My new character is a girl, about 6, with dark hair and eyes, long braids, and just a little on the stocky side.
She has a hat covered with souvenir pins, a few from her adventures and more from her hiking grandma. She wears a couple of friendship bracelets, and has a keychain or two hanging from her backpack zippers.
When I “invent” a character, I use elements of memory and imagination, then try to bring those into the real world of contemporary childhood.
Some aspects of childhood remain constant through history but every era adds its own overlay of style and technology. My struggle today is to create a character who is both timeless and today.