Well it's not just my two MCs to be honest but I'll start with THAT problem: My male MC was always going to be written to be a crippled scholar who's quite cowardly. He's got a good heart, and almost always steps in to save lives when he can (even of strangers). Before he becomes crippled, he even refuses to learn how to fight (and this is a fantasy world where a fight could happen at any moment) because the thought of violence or committing it fills him with dread. He would never step up to any violent challenge and wouldn't defend his pride if it meant getting hit. The female MC on the other hand is going to be written to be a capable combatant and eagerly learns to fight. She would never back down from a fight and has a very strong personality compared to the male MC and won't accept a bad word to be said of her. She's ready to put her life on the line change a status quo she's against (the same scenario happens to the male MC but he chooses to run from it instead) and she even goes on a quest to change it. Overall, there's supposed to be a contrast between her bravery and his cowardice. My original plan was to have one story that switched back and forth between each, but after I was done writing the novel, my beta readers (the adults among them, I've yet to hear from the teenager (and there's only three readers total)) told me the characters don't act believably and the side characters are badly designed (I actually agree, I was so concerned with following the plot that I realized too late that ALL the characters were written badly, to write them accurately would require a complete re-write of the story). I've decided instead to write each character to their own story (until their stories converge later on) and to explore each one individually (as it stands I've got two MCs and eight secondary characters. The MCs aren't written well and the secondary characters are all acting in a way that serves the plot rather than following their own individual motivations). My worry here is that if I don't nail the male MC down correctly that the readers may get put off with his cowardly and pacifist ways, is this worry valid? The other issue is that I failed to design my side characters properly.....actually I failed completely at it.