1. Write as much as possible!Write when ever you can. Keep a notebook handy or voice recorder handy for sudden bursts of inspiration.
2. Read a lot. Reading is like homework for writers.Try to read outside of your usual genre. It can give you new fresh perspective. It's a great learning tool.
3. Buy a dictionary or put a dictionary app on your phone. (Personally, I love learning new words.) Words are great. Words excite people. A great word or unexpected word can change a sentence in a riveting way. It can change an ordinary sentence into an amazing sentence. Of course, you want to be careful and honest to your style of writing.
Personally , I keep all my work a secret until it's done but I'm sure it would be great to have an ally, a writing ally to converse with or brain storm with.
4. Never be afraid.
Don't be afraid to change it up or examine the situation from a new angle. When writing on a computer it so easy to keep multiple ideas before you pick idea.
5. Know your market is very important but most importantly write for yourself. Write because you have stories inside of you. Write because you love it.
My most successful stories not only entertain but have a deeper meaning.
After you have an idea or a purpose make sure to have an ending in mind
-so many of my stories never made the cut because they didn't end.
-For American Princess I made a list of things I didn't want my book to be like and that helped shape my story. It's like in art when you draw the negative space (what isn't there) to get a positive image.
Be prepared: it may take a while. Like art is takes time and dedication.
Don't worry about formatting issues in the beginning. DO worry about formatting issues in the end.
-many people forgo the the polishing process of the novel and get right to publishing.
Take time off. go back and read over it months later and see if your still interested.
-this trick helps me edit and decide if my story is worth it. Sometimes a story is a dud.
Talk to other writers.
more tips later.....