As a diehard pantser, plotting is killing me. Like, I've been trying to nail down my characters, some plot, really anything that isn't world building (which comes surprisingly easy to me... not sure why), but it just hasn't happened. I've changed one MC's name three times, I've modified the other MC's name a little, and I've figured out bare bones basics about them, like what socioeconomic level they are. (One is the Pharaoh and the other is dirt poor, but that stuff came with the initial story idea lol.)
Honestly, I hate trying to figure out every little nugget about my characters before ever setting out to write the novel. I tried that with my first MS and I ended up scrapping everything but a couple concepts to start over damn near from scratch. That said, I haven't got much on character building, but what I do have is invaluable. (To me, anyway.)
I cannot recommend enough Chuck Wendig's Zero-Fuckery Quick-Create Guide to Kick-Ass Characters. This sucker is what got me to the finish line of my first MS AND got me to understand my characters in said MS on a much deeper level than I had before. Fair warning before clicking that link, though: If you're not familiar with Chuck's blog, he deserves a medal for most creative use of cursing & NSFW language. I say "fuck" a lot. He takes it to a whole new level.
Adding on to that, there are some things that I like to know beyond what Chuck's guide asks for. Specifically, I add in things like body type (curvy? athletic? thin?), height (who physically looks up and who looks down in conversation?), basic hair and skin stuff (wavy/curly/straight/blonde/black/bright purple pixie cut hair? Smooth/callused/wind-blown/sunburned/acne-riddled skin?), and posture (confident? demure? completely disinterested?).
Once that's all done, I sink my teeth into my story and let all the other, more inane details flow since, like Chuck says, "characters are not a fast soup — they’re a long-bubbling broth developing flavors the longer you think about them and, more importantly, the more you write about them."
Praise be to you, Chuck. (What? No I am not on my knees worshipping his article omg stop spreading lies.)
Next week (the last week omg I'm TERRIFIED): Plotting! Some more! But, like, the plot! Ack! *runs away screaming*