While we are working on character, I think it is important to point out that places and things have character too.
Yesterday, I was on assignment covering all the “dive bars” in the North Center Coast area. It seems they proliferate where the sea touches the sand. Each bar had a very distinct look and feel, otherwise known as its character. All had the requisite torn up bar stools and ancient bar flies dressed in spandex and blue eye shadow (whom all seem to gravitate to my husband as he is a definite Skank Magnet) but beyond the obvious, they all had clear characteristics that made them stand out.
Next exercise; describe a bar that you have stumbled into while on a road trip. This is a place you stopped for a soda and a pee. Point out the décor, atmosphere, employees and items that made it unique. 500 words people- get a move on!
As always, send it to me if you want me to remark on your writing.