I probably want to make a couple of points about the issue of character; namely, concerning the need on how to pick a good one. I am not a perfectionist whenever it comes to developing the right one; but that does not mean I cannot spot a character when I see one. If I can remember your characters and what they do, who they are, etc. I can promise that the author is destined to make a career out of the books they write. I can think of several reasons why they are good.
The first reason is remember-ability; how well something can be remembered. Arthur Slade has done a fascinating job by creating a character of his monster. Sure, I don’t remember all the details of the other characters, but I definitely remember the villain that terrifies the living daylights out of children (Draugr). The only thing I wished he did do was go into the details of the origins of the creature, just to add the needed spice for the series. I had no troubles reading his book because I knew what I was reading pulled my interests into the series.
The second reason is relate-ability; can I identify with the characters? Sometimes I am amazed how goofy some writers are when they pick characters that do not even fit the mold of what is good. When I began reading Shawna Hill’s novel, I immediately sensed a connection with her book. Not only did I feel encased with the drama, I began to notice her characters were coming out alive with her novel. Oftentimes, I went on to even ask her where she got these inspirations about the characters. Of course, she followed the typical advice by putting wrapping her experiences with the work and that makes perfect sense.
The last and most important of all is plot; do the characters the authors portray have a sense of ambivalence or are they just downright flat? Sometimes I think this is the pivotal point where authors need to establish themselves at the beginning of the plot. If the characters don’t have some type of motif or war that advances the plot-line (e.g. Rex Jameson or Ty Johnson), then the book is not worth a second glance. There are plenty of reasons to see why books can be overwhelmingly difficult when someone attempts to look at the book.
I hope this post will be helpful.