- They must be believable so there must be flaws in amongst the virtues. Flaws and virtues should be things anyone can identify with.
- They must have depth. Shallow characters aren't going to "carry" a story. The latter could appear as "bit" players though.
- Their motivations must make sense and be strong enough. A general dislike of villainy is not enough to make a character want to take on the local Dark Lord. There must be something personal at stake.
- Readers should be able to like/dislike the character well enough to root for them/rejoice when they are killed or face whatever nasty fate you've invented for them. I've never liked Miss Price, the heroine of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, because as a character she is far too passive. Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice is another matter altogether.
- They live on in the memory long after the story has ended.
I mean good as in terms of well thought out. What follows equally applies to villains! So what makes up a good character? What traits should they have?
I'm Allison Symes and I write novels, short stories as well as some scripts and poems. I love setting my work in my magical world, the Fairy Kingdom, and my favourite character is Eileen, who believes hypocrisy is something that happens to other people without caring that statement is hypocritical in itself! Eileen is huge fun to write for and about.