- If you plan to outline, this will save your life (and all your hair). It's called Snowflake: http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/art/snowflake.php
- If you need motivation to get that manuscript written, check out NaNoWriMo. It short for National Novel Writing Month. It's an all out blitz of 50k words during November. It's hard, but doable. Sign up here: http://www.nanowrimo.org/
- If you're done writing (and editing) and are looking to start querying, check out the following resources:
- Janet Reid as the Query Shark - vicious chomping of queries which writers willingly submit. Some of the reviews are brutal, but the lady knows what's up and the transformations remind me of Biggest Loser (yes, they're that awesome): http://queryshark.blogspot.com/
- Query Tracker - great resource of agents that you can sort by location, genre, etc. Check it out here: http://querytracker.net/
- There are all kinds of scammers out there. Check to see if the agent you're working with is legit at Predators & Editors: http://www.pred-ed.com/
I found this great post that breaks down the flow of writing a novel for beginners. It has some great links and heavily emphasizes the use of Beta readers. Check it out: http://www.yahighway.com/2012/06/almost-everything-you-need-to-know-to.html
I'm not well-versed in the writing world (yet!), but I can tell you that my writing group and bevy of pre-readers (or betas) are invaluable resources. Try to find some folks who write and critique. Working with others will only make you a better writer and a better editor.