When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.
Cowardice... is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend functioning of the imagination.
It's none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.
Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness, and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone, and if he is a good enough writer, he must face eternity - or the lack of it - each day.
DOB - July 21, 1899
Robert Coleman Richardson