I try and distinguish my characters by how they speak, I don't give a laundry list of physical features. A character has to have traits that a reader can relate to, like they sleep in late, spill coffee all over themselves, talk with their hands and knock things flying, stuff like that. Senses are important too, their smells, their mannerisms, what they hear and how they hear it.
good description, details about his/her feelings
relationship with others and life
I don't really know where my characters come from. Sometimes they're inspired by other works, I suppose. Their personalities seem to take off on their own though. So I guess that's my answer. As long as they have their own personality, they're real enough to me, and thus, believable. Like they could be an actual person, somewhere, in some universe.
You need to know your character for it to be believable. All the likes, the dislikes, the little pet peeves. It has to be consistent, you can't have her/him like broccoli one day and hate it the next. I create mine by modeling them after people i know, a little bit. They all have a little bit of me, too. First, I create the background, then the story. Without a background, your character is flat. I get to know my character.
That they are alive and believable! They have "walked the walk" and "talked the talk"
In order for a character to be believable, he or she must be someone with whom the readers can relate.
I have not had to create characters because I really haven't written any fiction. The people in my poems and songs are real. Most of my songs have been about my own experiences and relationships.
Faults and failings and honesty. This is crazy hard to do, but that's what I want/ hope to happen. I don't want my character to say the right thing, I want them to say the real thing--what someone would say in that given scenario. It's what I try to do with all my writing--even if it makes me look bad or wrong--to admit to the inner workings of my mind and heart. This summer I was at a pool surrounded by lovely women in their bathing suits. This one Goddess walked in, six feet tall, bronze all over, tiny black bikini and perfect hair, nails, and face and she was the one I compared myself too. Not the other mothers in my same situation, nope, this impossibly perfect, nearly naked Aphrodite. I admitted to my sister and she was horrified (and disgusted with me) and told me I was sick. But the truth is, I think most of the women, by the glances they were shooting her (killing glances) and the humphs and whispers, they were doing the same thing. It's wrong, it's sick, but it's the truth and that's what I want my characters to be like--a mirror into the raw, nitty, nasty, flawed beauty inside each of us.
I will be honest and say I don't know that I can answer this question right now. I have not done any fiction work to this point and the book I am currently working on is my own life story. I guess I just have to tell the truth and use life experience that I have gained to make myself believable. That seems to be the general concept as I grasp it.
Some kind of fallibility, or weakness they must rise above; sometimes I might think about a character for years before I incorporate them into a story. I ask myself questions about them, in my head and I answer them, once again, writing is very much like acting, you have to understand the characters' motivations and actions so the story will begin to form.
Good & honest
In order for a character to be believable they have to be relatable. You can only create a character like this with personal experience, or observation of your surroundings.
Well, a character should have the right feelings in a certain situation..I guess. I create my characters that are relative to the personality I'm drawing on to them. I usually make them as though they were humans doing and thinking under specific circumstances under a plot.
I don't really create characters per se, since I am a critic and poet. I find that in evaluating the believability of a character -- which is not the highest criterion -- that dialogue is the best guide.
By making it think.
Start out by making a list of what the character looks like, acts like, and what qualities does that character posess. This way, you make the character seem more life like than rather just adding him or her to your story.