This is an article from Dakota State University I found a year ago. It is simple, yet a fantastic reminder for the experienced writer, and a great cheat sheet for the beginner. Enjoy!
Fiction writers learn to write by writing. Although writing is an art, there are skills, tools, and techniques that can be learned in order to develop talent. And constructive criticism and feedback can help this process.
To be a good writer you need to read a lot, listen and observe everything about you carefully, and write a lot. Writing a lot takes discipline, because writing can actually be hard work- but very satisfying. Setting up a routine for writing is important; it is very easy to find something else to do besides writing. A compulsion to write is very useful.
Fiction writers should have a good grasp of the language, but most of all they must be storytellers. A really good story can compensate for less-than-brilliant writing, but brilliant writing will not save a bad story.
Readers of fiction want very much to find the writer’s work to be believable. It is the task of the writer to produce a story that does not jolt the reader into recognizing that the narrative is just the writer talking, just fiction. The writer should write about what he or she already knows through experience or can learn about through research. The narrative should read as if the writer really knows what he or she is writing about.