I just finished reading Swedish writer Stieg Larsson's novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was a great read and a definite page-turner. But the one thing that really captured me was the main character.
Her name is Lisbeth Solander and she is so unique, you can't help but wonder what makes her tick. She's a skinny 24-year-old computer hacker, with tattoos and piercings, a penchant for doing what needs to be done (even if it's illegal) and a loner. She comes to life on the page. Larsson does an incredible job of creating her, of making her real, yet still manages to keep some of her secrets that really are the backbone of who she is. It's a fascinating technique. As a reader, you really want to know what those secrets are - it makes her all the more intriguing. But Larsson doesn't tell you.
Of course, since there are two more books in the series, I imagine that some of these secrets will be revealed. But it doesn't detract from the power of her character in the first book.
What makes a great character for you in a novel? How do you try and translate this to your own work?