Whether you're an old hand or a newbie who is serious about learning to write, the advice is the same: dig in and get that first book out of you.
There’s a powerful engine in your book, it’s just a bit hard to find. It’s in every word, it drives plot and characters and everything else.
Two of the classic story shapes are "the fall" or "the rise." In these story arcs, the main character climbs to a peak of happiness, falls from one, or does a round-trip for maximum emotional impact.
You can be the sweetest person possible in real life, but if you want to write great fiction, you need to be the opposite. You must be the cruel overlord of your story.