Make things clear, don’t over explain. Let the reader work things out for themselves. Explaining can reduce the idea and make it smaller.
Make the character somehow out of the ordinary. She may wear the mask of the common woman, but underneath this mask lies a true hero.
As long as the character wants something, the reader will want it too. As long as the character is attempting to get something, the reader will wonder whether or not he’s going to succeed. Few things are more intriguing than the desire to succeed against impossible odds.