So far I have three main characters in this manuscript. I had to change the names of the protagonist and her kid brother to better represent their backgrounds. It's important to never be "married" to anything while writing a novel. Not even character names that you love. So, I kept her name by giving it to an eleven year old secondary character. Simple.
There are four more characters who are in the story with minor roles. One needs a full name which I will have shortly. Two others only need last names. It's funny when I write and don't have their names yet. For example, I type "BROTHERSNAME" when I name the brother in the story. Then, I go back and make a list of all the names that I need to create. I've done this for towns and cities as well. I didn't know how else to do it because I wanted to keep the writing flow going.
Writing character backgrounds are just as much fun as writing the novel itself. Even though most of it will never be put on the page. It helps me understand my characters, by giving me preconceived reactions and behaviours, to certain situations. Learning about character archetypes has helped with this because there are already set personality types to work with. I also have to create relationships with other characters as part of their back stories so that I know the individual motivations for each one. It's fairly in depth work that doesn't count towards your manuscript word total but you have to do it.
Creating flaws should be straightforward for my villain, but I have to come up with a few more for my protagonist, as well as the supporting characters. They're certainly not perfect. Each character needs a complete story so that it either relates to the others or conflicts with them somehow. They all have an agenda of their own. Just like in real life! I guess when I do that properly, the characters will come to life and jump off the page. Well, I hope that I can make them believable at best and that my readers will find a place in their heart to care about them.