In my grandiose plan, I was going to write a character exercise or two and post them. But why invent a wheel, when I can mine the interwebs for already working wheels?
Below are links to help create characters quickly as you don’t have months to spend with them prior to writing them.
Melissa Donovan’s Fiction Writing Exercises For Creating Characters
Wendig mentioned this idea, but another way to get to know your character is by whatever social media they’d use. Would they be more into Instagram or Tumblr? Internet famous on YouTube or Vimeo? Connecting with friends on Facebook or stalking celebrities on Twitter? This is especially useful if you have multiple characters in figuring out how they connect and communicate with each other and the world. How do they fill out their profiles? Do they frequently vaguebook or subtweet? How do they use hashtags? Do they write on others’ walls or do they post something to their own wall and tag their friends? How often do they post pictures? What do they post pictures of? How often do they reblog or retweet things? How many friends/followers/connections do they have? How many do they feel close to? Each social network fits different personalities better, I’ll leave up to you how you categorize each network. Even if your character isn’t from this time period, it’s a quick exercise to jump into your character’s head by filling out their profile and thinking of how’d they’d use the service.