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Before you play the role as a writer, there is another role you should play before this occurs. You need to play the role of architect. Before a house, automobile, aircraft, and even a rocket to the stars is built, it must enter first into a design stage. This is no different for writing. Once you write down what occurs in each chapter of your novel, you will have created a road map as to where to start and end your writing.
The next step is to design your characters. Who are they? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What motivates them to do the things that they do? Write down all of this information and use it as a reference once you incorporate then into your plot.
Do the necessary research for your novel. Lets say your story takes place in New York City. Do you have enough research on the city to write about it and make it believable to your readers? What about the professions of your characters? Can you find enough information to know what it's like to be a police officer, detective, race car driver, lawyer, stock broker or whatever occupation your characters perform?
Once you have all of these elements, then you can start wriitng your novel. Follow your novel design, refer to your characters traits, and make your story believable by adhering to your research. I would also highly recommend that you purchase the book, "How To Grow A Novel" by Sol Stein.