I'm pretty good at creating compelling characters with decent personalities and motivations. I like the comradery vibe, so they're generally already part of a posse of some sort at the beginning of my stories. However, I can only really think of two ways to introduce them to the reader, neither of which is smooth or interesting:
- ... Bob asked Jerry to hand him the lug wrench. He dropped it from his flipper (because he was a walrus).
- ... Jerry turned and looked at Bob, and thought of the time they'd met. Bob had just been a walrus pup then...
(Exaggerated for simplicity's sake.)
How can I smoothly introduce a whole cast of characters & their backgrounds/motivations/etc. within the flow of the story? They've been hanging out with each other for years, so there's no real reason for them to remark on each other's character traits.