- Be a joy to write for. Hypocritical characters can be huge fun to write about given they ignore the "rules". That gives their creator a great deal of freedom to drop said characters right in it. Those incidents expand the plot, bring in dramatic tension and so on.
- Be flawed but also have virtues. The writer should have sympathy with their character's flaws and not be annoyed by the virtues. If we can't feel that way about our creations, nobody else will!
- Know their own mind (even it if takes time over the course of the story to get to that point). This all shows the character developing. The most fatal thing for any character is to be static. They will come across as flat and boring as a result.
- Be true to themselves. This applies whether the characters are heroines or villains. Readers should be able to see where the characters are coming from and why they are the way you've portrayed them. They don't have to agree with it though!
- Be able to interact with other characters. Even if this is done badly! That in itself tells you a lot about the character.
The ideal character is one that isn't! I know flawed characters can be a cliche (especially in detective fiction) but there is no such thing as the perfect fictional character. Nor should there be given fiction should reflect life and what humanity can be like. The "ideal" character from a writer's perspective should:-
I'm Allison Symes and write fairytales with bite, especially novels and short stories.