On beginnings from Carrie Ryan of Magical Words discusses how to balance an inciting incident with an introduction to your characters at the start of your story.
Don't Make Your Character a Victim from Writerly Life suggests that however many hardships are thrown at your protagonist, they should never be a victim.
In Mojo, Steven Pressfield discusses the acquiring of this magical element through commitment to our writing (amongst other things).
Get Your Butt In A Chair And Write is an interview with author Jonathan Maberry on the Galleycat site.
Finding Characters Wherever You Look is written by Misty Massey on the Magical Words site. This is a piece of advice I faithfully adhere to, people watching to find characters.