Good article, Brian! I think character is something I've always struggled with in fiction writing. But some time in college I started to understand that if a character can evoke strong emotions out of you, they're a good character -- look at almost a universally hated character in Cersei Lannister. I think she's one of the best TV characters of all time.
Anyways, I've been following the motto of read, watch, write, repeat, and it's great! Nowhere in there does it advocate as much stat-checking as I used to do so thank you!