- I was not part of a writing community.
- I had read a lot of books on creativity and writing process, but not as much on technique.
- I was not thinking as much about conflict, flow of story, core of story, etc.
- I had the far off hope that some agent or publisher would stumble upon me and make me famous.
- I had no idea the different levels of editing that needed to happen.
With Love's Autograph I also was aware of conflict. I have the habit of starting to write books thinking in the Beach Boys frame of mind, "Wouldn't it be nice . . ." I would make the main characters' dreams come true. Boring! I made a conscious shift from that to an evil villain's mentality, "How can I make their life more miserable?" This makes for a better read. If you have the Beach Boys problem, you can just imagine everything going well for the main character, and then write it the opposite way.
Another big change in my writing has been being aware of dialogue, showing not telling, point of view, and leaving out unnecessary details. All seems simple logic, but everyone has their quirks to work out. I hope that I can send Love's Autograph to my editor in a few weeks.