Structure, structure, structure. Without structure, you're toast.
Forget about trying it by the seat of your pants. Unless you're lucky to be very talented and can sense the structure intuitively (some writers can), study structure to death, structure your novel to death, and only THEN write it.
Here is a quick guide on creating a sketch to start your novel structure:
- VILLAIN: Who is your villain? Start here. Write a little bio.
- DILEMMA (CHOICE 1): When did your Villain decide to become a Villain and why? What was the dilemma your Villain faced? What choice did your Villain make? (To become evil or to become good?)
- HERO: Who is your Hero? Write a little bio (and write why the Villain wants to make the Hero suffer).
- DILEMMA (CHOICE 2): Must be the same dilemma for the Hero! But the Hero chooses the path opposite to the one the Villain chose. Villain chose evil. Hero chooses good (or not, if the Hero is the Anti-Hero, which is advanced writing).
And there you have it.
Until you have this clear and clean, don't even start writing your novel or even structuring anything else.
I discuss this in more detail in the WRITING CLASSES with Wolves+ on my Patreon, so if you want to learn more, hop on there, and let's get the ball rolling.
THE "ALWAYS" P.S.: My Patreon patrons gets first dibs on these daily writing tips, so if you want early access (two months early) and access to our Discord chats, become my Hamsters at $1 per month, and voila! I'll eat you in borscht.