More questions to ask:
What is the character’s personality? (For example, you can use the color test)
What are their political leanings?
What’s this characters plot hook? What changes and shakes up their life completely.
Homework Assignment Part 1: Create your own set characters using this same process
Homework Assignment Part 2: Make each of your characters walk through the same scene and notice different things. Ideally, by the end of the scene your reader will know the main aspects of the characters personality simply by virtue of the details they notice (thus avoiding info dumps!).
Note: Bechdel Test – Is there more than one strong woman in this book and do these women talk to each other about things other than men?
Note: It can be easy to over react to political correctness. IE making woman or minority characters super awesome and essentially infallible.
Note: A list of random interests with no connection to the plot quickly becomes easily forgotten.
Note: Once you’ve created the basic groundwork for your character, begin looking for interesting sources of conflict.
Note: Look to fill gaps in your character that will make them less interesting. For example, it’s hard for a 6 year old to be proactive due to his age so be sure to include some personality trait that will help him be more proactive.