As an author, I get asked quite frequently about how I got started. Everyone's got a story in them, and they want to write a book, just like I did.
Only problem is, no one ever seems to want to do the actual work it takes to write a full length novel. When asked about how I wrote my book, I always begin by telling people that I started with a writing class. That's usually when the eyes glaze over.
But the truth is, no matter how good of a writer you are, a writing class will arm you with the tools that you'll need to write a full length novel. Lots of people can write, but you need to learn the rules if you want to actually write a book. And what's more, a writing class will introduce you to a new group of people-- people with a similar goal to yours.
Classes I'd recommend are mediabistro.com and Gotham Writer's Workshop. Both have classes online and in person.
I'm also a huge advocate of Alex Sokoloff's Screenwriting Tricks for Authors, which has become my Bible, along with her blog, The Dark Salon. I used to think I knew a lot about three act structure and how to structure a novel, but Alex breaks down three act structure even further-- into eight distinct sequences-- and just by reading her story breakdowns, I've learned so much. And the bonus? She teaches classes online, too!
Are you one of those people who's got a book idea in you but just hasn't sat down to write it yet? What's stopping you? Sign up for a class and then go from there!