I couldn’t agree more with the advice given in Jamie’s post (linked below). If anyone ever happens to dig through my archives (and also happens to know things about my life), they’ll see that many of my characters share key traits with people in my life. For example, my villains tend to be overbearing, manipulative white male authority figures. My female protagonists tend to be self-conscious or haunted in some way. And, of course, my male love interests tend to be endearingly awkward and slightly goofy.
Well, nobody’s perfect. But even if these characters are cliche, they feel like natural extensions of the stories they tell because they sit so much closer to home. Besides, if I can’t face my personal demons in real life, it’s satisfying enough to have one of my characters face them. That counts as a victory, right?