Get yourself a bulletin board or an empty wall. Break out the red yarn and the tacks. You're going to stalk your main character. Using this method, you can write a whole book with just a character. I'm a visual person, and this is perfect for anyone of the same mind.
It works like a concept map. In the center of your board or wall, put your character's name and--if you have it--a picture of them. From here, wrap a string around the pin holding the name and stretch it over to a new section of the wall. More and more strings will span out from the central point and each branch will connect to an aspect of your MC.
Some different branches you could include are:
- physical characteristics (if you don't have a picture as a reference)
- pocket/purse contents (This is one of my favorites because it tells you what they can't go a day without.)
- occupation (job or school, etc.)
- most traumatic experience to date
This next set can lead into plotting if you branch from each one thoroughly, but the basics will be enough to further define your character:
- home and previous homes (where it is and what it looks/feels like)
- family members (Branch from each of these to details about them and their relationship with the MC.)
- friends (Branch from each of these in the same way you do with the family members; include how they met the MC.)
- enemy/villain/nemesis (This might be an actual person or some physical or mental challenge that is impeding your MC; think of it as the impetus of your plot.)
Obviously, add anything else you need to define your character.
You can draw out a timeline and map your whole novel using this method, stalking your MC through a specific timeframe. You can use stalking to get into the heads of your villain and secondary characters. Your walls will be covered and you probably won't want to have company over until you're done writing, but understanding these other players as their own protagonists will make your characters shine.
Try it and post some pictures! Happy stalking!