I do a ton of research before I even begin to plot a book, and the research helps me come up with story ideas based on real events. I purchase my research books so that I can make notes in the margins, which makes it easier to refer back to those topics later as I’m writing.
First and foremost: Use strong verbs! And remember that the first draft doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s important to develop strong skills for rewriting and polishing to tighten your manuscript and make your sentences sing. Never stop learning from your editors and critique partners so that you will always keep getting better and better.