If you want to write a novel you probably already have an idea of what the story is going to be. However, there is more to writing good fiction than simply writing a story. Successful fiction requires certain elements to draw the reader in and keep him from putting your novel down and going to the next one.
In the beginning of your novel, set the tone. Introduce your primary and secondary characters and show them in some sort of stressful situation that gives the reader an idea of who they are and what they are made of. Establish the place and time period of your novel. Introduce the plot as a conflict: who has the most to lose? Who needs to change? Who must be defeated?
Foreshadow events that will occur later in the novel. For example, if the heroine kills her enemy with a knife, introduce the knife in an earlier chapter, in her hands or in the hands of her enemy. Escalate the seriousness of the problems your characters face. Build suspense by putting them into seemingly unsolvable situations. In the conclusion, present one final conflict that will mean utter victory or defeat for the main character.
Writing style is another element that can make or break a novel. Use a variety of sentence structures so the reader does not become bored with reading the same type of subject/verb/object sentence over and over. Always write in the active and not the passive voice. Ensure that your grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct. When your characters speak, keep their speech natural and coherent.
Once your novel is complete, be sure that you send it to the publisher in a format that is easy to read. Send it on standard 8.5 x 11 inch paper, double spaced, in a font size that is easy to read and mark up.