One of the biggest things I’ve done to develop my setting and characters is answer questions. Normally I’ll sit down with my cowriter and a cup of hot chocolate for a long conversation, but (a) not everyone has a cowriter, and (b) how often can you spend seven hours at a time talking about the book*? This is where my manila folders come in handy.
I have fifteenish folders for my current WIP, each labled with the character or setting it describes. Inside, I have compiled the Pins that match the best and several questionaires to fill out whenever I have inspiration. For my settings, I have drawn maps on the inside, for characters I’ll write backstory and magical abilities. If I’m bored, the first thing I’ll go to is these folders, and thanks to that I have a fairly good idea of who/what everyone/thing is.
Here are some of the questions I’ll use! I’ll try to update them when I find more,
*Yes, seven hours is right. Four to seven, normally.