Hi there, I'm Ochre the Hungarian Vizsla and I'm often told that I'm quite a character. Sometimes it's when I'm nibbling grapes off Mum's vine, or piddling on the dead patch in the lawn, but I'm pretty sure they think I'm cute. Anyway, I wanted to give you writers out there a few tips so your characters can be as loveable as moi!
You want your readers to really care about your characters, so they'll keep reading to find out what happens to them. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be likeable, but have aspects readers can identify with. Even unlikeable characters should have an endearing characteristic. Whatever their personality, they must behave consistently according to what you've set up. Never violate what a character would normally do, or what they believe.
Characters need to grow during the story, through overcoming conflicts in a way that makes them worthy of the final challenge. Only when they have hit rock bottom and faced their personal demons (core beliefs, like bones grow at the base of every bush, because that's where I usually find them) can they undergo a revelation and self change to set themselves free.
You also need to be clear about what your characters want (goals, like I'm going to eat one of every coloured sock I find this week) and why (motivation, like I'm pretty sure if my owners can't find matching socks they'll head straight for the supermarket and while they're there will stock up on dog bones). A character's motivation must be strong enough to keep them moving forward, even when the going gets tough.
Finally, make sure you show who your characters through their actions, emotional responses and interactions with other. Ooops, but now we're getting into the realm of show-don't-tell and that's another story. Until next time, keep putting pen to paper, because I can always do with extra paper to put on the floor in the potty corner (hee hee).