Ever read a really good book and feel reluctant to say goodbye to the characters in the story? Ahh, that's good characterization.
And it's no different for many of us writers who have developed our characters...their personalities, their appearance, even their friends and family. We place a lot of time and energy into breathing life into our heroine, hero, and secondary characters, so it's not uncommon (and perfectly normal) to have some reluctance setting out to create totally new ones for the next story.
Some Helpful Tips I've Learned For Creating Characters:
Photos. There are times some of us writers take features from photos of striking men and women found in magazines. It can't hurt to have a bulletin board of clippings of handsome men and attractive women to gain a more accurate creation/description of the character.
The Celebrity Magazines - bring us the latest news on actresses, actors, and entertainers, but they also bring us a variety of different facial features and body shapes, as well as interesting clothing for our characters to wear.
Travel magazines - perfect for descriptions of places we haven't been to but want to include in our stories. Or, of course, the Internet, which can take us to Tahiti or the slums in a matter of seconds with lots of photos. Save the ones that appeal to you most on a file in the computer for future reference.
Practice makes perfect. Never a bad idea to write short descriptions of the people we see in our immediate surroundings, as well as those places we look up online or in a magazine. Good for an exercise now and then. It helps us not to use the same word too many times in our descriptions. for instance..."John has the deepest brown eyes I'd ever seen." How many ways can we describe his brown eyes without always using the word 'brown?" Chocolate. Sienna. Chestnut. Bronze. Coffee. And not to overlook our reliable Thesaurus for help in this area too.
Last but not least....it's a good idea to make the main characters likeable. Editors want to like them, and readers want to like them.