Step one for good writing would be to aim for clarity. Make sure that whatever you write down on paper or type out is exactly what you want to say. The descriptions should not be confusing to your readers and can be followed by a high schooler, or whomever you envision your ideal reader to be.
Next, tap into the novels that speak to you. Ones that you admire. Works that have a sense of clarity and possess some of the elements that you are trying to achieve. What you are doing here is getting a model (or models) so that you can enlarge your vision, and see your work as a completed piece. By doing this, you may also get an insight into how to continue, if your work has halted.
One of the faults of beginning writers, myself included, is that we are not always able to see our work in its entirety, when we first begin. But plugging in and plunging on through the various drafts and detours, we may be able to get a better idea of our work. And seeing how someone else may have done it, can help us to see the novel as a whole and then as a thing with parts. Because being able to shift from one to the other, may help us to gain clarity and focus.
This is important because sometimes the idea of the novel itself may frighten us. But if we see it as a thing with parts- chapters. Scenes. Then little by little we can think about how to give it shape and structure. Yes, if we persist by writing and reading the works of other writer, we may be able to finish what we start.
To do this effectively, however, we may also need to consider adding some emotion to our characters. Especially the main character, the one person who the reader should be rooting for. They should be human. Real. So their emotions need to be appropriate for the scenes that they are in. Think of it like a movie, where you need to create believable characters to enhance the story. If they don’t appear genuine then your characters will not be seen as real. Or your story viewed as believable.
To do this more effectively, I have tried reading novels by authors who have rich characters. Some of which are listed here: Brandon Sanderson’s The Emperor’s Soul, Veronica Roth’s Divergent and David Levithan’s Every Day. Besides this I have also perused the Emotion Thesaurus and read a few novels more closely to get a better understanding of character development. You can experiment with the various mediums and use whichever ones are helpful.
Finally, remember to take your time and pace yourself. Break down the story into chapters; and the chapters into scenes. Make it more manageable to write. Because according to Steven Pressfield (in his novel The War of Art) one of the biggest things plaguing writers is resistance. It is something that we should all avoid. So, make sure that you are always working. Or moving forward.
Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year, and continue writing!