almost every chinese character was created from a primitive picture for things in reality. try to image the meaning of the character as a painting figure in ur mind and connect this figure to the character's features. i dare not say it's the best way of mastering chinese characters for i was born with them, but i can tell it's an effective and available way to learn. if u get chance u may buy a book written by a swedish professer Cecilia Lindqvist to help. it tells characters' origin and stories. sorry to say i can not remember the name of the book exactly.