Famed violinist Isaac Stern said: "In order to be a successful soloist, one needs to be arrogant." He was not talking about arrogance per se, but that self-confidence to play in front of a demanding public,
knowing they would admire his skill.
As writers, we are like a soloist. We are playing a tune that will captivate the reader, keep him awake, make him think.
In order to be capable of writing such a story, we not only need to know our craft, but have self-confidence. Not just a little bit but a lot. You have to have this arrogant feeling that you will outdo, or try to outdo the masters in your genre, If not the classics in world literature. When you have that desire, it will motivate you to study and acquire the skills needed to write well. As a wordsmith, you will begin to play with the language and develop your own, unique voice and style. You will also study human nature, after all, the novels that endure through the years are stories about the human condition.
We can call our stories romances, fantasy, mystery, thrillers, or whatever and give them appropriate plots. The story will never be great if you don't establish human worth and create an emotional battle Inside the minds of the main characters.
If you study your favorite authors, you can give yourself a goal to write better stories than they do or did. Most of us are modest enough to think this as presumptuous. Don't! You could be the 21st century's Tolstoy or Agatha Christy.
We all start by writing, if not dreck, mediocre novels. That's part of our practice and learning curve.
For example: Mega-selling author Nelson DeMille, wrote several novels under pseudonym (and will not reveal what they are) until he thought, he had mastered his craft sufficiently to go under his real name and become an
"overnight" best-seller. Though he writes thrillers, he made a foray into "good" writing with his novel Gold Coast, which is a memorable read.
I use him as my standard and try to write better than he does. Whether I succeed or not it's another matter. All I can say is I'm arrogant enough to give it a try.