Make sure when you use things from your own experience that everything you use you are happy to see in print (hopefully achieved!) and that nothing can come back to haunt you. Generally speaking it is best to, for example, use feelings and then get your characters to expand them and take them in a direction appropriate for them and the story rather than get your character to reflect everything that actually happened to you. Real life experiences should be treated like chilli powder - use very sparingly. Also as I’ve said before it is your characters that matter, not how you feel, what happened to you and so on. Characters should reflect, not copy exactly. The irony is that so often real life things tend to sound not real in fiction. There’s a reason for the saying truth is stranger than fiction… what you seek in your fiction is the sense of truth. You want folk to think yes, that could be. And don’t lay it on thick with a trowel. People will see through that.
Using Your Writing Experiences to Improve Your Editing
I’ve learned to cut more as I’ve written more. You get a better feel for what is relevant and what isn’t. I enjoy the editing process, especially as you sense your story becoming tighter, better and the waffle comes out (and there’s always some!). It is important to let yourself write and then let yourself edit and treat the two as two separate tasks. You don’t want your editing side to get in the way of your creative side. And the things you cut might work their way into future stories if good enough. Stick to the point of your story, always.