A story isn't a story without a heart. You can't tell a great story without some sort of emotion behind it. Lies many times are told in order to protect, evade, or get around something. Fables are repeated in order to teach a lesson. Books are written to entertain.
All are true and must have heart behind them.
You can write a great story, but if your heart isn't in it, then the reader can tell the story is flat. When writing the story, if you don't feel something, you know the story is flat. I was once told (actually more than once) that if the love scene, no matter how g-rated, better make you squirm. If it doesn't, then the characters aren't squirming either. It's true. If you aren't' feeling it, then they aren't either.
So thank God for my CP's. I know, I say that a lot, but I truly think my work wouldn't be as rich without them. Right wouldn't be the same without my CP's. Same for Learning How to Bend. Yes, she caught a couple of big ones that I missed. Yikes!
I also wanted to share another tidbit of info. Someone asked me for advice. He wanted to start writing and didn't know where to start.
Where do you start?
I told him: write.
Sounds a bit simplistic, doesn't it? It's not. Before you can walk, you gotta crawl or scoot along the floor. Same thing goes for writing. Before you're going to write that great American novel (or whatever genre you choose), you need to practice your craft. Yes, it's a craft. Just like art is a craft and you must practice to get any better at drawing or painting or whatever, you must practice writing. Blog, write the stories as they pop into your head no matter how choppy they are, journal, and just plain write down the bits and pieces of stories.
You'll go through many versions of that GAN (Great American Novel) before it's even ready to go to a CP. But the more you practice, the better you'll get. You'll never be perfect on the first draft. No one is, no matter how big they are. Everyone needs to go through a second, third, and sixth draft.
But enough of my soapbox. I'll have more advice from the front line tomorrow.
Have fun. Practice.