A short list of what you need from my limited experience (what do I know? I’m just a begonia.)
1. a good story, set of characters, or idea
2. discipline and the time to work on the first draft. (I think the fact that I kept working everyday really helped. I had the same vision for the novel at the end that I did at the beginning. I think any large gaps in my work would have made more work for the revision.)
3. more discipline when working on the revision (I’m finding it’s way less fun to revise than it is to write. You don’t get the satisfaction of having created something new, of seeing the word count go up. I’m trying to work for just a half-hour on my book each day. This is harder than it looks. But when I do get working, I usually spend more like an hour.
4. willingness to change the original story or idea –you don’t have to, but it’s good if you’re willing, I think.
5. seeking out feedback…LOTS of it…from WHOEVER will give it to you