Back in the mists of time- way, way back - I foolishly thought that it was enough to want to write a book. Surely I could just sit down and plop it out fully plump and rounded and throbbingly readable non?
The fact that I didn't know what it was really about - other than a love story set in a highland hotel - didn't really bother me as much as it probably should. I was an artist, in love with this new found ability to paint word pictures on the page.
About as comprehensible as Tarzan Boy (see above).
The thing is as a reader we want a point. We want to fathom the mystery and be led on an enticing journey and if the author is kinda Baltimora-style-clueless-storyteller-headed about what that is - well, let's just say the manuscript ain't gonna fly (other than through the air!)
These days I've worked things out a touch better. I've read about beat sheets. I know about character arcs, emotion, keeping pace and heroine and hero on the page, digging deeper.
Back then I just wanted to bichok and write a story. Surely I could write what I wanted if it was mine!! Luckily I got some early pro crit that slapped my hands and sent me back to the treehouse to rework my Tarzan calls and vine swinging technique.
Learning Curve #2 - Have a point, a storyline and get to know what's at the heart of your characters! I know, most people do this already, I'm just strange that way. I like to take the slow road.