Establish moral stakes.

Given a universal hope for what is high and right, so many characters in fiction so often have their eyes fixed directly in front of them—as if the current plot complications are all that matter. While there is nothing wrong with giving plot problems greater meaning—indeed, raising personal stakes develops just that—equally important is a story’s moral stakes. Nothing builds reader involvement more surely than a character whose moral struggle pervades the tale. When readers hope, beg, and plead with you to let a character turn toward the light, you have readers where you want them. A character who is good is good; a character whom we want to be good is even better.