In the animated movie "Cats Don't Dance," the main character is a cat who wants to make it big in Hollywood.
At this point, you may be wondering exactly where I'm going with this. Just keep reading.
So when that cat, Danny, actually makes it to Hollywood, he comes with a checklist in hand. It looks something like this:
Go to Hollywood
Go to Premiere
Land a Big Part"
Okay, so yeah, he's pretty straightforward -- definitely naive. But that's beside the point.
He set a goal, and he made plans to help him reach that goal. And, even while the actual timing of everything was more than a little off, his checklist was spot-on. As a writer (assuming that you're planning on getting your book published), there's a checklist that you can use, too.
1) Read. A lot. You'll subconsciously pick up on all sorts of stuff.
2) Write. Even more. It seems obvious, I know, but at the same time, writing is the only thing that separates writers from non-writers. Sooo . . . write.
3) Edit. Revise. Make your book sparkle. Then rinse and repeat, as many times as it takes.
4) At this point, you'll probably want to start submitting to literary agents; in certain genres, you can also send your manuscript directly to publishers. And their slush piles.
There's actually a lot of stuff that goes down after that, but this is far enough for now. Soon, I'll go over the specifics in deeper detail. But until then -- Happy Valentine's Day.