One way that I like to develop characters, it goes without saying, is to provide elliptic or detailed descriptions of their surroundings or the scene. Describing gestures, too, is of obvious importance.
USING DIALOGUE TO BUILD CHARACTER
USING SETTING TO BUILD CHARACTER
1. Use a dominant feature of a character to introduce him. In rhetoric, this is called metonym. A scene that opens with a cane leaning against the wall close the front door infers something about who lives there or who has visited or who used to live there. Check out this video, 10 Things Character Entrances Can Teach You About Narrative
2. Great “Character Flaw” chart, paired by opposites.
3. From a member of a forum I subscribe to (February 3, 2017):
Bulletproof protagonists/antagonists are boring and predictable.
2. Fear of (heights, water, fire, open spaces….)
3. Secret. (e.g. indiscretion or failure/crime/betrayal in past).
4. Blindspot/assumption (e.g. a priest would never…)
5. Weakness/predilection (e.g. red-headed bombshells)
6. Addiction (drugs, gambling, etc.)
8. Inability (e.g., computer-illiterate).
9. Belief in/devotion to…
10. Irresistible attraction to/passion for…
11. Love of…(family, children, alma mater, etc.)
Vulnerabilities. I’m sure you can come up with more. What’s important is that the adversary on the other side of the equation (whether protagonist or antagonist) can discover their nemesis’ weakness and exploit it to manipulate them to their advantage.
If someone knew everything about YOU, they would have a very good chance of maneuvering you into a compromised position, blocking some action that you had in mind, etc.
12. Some more archetypes.