3 Begin broad, then refine
Use initial rough shape sketches to try a variety of different directions, rather than variations on the same direction. For the Fable Legends Celeste character shown here, I explored a variety of ideas to see what the team would respond to, including Valkyrie-styled characters, body type variations, staff variations, slightly more magical influence and eastern influences.
Essentially, you’re raising questions visually. Team feedback from sketches like these will hopefully create debate, and you’ll soon get a strong idea of the direction required for your next design stage. Remember that people don’t always know what they want until they see it, so it’s good to have a lot of scope in your visualisations.