There are far too many people out there who, when hearing about someone writing a novel, say, "I thought about doing that," "that's easy, anyone could do it," or my favorite, "I want to write one about my life story."
What most people fail to realize, is it's not that easy. So many people attempt to start a novel and never get to finish it. Most lose ambition when they realize how hard it actually is. So what makes writing so difficult?
Scenes: When writing a scene..one single scene...in a fiction novel requires more than one would think. First, it requires the characters. They have to feel real. Their responses must be a real life response someone would say or do. It has to sound competly natural...without actually being natural (really, go to your local Wal-Mart and listen to the way people actually talk). It has to be paced. Not fast, not slow, but perfect for that individual scene. The world around the characters needs to be real, even if it's a fantasy land, it still needs to be real to that world.
Voice: You have to find your own, unique writing voice. This comes with practice. Put yourself into your characters heads, become them while you're writing them, and find your writing voice. Don't try to write like Stephen King or Richelle Mead...that won't happen. It'll sound all wrong and be horrible. Find your own voice.
Characters: As I mentioned above, each character has to feel like a real person. Each one with a different fear, a different dream...a different voice. They have wants and hopes, a past that made them the person they are. Each and every character needs to be an individual.
Make sure you look into the Genre you're writing. Each Genre has their own set of rules. Some only allow certain things, and each has their own set of word lengths. Never forget, the word length isn't what's displayed at the bottom of Word. Each page is counted as 250 words. Forget about format and editing until you're all done writing. That makes life easier.
Never forget to read. Read, read, read, and read. Just like with any thing out there, you have to learn to do. For writers, the best text book you can receive on writing is reading. Even if it's a horrible book. That will get you thinking, "I can do better than that. I WILL do better than that." Or if it's an amazing one. It'll inspire you to write. The more you read, the more you learn about writing.