Since Dragon's Whisper is my first full-length novel and the first story that I've really taken seriously, I'm figuring everything out as I go.
If you don't want to get burned out ten-thousand words in, don't edit as you go. You'll crash and burn.
Plotting didn't work.
And probably a few other lessons I can't think of in my tired, buzzy-from-writing state.
But since this is my first time through, I'm discovering each part of the process of writing a novel and realizing how it differs from the last. Once the first draft was done and I started on the second, a whole bunch more lessons have jumped out at me; some can even be applied to real life.
There's nearly always more to people than you can see at first.
Nothing is plain black-and-white. It isn't that simple.
Plotting is useless. Completely and totally useless. The characters ruin any semblance of a plot you have if you try.
Let the characters go where they will. Trying to press them into an outdated plot doesn't work. If their personalities develop too much, your plot's going to have to develop with them.
Keep lots of chocolate nearby. And a box of tissues.
Lots of chocolate.