How do we know when our characters are "instant" or "cooked?" The proof of the character is in the strong emotional connection. During critique group meetings, various characters stirred the following reactions:
1) A little boy - the reader begged me not to allow him to die.
2) A secondary character - the reader expressed how much she liked him. (He became a main character in Book 2 because of that comment.)
3) A husband and wife - two interesting, but different opinions. A) "Ozzie & Harriet, not enough conflict." B) You must have had a beautiful marriage.
What kind of feedback have you received on your characters? Do they elicit strong emotional responses? How about your villains?