Before you start a new writing piece, how much time do you spend on creating your characters? I've started writing some short stories and I'm starting to feel like my characters are very bland. I spent a lot of time on the action/events taking place only to realize that I could barely describe the characters themselves. So what I started doing was taking some extra time to develop the characters as much as I do for the plot. I'll note some of their habits, quirks, favourite foods, personal weaknesses, motives etc. I'd really like my characters to come to life so I even create elaborate backstories for them even though they might play a very minor part in the actual story (or if their backstory isn't even relevant to the plot in the case of main characters). Especially since these are short stories I'm starting to think this might be overkill, but in general where do you draw the line?