Give your characters hell.
The hell has to be relevant to the situation your characters could face, naturally, otherwise it will be artificial. In a magical world it would be not deemed unreasonable to face a dragon attack but put that situation here on 21st Century Earth... well you get the point!
Generally speaking, characters aren’t meant to have a quiet life in fiction! As a reader I want to know what these characters are capable of doing, what makes them tick and there's nothing like a crisis to bring the best/worst out of someone. In between the crises and the ending, you want to see how the characters normally are so you can see how they change for better or worse. It's the change in situation/character reactions that makes for a gripping read.
You wouldn’t read a quiet book, would you? You are looking for something to happen even if that is something like the dear old lady character on Page 2 Chapter 2 becomes a crazed jumble sale veteran, willing to kill for the latest bargain, by the end of the story. It'd never surprise me if someone somewhere has written that tale! Do you know your characters’ individual stress levels? There’s many a tale to be told showing where characters crack, why and the consequences of that cracking.
Give your characters secrets.
Again these have to be relevant. The secret of being able to produce really good knitting at the drop of a pair of knitting needles will only be relevant when someone's craft skills perhaps puts them in serious rivalry with someone else (and that character acts on that rivalry. Stabbing them to death with a pair of scissors perhaps?!). So ask yourself what secrets do your characters have? Who else knows them? Who could find them out if they suspected anything was up? Corruption exists in any world, why not your fantasy one? Who is the whistle blower? What are the consequences?
Give your characters a mixture of good, bad and irritating traits.
Just as we have a mixture of good traits, bad habits and irritating traits, so should your characters. Eileen is courageous, bends the rules and is as stubborn as they come. How good that is depends on (a) what circumstances she is in and (b) who is on the receiving end of this. The Queen does not approve at all. Eileen is a pain in the neck to her and to Jenny yet when you want someone with grit to tackle the latest magical threat, Eileen is the one to call.
Don't be afraid to cut. Everything that remains in your story must be relevant, else it's out.
I’ve learned to cut more as I’ve written more. You get a better feel for what is relevant and what isn’t. I enjoy the editing process, especially as you sense your story becoming tighter, better and the waffle comes out (and there’s always some!). It is important to let yourself write and then let yourself edit and treat the two as two separate tasks. They are two separate processes. You don’t want your editing side to get in the way of your creative side. And the things you cut might work their way into future stories if good enough. Stick to the point of your story, always. Know what that point is, always.