I am lucky in that I live with four wonderful creative beings who help me create characters. My girls and my dogs are a never-ending source of material. They each have personality traits that are fantastic. I even keep note books to jot things down. To create a complete character you need lots of different traits.
For example Chewie is new to our family. He is developing his own little character, but I see elements of Obi and Stitch in him. I like to find similarities between characters. This might be why they get along or in the case of a sibling relationship why they fight. Differences in personality are sometimes more important. If you have two characters in mind you can list and compare. That’s an interesting exercise.
Characters can be developed from the setting or the story can evolve from a character. I like to create characters no matter what story I have in mind. That way a new adventure can grow or this character can change one of your other stories. My advice is keep everything. You never know when you will use it. Write every little detail even if it seems insignificant. These little factors will be what sets your character apart from the others. For example Obi (my old lab) was a special character himself. What set him apart from other dogs was his amazing self-confidence. He honestly, but never arrogantly believe all was right in the world as long as he was around. There certainly is a big hole now he is gone. Still his memories live on and the world is a better place for having had him in it! When I write Obi’s stories I always focus on his self belief. He was also set apart because unlike other dog characters who do human things he did dog things, but I guess for human reasons. It’s a small distinction, but one that I think really makes my Obi series!
So go ahead, create a cool character and see where they take you! As always have fun!