Characters are fundamental to a story and may be classified as ‘good’, ‘bad’ or ‘neutral’.
A ‘good’ character does what is right or tries to. A ‘bad’ character causes the needed conflict in the story usually because of their selfishness. A ‘neutral’ character is often a combination of the two and readily changes depending on the circumstances.
The dishonest, morally corrupt, manipulators, and the indifferent, are just as important to the story as are the fair, compassionate, protectors and supporters.
The writer cannot create characters to be solely perfect, villainous, or stagnant because that is not realistic. Each character must have a range of emotions, thoughts and reactions.
By placing characters in bad situations, the writer allows the reader to discover how the characters will react. Will they be cowardly or brave? Will they be selfish or do what’s right?
A writer needs to ‘get inside’ the head of each character in order to understand their motives and perceptions of events because they will all think and react differently.
Remember, one person’s molehill is another’s mountain.