On the ‘Legends of Windemere’ blog, Charles Yallowitz published an interesting view on character bios. Thanks a lot for this post, Charles!
I can already hear at least once pantser preparing to explain why they don’t do this. If it helps, person with fingers at the ready, you’re right. Character biographies don’t work for everyone. They aren’t even universal because everyone has their own way of doing them because every author has different needs. Some even change from story to story or as our own skills grow. I know that I’ve been all over the map as you’re about to see.
Character bios are where I started since tabletop games were my first inspiration alongside fantasy books. This resulted in my originals being more about numbers stats and basics instead of depth. I had hair, eyes, height, weight, skin, and physical attributes with very little variety. I couldn’t tell you what the real difference between a 4 and 5 in strength really was. A 1-5 ranking was probably a dumb choice.