During the week I was assisting a student in my beginning Character Design 1 class at the Academy. He was doing pretty well with his initial design but it lacked interest and appeal. The artwork below shows the progressive direction I gave him.
Figure A is my reworking of his original design. Getting the basic form of the concept in order and making sure that the drawing is solid. Figure B is my push on the design. Figure C is an alternative approach involving the merger of the head and body into a unified overall shape. There are many other ways to approach variation in character design even if you're working on a single idea. Fully explore the look instead of settling on the first version you do. You'll be surprised at what you discover.