This year I've tried a new method of creating characters and keeping track of characters I've come up with
Some of my characters pop into my head complete with a story to tell, but others just appear without anything interesting to say, although they seem like they might have potential.
My method for keeping track of them used to be to write down everything I knew about them in a word file on the computer, along with a picture if I could find one that seemed right (I do worry sometimes about what people would make of some of my internet searches, like 'teenage boys' or 'girl on the beach'). The problem with that method was that it wasn't very easy to flip through to get ideas. A lot of these character ideas don't have names, so they'd be filed under 'blond athlete' or 'grumpy housewife', so if I was looking for a particular character then the system might work, but it wasn't so good for just browsing to get ideas for a story.
This year I decided to start a diary where I would do some freewriting every day. That's now turned into a character diary, where I jot down ideas about a new character every day. If I want to find a picture to go with an idea then I print it out and stick it in, and it's a lot easier to pick up a book and flick through the pages than to open dozens of word files. I can take the diary with me as well because it fits in my handbag, so if I get an idea on the bus I can jot it down.
Pic to follow...