“A doctor spends five to ten years learning how to be a doctor, why then, do people think they can learn how to be a professional writer of fiction in a week or a month – or even a year?”
Writing fiction is very deceptive.
Your have the language skills, a desire to tell stories, you type well, you know grammar, you have a great imagination…
This is not enough!
You need to owe your craft by mastering first a plethora of writing skills that you will have to remember at all times. That takes a lot of practice and some guidance.
That’s why most published writers are in their thirties and older.
Your first novel will probably take a minimum of two years to write, if not four years or you will have to write several manuscripts before one will be good enough to look at.
Think how long it takes to get a Masters degree. When you write your novel, think about yourself as someone who will be getting their MA in noveling. I am not saying in Creative Writing because a MA in CW is different.
That’s where you need to persevere and work hard.
Impatience is lethal.
The qualities you need in order to make it:
# Patience (many newbies send their queries when their manuscript is not ready and that's the cause of most rejections. Taking part in query contests will tell you if your MS is ready)
# Get a few Beta readers or Critique Partners and take any feedback as a way to improve your writing. Be grateful for any critique. Do not assume that you already know what works and what doesn't in fiction. You need other people's feedback and not from your friends or family, from complete strangers.
# Grow a thick skin. Some people will make you feel like your writing is amateur or is boring or not worth pursuing. Hang in there; it happens to everybody, even to them.
# Perseverance. Get back on your feet after each new rejection. Go back to your novel and find out what is not working. Assume something is not working and rewrite. If you search long enough, you will find out what you need to do to get published.
# Research. Read book from professionals who know how to handle fiction. Writing is something your learn, not something you magically are born with. Take a novel you like and find out how it was written. It is a long and painful work, but it pays off. You won't know how fiction works until you actually take a novel and go through their plot points.
# Forums and platforms. Sharing what you have learned is the best way to check if you got it right. You need to teach what you have learned and listen to what other people have learned. Go to writers' forums or start your own blog.