Some helpful tips for working your life into your fiction.
Setting is one of the most important aspects of your story; don't overlook it.
Sometimes called "plants and payoffs" in the language of screenwriters, Hiding a Gun is an essential skill to the writer's arsenal that university writing courses almost never touch upon. Learn to identify and use multiple forms, including the Big Question, the Physical Process, and the Clock.
An object, in fiction, can serve multiple purposes--from Memory Cue, to Gesture Prop, to Buried Gun, to simple Through-Line Image. Learn to make the most of physical objects.
In the best stories, key objects morph to serve several different functions, reappearing throughout while picking up additional resonance. Learn to use a limited number of objects to maximum effect.