you’re working on.

That and when you need to jog your memory about details in your characters life it helps to have notes.