So many of us know the importance of finding that perfect main character. The one we take time to mold, describing in detail their clothing, eyes, body type, the foods they like to eat. As a reader not all of this will matter but to a writer every little piece of this persons life must fit like a glove. They don't need to know that your character hates corn however it might have extreme relevance to why she freaks when she is kidnapped and taken into corn fields. Yes the kidnapping itself is horrifying but then to be trapped around corn! What insanity?!
Of course that was a terrible example, but you can see now why knowing your character is very important. I'm always curious to find out how a fellow writer has come to find their character. When writing the story to you just chose a male or female and run with it? As you're writing the novel does she/he just evolve and later you go back and work in the little details?
I normally allow my characters time to mold. I start off with the basics, eye color, hair color and build. I write as me and work into their personality. I have a ton of rewrites when the novel is complete but I want to really get to know my character. E. Elle does something I love on her blog, she writes from her characters perspective as an excersize. It's a wonderful read and it helps her get in touch with her characters. I have recently given it a go and I love it. It really helps me get to know them, their good side, evil sides, every aspect of them.
So how do you find your character? Is it a celebrity you choose? Do you use a nearby friend to gather up all the details? Or just a stranger in the park? Are you a molder where you work on the character while you write, or are they already set up?
I'll tell you quickly that my main character wasn't molded completely until one morning the hubs and I went to Habitat for Humanity to paint houses for the local community. I spotted this red hair, average looking and perfect for my story. It was then I realized she was my main character. You can find them in the strangest places!