Here’s a great tip that I thought about and it really goes towards the upper genres of children’s writing. *gasp* BUT it can go towards my genre too.
Get to know your characters, not just your main character (mc). By getting to know your character, you can go into more depth. Which really pays off when you get into the older genres. But still by starting to ask questions of your character you’ll begin to understand why they act the way the do. Or how they think. Or what motivates them/discourages them.
Start by asking simple questions:
How old are they?
Do they have any siblings?
What do they like to do for fun?
What kind of home do they live in?
Of course when you go into the older genres the characters will go into more depth and more challenging questions can be asked.
By doing this simple drill you begin to make a more rounded character that acts, talks, thinks their own way. Hmm, kind of like us humans, huh. THIS makes readers get more into a book, or get more out of a book, however you want to look at it. This helps make up the characters that last a life time and really connect.
Come up with your own questions too. You can broaden them or narrow them down.