What I've loved best about our gaming sessions is the way our characters have begun to develop. At first, I wasn't sure what I thought about creating people based on a few rules and the roll of some dice. But as we play, the characteristics I "rolled up"gradually began to coalesce into a real personality. Dolingra (my dwarf cleric character) isn't just a bunch of numbers--she's a genuine goofball and I enjoy playing her. Moreover, the other players seem to have a good sense of her and can even predict what she'll do and say!
Playing the game makes me wonder about the ways I develop my characters in fiction. I'm not the type to draw up a complicated chart about my character's past or her interests. The vast majority of my characters seem to spring out of my mind completely developed--once I find their voice on the page, I don't usually have to think much about their pasts or the likes and dislikes. I just know them. The characters I've worked the hardest to figure out are the characters that usually fail. But now I wonder if perhaps I should have spent more time watching those characters in action and given them time to develop. After all, it worked so well for Dolingra!
What are some tricks you've used to help develop your characters? How do you find your characters' voices? I'm interested in hearing other people's techniques!