Adelaide from Tasmania sent me an email asking me how I learned to write. She just finished WOOL and didn’t hate it. She didn’t hate it very much! And she wanted to know how I learned to write so not-horribly and get all the way to the end of a story. Because she loses interest after just a few pages. This was my response:
I think the best place to learn how to write is by doing what you already are: Read. Consume as many books as you can. Absorb all that prose. It will help your own writing.
And keep writing as well. I know it’s hard to finish a long story when you’re starting out, but think of it as running. No one goes out and just runs a marathon. They have to start jogging first. They go a mile. Two miles. They build up to it.
I recommend creating some characters that you enjoy. And then sit down and write ONE SCENE with those characters. Just a bar fight or a first date or a conversation during intermission at the circus. Anything you like. These scenes don’t have to go together or form a book; they are just exercise.
From here, move up to a short story, which is just a few scenes put together. A novel is just a handful of short stories. Don’t get overwhelmed with the whole thing; just enjoy the process.
Best of luck to you,