Big topic, I know. But I have so many links and goodies, I'm busting at the seams. So let's get to it!
First off, if you want to build good characters, you HAVE to read everything you can from the blog Plot to Punctuation. This blog has a number of series on character development, all of which are worth reading all the way through. But, here are my favorites:
How to Revise Your Character's Attitudes: consider complexity and consistency when creating your character's beliefs and attitudes. Includes a few methods and techniques for getting to know your characters and why they behave/believe the way they do.
Great Characters are Like Origami: A step-by-step on how to create believable, authentic characters from the ground up.
The Five Stages of Grief: The latest series on this blog. Fiction is all about having your character's world come crashing down. So, how should your character react to crises? These posts have the answer.
How to Revise Your Character's Mannerisms: this is something I struggle with. We all have our own ways of moving, our habits, our ticks, our quirks. Here's how to make your characters' mannerisms consistent and believable.
Why You Sholud Steal Your Character's Shoes: Why heroic, perfect characters are boring, and how to fix it.
Whew! That's probably enough for today. (A BIG thanks to P2P editor!)