"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"
There’s so much good advice already posted here, but the one thing I would add is to make sure you know what your hook is. If you can’t distill your story into one or two sentences that immediately pique someone’s curiosity, the idea probably needs to stew in your creative juices for awhile longer. What makes your story stand out from everything else that is coming across an editor’s desk? And from all the other books on the shelves? Keep finessing and dreaming until you hit on that element that makes your novel fresh, unique, and so compelling that it can’t be passed by.
--Amanda Bostic, Associate Acquisitions Editor, Fiction, Thomas Nelson.