"Be Yourself!" How many time have we heard that, in terms of our writing? It brought to mind a scene from this movie version of "Anne of Green Gables", where Anne Shirley has convinced her friends to send her down the river in a leaky boat in a dramatic reenactment of Tennyson's poem, "The Lady of Shalott". Watch this, and then I'll continue my thought.
You just have to laugh, but Anne typifies something so similar in us writers. Anne dreams the big dreams, the ones that are just so far away from her own reality, but then real life comes to wake her up. Not that our big dreams of being writers can't come true, or that we can't write about fantastical things. But what Anne had to learn, both in life and as a writer, is that what really sells is not "high-falutin'" talk, but characters based in reality. What would a real person do?
That's where we can mine our own experience to build our characters. Even if you are writing about pixies or ogres or an elf prince, they still have to have have personality traits that your reader can relate to.