I don't normally repost stuff, but Tavi Gavenson is absolutely brilliant. She's only 15 or 16 and started an online magazine that's supposedly geared toward teen girls but has wisdom that EVERYONE should share. I can't recommend it highly enough. rookiemag.com
Below is Tavi, doing a TED talk about what really makes a strong character, female or male, and about the contradictions we face while growing. Really smart and poignant.
One point that really stuck is that a good character (or any person, really) may not be immediately likable, but will eventually be relatable. That was kind of an epiphany, obvious as it is, but in the entertainment field this kind of nuance is often tossed aside in order to sell a product people will buy.