First and possibly only rule of writing a novel: the first draft is going to suck. It's supposed to!
Writing novels is an incredibly personal, and different, experience for everyone. The methods employed vary as much as the writers' personalities do and it's similar to everything else in life: to become good at it takes practice. To become great at it and produce a classic you must practice stubbornly and diligently.
I've always found for myself that the first draft is a mad scramble to get the ideas down, rough hatch the plot line and mess the characters up before I forget anything important. Once I hit about eighty or ninety thousand words I leave it alone and drink for about a month
(seriously). I find if I return to it immediately I'm overly critical and unable to see clearly while I'm still so close to the subject matter. After a month or two I'm able to put my goggles on and start turning it into an actual story.
Of course as I said it's a deeply personal process and varies for everyone. I won't give you the comforting 'look at how many times *insert author* was rejected!' because it won't improve your writing. This attitude simply lures us into a false sense of complacency when we should be pushing ourselves to be better on a constant basis or we simply stagnate.