One of my own techniques I like to use for creating interesting characters is to map out their 10 closest relationships through life. I like to call the character with all 10 close relationships complete my 2D character and any of the 10 characters I don't plan on doing the same with (going into their 10 closest relationships) my 1D characters. So for example I create a character named Bob, I will write the most 10 important people in Bobs background, usually family members, close friends, father figures, bosses, enemies. So Bob is my 2D character and I will have 10 more 1Ds. Then I'll chose one of the 1D characters and write their 10 relationships. Some of their characters will be the same as Bob and there will also be some new characters but even the same characters will have different relationships because of their different personalities obviously. So the reason I wanted to develop a strategy along these lines is because whilst reading I realised something about my own taste. I prefered it when a character would think back to a scene with someone close to them and show a little more of their relationship piece by piece. Until you sort of get a feel for why this character is who he is and where he has come from. I often feel like the traumatic event is a bit of a cliche and quick fix compared to this. In my opinion finding out how someones father was neglecting them through their childhood through anecdotes and character thoughts is much more satisfying and relatable than "my father beat me half to death". This is a hell of a lot of work though, honestly I'm spending about a month just on character development alone. I'm wondering if the method is really worth it, are there quicker ways and how complex should I make the background relationships really? I sometimes worry that the relationship hasn't taken enough twist and turns in the characters background for it to be complex and realistic enough. The other problem I have is it's awfully hard to figure out their relationships together without ever developing the 1D characters, because I don't know who they are. Writing something like Bob had a bad relationship with his mother feels sort of weird when I don't even really know who Bobs mother is yet.