Tip #1 Study your genre
So you have a good idea for a story? Great. Now what? The obvious thing to do would be to begin writing, right? While the old adage, writers write, is true, one key bit of advice I’d offer is to read books in the same genre/category as your story.
gen·re \ˈzhän-rə\ a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content
There’s good reason for this suggestion.
For example, I write faith-filled novels, so I need to read faith-filled novels.
Get a feel for how writers who’ve done this before craft their stories. Note how the stories flow, how the characters interact, and what the drama/dilemma is. Read more than one book, read several. Figure out who your favorite authors are in your genre.
Another suggestion is to follow blogs of people who write what you write. Many authors share a wealth of knowledge on their blogs and through social media. Be a lurker, a stalker of sorts. Well, not a real stalker, but check them out. They’re already published and have done the same thing you’re doing–getting information in order to write a good story.
Choose a favorite book and use it as a manual or guidebook. What is your favorite book in your genre? Did the author do a bang up job and you just couldn’t put the book down? What was so good about it?
Study it. How did the author say what needed to be said? How did they describe the scenery? Was there a lot of drama? Did you finish the book wishing it would continue?
Study more than one author’s work. You don’t want to be a clone, so see what other’s are doing as well. Go to the library and check out books that are similar to what you want to write.
As you’re writing, take a break to read something else if you get stuck. Buy reference books on your genre, crafting a story, novel writing, etc., and study them. Keep them nearby as you write.
I have several novels written by well-known authors that I keep on the shelf with my reference books. When I’m writing, I sometimes grab one of the novels to see how the author created conflict or resolved a situation.
Good luck on your story and happy writing.