Character development is essential to all stories, but perhaps even more important in a short story. In a short story, there is no time to gradually unfold the character through successive events; usually a character in a short story will be immediately placed into a situation where their true nature will be revealed very quickly. A good, solid, believable character will, when stripped raw by the events of the story, hold up as a unique individual worth reading about. A weak character will rapidly degenerate into a caricature, acting out stereotyped behaviors. The key to creating a strong character that can carry all the intensity of a short story on his or her shoulders is an intensive character development exercise. Most of the information you develop in the exercise below will not appear in the story, but it will be the foundation that you build on as you're writing, and it will show through in the character.
Skimping on character development is one of the worst mistakes an author can make. I strongly suggest you complete all the sections below.
PHYSICAL / GENERAL:
Height / Weight:
Style: (general way of dressing)
Accessories: (watch, glasses, shoes, etc)
Important Possessions: (i.e. ring given by mother; something unique to character)
Physical: (healthy? athletic? broken leg?)
HISTORY / FAMILY
Character development tips are offered.