Listen to audio books. Not only are they great fun (well they are if you listen to Pratchett ones!) but you can learn a lot about how words flow, how dialogue should sound to the ear and so on. And you can put them on whilst you’re working. It’s a bit difficult reading a book while cooking the dinner!
Read in and out of your current era. See how things used to be done - you may find a use for it, if only in wanting to craft an old-fashioned character and how they might speak. Think about how the things we take for granted would seem to anyone who’s not come across them before. Read inside and out of your own genre. Get inspirations from many sources
Messengers and Information
An angel is a messenger. Is there anyone playing that role in your work? How does information get passed on?
Some Recommended Reading
Research for Writers by Ann Hoffman is well worth having in your library as not only does it advise on how to research, it gives lists of website addresses and so on that may prove profitable to your work. On Writing by Stephen King is often recommended for beginner writers by the professionals - rightly, it is brilliant. Strongly recommend getting a copy. From Pitch to Publication by Carole Blake does everything it says in the title, which in itself is something to aim for in your work.
Sense of Place
Have a sense of place in your work. It adds colour, depth and reality, can help your readers “see” what you see. People get defensive about places that are special to them - can you use that trait?
Motives for Writing
You must write for the love of it. It’ll be that which keeps you going during the periods of hopelessness and constant rejections. Also when you meet those who dismiss writers or at least dismiss what you write!
Look after Yourself
Ensure your typing position is correct. RSI is a pain in every sense.
See your novels as stages. The first stage is getting the initial ideas down on paper. Then comes the first edit, the second edit and so on. Don’t send out anywhere until you know you can’t do any further improvements to it. And do edit on paper. It’s easy to not see things on screen.
Listen to criticism carefully. Yes, you will get the negative, destructive stuff, everyone does. You will also get criticism that genuinely will help you improve your work. The clever bit is working out which is which but good criticism will open your eyes to new possibilities and/or confirm thoughts you may have had as to how strong/weak a piece is. See criticism as a tool. It is for you to use it to improve your work. It is not something to beat you up, no matter how much others might want it to be!