Creating a character is tricky . . . sometimes. When I doodle, a character might emerge that seems to have more appeal than other sketches . . . and that could inspire a story for said character. But it sometimes goes the other way around, where the story is created first -- then the characters have to be fleshed out. I find this to be the most difficult process because I'm searching for the right fit. Never satisfied until the correct character is created. I've some stories with "missing" characters . . . some being decades old. This character in particular simply appeared as I doodled one night.
I've written my wintry story of Whazzit about 2-3 years ago. It's been re-written over a dozen times and I'm close to what I feel is the final manuscript. In the story, the sister is a tween and is her baby brother is slightly older than a toddler. My main problem with her character's look was that I wanted a smart and mature yet playful girl, full of curiosity and wonder -- but everything I drew seemed silly, too old and goofy looking. Nothing seemed to fit the character I needed.
I find when I'm cornered with no idea where to go . . . the best solution is to walk away and let the project sit. There always something else to do. I didn't think of the story for several months and then in a moment of reflection, I started to doodle the image seen above. Half way through sketching, I knew this was the sister character, Charli, for my picture book story.
It can't be explained, but there are simply times when things all seems to fit.