Image from Giphy.com. Shot of Akira Kurusu from Persona 5.
Give Them a Unique Aspect and Then Compliment It with an Unexpected Aspect
This is the fun part.
Think of a unique aspect that helps define your character. Once you have done that, think of a character aspect or trait that is rarely used with the first aspect. Think about how those two would mix, both with each other, and with your previously defined traits, and your character will begin to become tangible.
This is difficult to explain without examples, so here are a few from the top of my head, split by a colon to emphasize the technique:
- An accurate fortune teller : who enjoys lying
- A hippie : that is not a tree-hugger
- A toy enthusiast : who is allergic to plastic
- A superhero : who doesn’t know that he’s a superhero
- A priest : who fences
- A legendary deputy : who consistently forgets his own name.
- A tree : that is not vegetarian
Considering that character aspects are virtually infinite, an unusual combination usually is not that difficult to state. The real magic comes from your mind deciding what that aspect really means. A non-vegetarian tree can mean a carnivorous tree, or just that the tree doesn’t have a preference.
For more detail, add a third aspect, or a fourth:
- A master cook : who is deaf : dumb : and blind
- A dog : that is a skeleton : that loves chewing on bones
As a final tip: Be sure to add aspects to your characters overtime as they evolve, and feel free to retire aspects your character has grown out of.