I blogged about this on another blog but it's to me one of the most important things a writer should think about. How do you show your character to the reader in the initial meeting. I've been reading for contests and other things a lot lately and one thing I've seen is how I first meet the main characters of a story.
Yes, characters need to grow during the stories but give your readers a hint that there is a chance for the character to change and grow.
Show your characters in a positive light on the first meeting. Show them struggling with a problem but make sure the problem is one that is major and something that will involve the reader. It doesn't have to be a matter of life or death but it should be something that will rock the character's world. Show the character facing their problems with courage and not fits of temper or with an unwillingness to see there is a problem.
Remember, the first view of a character will stick in a reader's and editor's head. If they find nothing pleasant about the character, they won't want to read further. But also remember not to make the character seem too good to be true. Characters like the rest of us have some rough edges to be smoothed.