If you have a fairly small amount of information about a secondary character, it's fairly easy to extrapolate that and build a "solid enough" presentation. We know, for example, that Dr. Cannon is a doctor. From that, we were able to extrapolate:
Money is no contraint for her, because she makes several hundred thousand a year, and she is the daughter of another prominent surgeon.
And from that, Wes built a character wearing an expensively tailored, elegant suit and expensive but understated jewelry, all of which are appropriate to her socioeconomic status.
Gwen took her in a different direction:
She wears no jewelry, and her shoes are flat and suitable for walking. Her hair is dirty blonde and curly, pulled back in a quick bun. Tendrils are escaping from the front. She has blue eyes with slight darkening beneath them.
Where Wes was thinking about the status benefits of the job, Gwen was thinking about its demands. Flat shoes, efficient hair, and dark shadows under the eyes are some of the things a very busy doctor might be expected to have. This is also appropriate for the character, though the result is a different character.
Green Knight started by rejecting the request to describe the character's clothing, and ended up with a character who herself rejects fashion:
I can't describe Dr. Cannon's clothing - I don't have an idea of her character yet, and I don't know what I want to invoke.... Hm. I guess she took the easy way out and went to whereever women buy upmarket fashion and allowed a personal shopper to dress her. She liked the effect and bought the ensemble - her own wardrobe being out of date, and after six months in a dusty camp without running hot and cold water, she can't be bothered to invest the time it takes to keep up with fashion talk.
Again, by focusing on a slightly different aspect of the few known character details -- Dr. Cannon is not just any doctor, but one who donates her time to MSF -- we end up with a value system for this character that has tangible evidence in the way she dresses.
I also want to point out that Dave noticed a physical attribute unique to surgeons:
Her fingers are quick and clever, fitting for a surgeon.
When we started this series of exercises, I mentioned that there are no wrong answers to any of these questions. Now we start to see why. Each writer has a unique perspective -- voice -- which will lead you to create characters in different ways. Does this character play the same role in all version of the Johnny and Drago lunch meeting? Yes. Is the character identical across the board? No. Nor would we want her to be, because your unique voice (and the unique way that voice creates characters and other story elements) is part of what makes your story special and, ultimately, marketable.
So, your viewpoint -- your voice -- will influence your natural tendencies while building a character.
But here's where things get interesting.
Your other characters' viewpoints can also influence interpretation and extrapolation of secondary characters.
You're creating the secondary character, but that secondary character will be viewed through the prism of point of view. How that prism works depends in part on your pov choices. Who is the pov character in this scene? Johnny or Drago? How intimate is the pov -- do you choose a subjective, deep, intimate form of third person, or do you prefer an objective, external, narratorless omniscient?
During the "Paging Dr. Cannon" part of this exercise, some of you touched on how Dr. Cannon would view the students.
She's easy with Johnny, understands him. She can't help responding to his charm, which he turns on full blast; but she notices that he doesn't reveal much about himself.
~ Green Knight
Johnny seems eager, perhaps over eager, but he's charming enough. Drago seems nervous, which she can sympathize with, but he's also too pushy.
~ Jami G.
They looked worried and that’s exactly how she wanted them to feel.
So you're already primed to deal with the ways these characters see each other. Which leads us to our next exercise.
Take out a blank sheet of paper and divide it in half horizontally and vertically so that it is separated into four quarters. The left half side of the page is for Johnny, and the right is for Drago. The top half is for subjective (deep) pov, and the bottom is for objective (ominiscient) pov.
Here's your mission, should you choose to accept it. First, think about your version of Dr. Cannon, the character as you want her to be. Now, in the upper left quadrant, jot down the aspects of her character that Johnny would notice. These are things that are relevant to Johnny, things that he looks for when evaluating a person. Consider also the unique way he will react to these details, and jot that down too.
Now repeat this for Drago in the upper right quadrant. Are there details which both Johnny and Drago would notice, but would interpret differently?
Now we move to the lower part of the page. In the lower left quadrant, note the things that Johnny would NOT notice because they are NOT relevant to his personal worldview. Are any of these details important for the reader's understanding of the action?
Now repeat this for Drago, lower right quadrant. He'll ignore certain things, too, and these things might be different from the things Johnny ignores.
Sometimes it's difficult to choose the viewpoint character for a particular scene. By understanding how the unique character perspective can shade the interpretation of the scene -- or ways you would be limited by a given perspective -- the choice can be clearer.