It’s easy to get anxious to introduce your characters to the world. You’ve created them and made them perfectly flawed and irresistible. It’s time for them to make an appearance. They’re dressed for the occasion and ready to mingle.
That’s all dandy as long as you present them properly. Remember, readers must connect with your characters no matter how sweet, feisty, or villainous they may be. Tell us a bit about them. We don’t need the whole backstory up front – some of it we won’t need at all.
Make us root for your characters. If Ethan is going for a big promotion, tell us why we should root for him instead of someone else in his office. What significant effect will it have on his life other than he won’t get the extra money and new title? Why are amateur sleuths Claire and Quinn trying to solve a murder instead of calling the police and letting them do it?
Even in fiction, there must be a piece of reality. Your characters need goals and motivations, and readers must be able to relate. Without goals and motivations to meet those goals (something more in depth than wanting the promotion just so he/she can have a fancier lifestyle), you have no story.
What are your characters’ goals and motivations?