One has only to think of someone like Dickens to bring vivid characters to mind. I am sure we have all read fairly good stories marred by boring/uninteresting people weaving their bland ways through a tale.
Do make your characters count. Look to your past…Doubtless, you will have met some unusual, noteworthy people in your time. I have been extraordinarily lucky to have had a varied career – often working part-time as an assistant or secretary in various companies. An early favourite, who easily ‘lent’ his personality for later – grateful – use, was a Mr. Sapte or was it Mr. Wilde? – head of a well established company of solicitors in the City of London. I think it was the former…anyway, he was a dead ringer for a comic strip character in a newspaper called ‘Bristow’ – pinstripe trousered with a bald pate. ‘Vertically challenged,’ Mr Sapte was the kindest employee, and when standing, would rock back and forth (to elevate himself?) and often sucked on an unlit pipe. His male secretary (I was a junior) is memorable for reminding me of a small, scrawny-necked vulture, with ‘bum-fluff’ on his chin and a moustache which resembled a light frothing of milk…Very much in Uriah Heap mode, he fawned and gushed over his superior in nauseating fashion, and several times fell over in his speed to open doors for our boss! He was horribly rude to me (an underling) and I have never forgotten him. It’s really quite an honour in a way to have free rein to write, more or less, what one likes. Three cheers for living in the western world. Imagine living somewhere like Russia, India, Pakistan, et al AND being a woman writer!
So, writers, look to your past for inspiration, or look to your imagination, and dish up some memorable characters.