One technique that I recently learned is to answer questions about your character as if they were being interviewed. To really get into our character’s psyche, try answering these questions in first person, in your character’s voice. Write it out, and be sure to use your character’s speech pattern, mannerisms, everything. How would your character respond if someone in the story were asking them these questions?
Some of these questions would be most applicable to a human character in modern day, but I’ve tried to make some of them general enough to apply to fantasy/historical/sci-fi, etc.
So your character sits down to answer these interview questions. What does he or she say?
What’s your favorite band?
Who’s your favorite athlete or favorite sports team?
Do you have a Facebook or Twitter account? Why or why not?
What makes you laugh?
Are you right-handed or a lefty?
What’s your favorite hobby?
Do you have a nickname? Are you proud of it or embarrassed by it?
Have you ever killed anyone?
How many countries have you been to?
If you could permanently change one thing about your physical appearance, what would it be?
Feel free to share some answers or dialogue exchanges! What are some other interview questions that could help with character development?