Well THAT was exciting. I managed to both change my profile pic and add one in a post, all without destroying the computer, locking it up, or somehow burning out my internet connection. Pretty good considering my track record. But enough about my technological hang-ups, onward to what I really wanted to post about...
So, you really made me stop and think, Tink (please ignore my inability to avoid rhyming on occasion) when you said that you loved that my character was named Pony. I hadn't given her name much thought. It's a nickname, her real name is Nelian. To me, she just appeared in my head as Pony, herself. All the characters that I've ever come up with have just popped into my head, largely formed, if not entirely defined. Sometimes, I'll actually wake up from a dream with a new character, or story idea. I've never been one to sit and 'brainstorm' not about developing characters or stories. Now, AFTER I've gotten a story idea in my head, I might sit and iron out details, especially when it comes to any sort of magic system, or how various races relate to each other, or timelines. But as far as my main characters, they've all just 'shown up'.
It's like looking in the foggy bathroom mirror after a shower a lot of the time. I can see the character's shape, a rough of who they are, but their details grow, the more I look at them, their personalities begin to define themselves, their little quirks solidify and eventually, there they stand, staring back at me. I leave them on occasion and come back later to see how they've changed, how they've clarified, if they've gained any new scars from their continuously coagulating histories. It's my favorite process of writing, the growth and development of characters, although I think every aspect is enthralling, if also sometimes vexing. But having a new character form before your eyes is like meeting a new friend, or enemie, as the case may be.
How do YOU find your characters? Do you spend hours brainstorming? Or just wake up knowing them? Do they drive you nuts? Or do you know who they are and where they're headed right from the off?