In my few months as a novelist, I have confirmed, to my own satisfaction, some intriguing tips about writing fiction.
The first is Stephen King's analogy that writing a story is like excavating a fossil. Over and over again, I've had the experience of starting a scene, or confronting a problem in revision, and finding the answer rather than consciously constructing it. Although I would add that one is sometimes in the position of the paleontologist who finds a collection of fossilized dinosaur bones and has to figure out what their proper arrangement should be.
The second is a bit of advice, which I have seen summarized the related lurid tags of "killing the baby" or "murdering your darlings". This is the sad necessity that can arise of discarding a piece of writing of which one is particularly proud, because it just doesn't fit in the story as you are discovering it. The happier corollary is that one can sometimes recycle parts of the discarded work, elsewhere in the story. Revising my draft, I spent a proud and busy afternoon writing the culmination of a subplot, glorying in my dialogue and my description of the characters' states of mind, only to realize that the direction I had taken would make the rest of my main plot implausible. It hurt to lay that work aside. It was somewhat comforting to find that I liked my replacement approach, although it was lacking in some of the color and passion of the original. I have more recently been tickled to find that I can, in fact, reuse some of the discarded passages in a later scene that ties the subplot into the rest of the book.
I'm afraid the next bit of wisdom or advice I'll end up confirming is the necessity of reading one's draft aloud, from start to finish, in order to find out what doesn't flow. Don' wanna! -- but I guess I'd better keep listening to what the authors out there are saying.