Before I begin, let me mention what this Characters 101 is in the first place. This is what I'm going to call my ultimate guide for making a successful character for a book, fan fiction, or even drawing. It will have 6 parts: Backstories, Personality, Powers, Relationships
, Effects, and Looks. Now let's get to the good stuff.
I chose to cover someone's backstory first because it effects all of the other topics. Overall, a backstory is someone's history. I'm pretty sure I don't need to define it much more.
The big mistake that people make when making a character is only defining the backstory and nothing else. By doing that, you've given them a story and a body that can't react to the story. For example, if you kill off your character's parents without developing their personality first, they could react in so many different ways. If the character is innocent and virtuous then they will most likely become depressed and bitter about humanity after the event. If you character is evil and lives through the pain of others, however, they will probably become happy about the death. I am aware of the fact that this is a pretty typical example of a backstory, but I feel like that makes the need to define the personality before jumping in to create the backstory. Of course, you can create the backstory first and then base the personality off of the backstory. Now that I've briefly gone over what not to do, let me get into what TO do. The key to a good backstory is that it should be well-researched. For example, if someone was blinded in an accident, you should research what it is like to be blind. An example of a badly-written story with a blind person will go something like this (I'm not focusing on how well written this is, so don't criticize meh.)
The whole world was like a giant dark abyss to Penelope. She felt her way to her school where people laughed at her and bullied her. It's not my fault I was blinded in a car crash, she thought to herself angrily.
First of all, it is extremely rare to go completely blind, let alone from a car crash. It is very hard to get blinded at all on impact. Even something like being poked by something pointy in the car is a stretch just for being blinded normally. 77% of people who get eye injuries fully recover in the first place, so.... If they are blinded in a car crash, they'll probably receive another injury as well. Also, people who do go completely blind will also imagine seeing vivid scenes of gardens and... well, gardens. People are also are generally very nice to blind people, letting them skip lines or offering to guide them from place to place; it is more likely that a blind person will be annoyed by how nice people are to them than being mean to them.
For contrast, here's an example of a well written story with a blind person.
Penelope hated it when the sun went down. Although she considered herself mostly dependent on her cane when it came to knowing where she was going, it turns out she relies on her sight and hearing more than she thought she did. When the sun went down, everything goes completely grey, which is pretty unsettling for Penelope because her hearing was never the best in the first place. Why do I, of all people, have a cataract, anyways? she thought.
First of all, a cataract is a more plausible way to go blind, as it is the #1 reason people do. In a nutshell, cataract occurs when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. Also, when something goes dark, everything normally looks like a grey wall (black if it's dark enough.) You've probably seen blind people walk around touching the cane to everything, and that's what the cane in the second line of the little story is referring to.
I hope you found this at least a bit helpful. You better be thankful for making me research what it's like to be blind and live in an orphanage, even though the orphanage thing didn't end up going into this entry anyway. Have a good day, and keep writing!