I'll line out some tips for the game that might help you.
1. Use first person almost always. Third person is there mainly to check out your character and see what he looks like. This game is meant to be played first person.
2. Combat is based purely off of hit and miss. Meaning, swing your sword at a guy, if he's in the general area and you see it hit, it hits, and it's the same for them trying to hit you. Block with a shield (or your weapon if you're using a 2H weapon), and then strike back. Think about how you'd fight in real life with a sword and shield (sort of).
There are other combat types, like magic, which allows you to cause damage spells (destruction), healing (restoration) or even summon creatures to help fight with you (conjuration).
Range is just range, pick up a bow, pick up some arrows (equip them both) hold the right trigger, aim and let go. You can loot bodies you kill with arrows to pick up the arrows you used.
3. Magic is learned from books. You buy/find (mostly buy) spell books from court mages located in each major city (they are located in the Jarl's headquarters). The come in the form of books. You buy the book (each book has a spell), and then you go to your items > books, then use the book by clicking on it to learn the spell. You will then find that spell in your magic section under the school (destruction, restoration, etc) the spell is.
4. You can fast travel via the map to locations you have been. If you've been to X town, click on X town on your map and you can teleport there to save time.
5. Press the back button (on xbox, select on ps3 I think, and T on PC) to wait. You can "wait" time. So, if it's night and you want it to be day so that the stores are open (store are only open during the day), then use the wait feature to wait until daytime. Or, break in and steal all the stuff (need high sneak usually to accomplish this).
6. You find quests, quests don't find you. In fable, there is always a major storyline making you go to new places, visiting new towns, etc, and during your travel on this quest you will come across new quests to get.
It does not work like that here. This is a game that is supposed to be "immersive". There are no icons above a person's head showing this guy has a quest, there's no markers on the ground that say "check this location out, there's a quest here". The game is about exploring, not like RDR/GTA exploring, but real exploring. You have to FIND the quests/dungeons/items/locations, you must go on an adventure and search them out, they do not show up on your map like in GTA/RDR.
7. You can dual wield spells/weapons, and mix and match. You can put a sword in your left hand, a healing spell in your right hand, so that while you're doing damage you can heal yourself at the same time. Explore with the spell types/combat types, you will find something that suits your playstyle.
8. If you are stealth (click the left joystick on Xbox to go into stealth) and hit someone with a bow, you do X2 the damage (or more with perks, I'll explain that next), and up to X30 (I think) with daggers.
When you sneak, your crosshair tuns into a straight line. It's actaully an eye. When it's straight, the eye is closed, when you see it open, it means someone "sees" you, thus the eye.
Closed crosshair = no one can see you, eye = you are caught, don't do anything illegal (you must be crouched and stealthed by pushing the joystick to see this eye/line thing).
9. Perks. Everytime you level, you get a perk. Perks are what make your character strong. Let's say you like using 1H (one handed) weapons. Put a perk into the 1H weapon tree (found on the screen you level up with, go to your menu to see after you level up) and that will make your 1H weapon do more damage, or give you the ability to cut off someone's head, or make you swing your sword a percentage faster when dual wielding.
Each stat/weapon type/armor type/profession has a perk tree. Use your perks to pick what is useful for your character.
10. Use followers. You get your first follower in the name of Lydia. You are given her as a companion (follower) that will fight with you after you kill your first dragon. Do the main story up until you get Lydia (you cannot miss her, the game makes her talk to you). From that point, you will have a bit more ease with combat while you learn it.
There are multiple followers in the game, but as with everything else, you must get out there and find them.
There are 10 things you should know about this game to help progress through it as someone who has never played an Elder Scrolls game before. This is the 5th in the series, these things aren't explained well in this one because most people who buy this game, are in love with the series, have played previous games (or Fallout 3, designed by same dev team) and know these things before even playing it.
It's like hopping into God of war 3 and not knowing that you can hold L1 plus square to do a stronger attack. Sure, it's not explained too well, but it's been that way since the first game, so most who pick up the final entry in the series know it's there.
Hope some of this helps. It's an amazing game, but one that requires a lot of attention and exploration, it is far more open world than GTA and RDR, and even more open than that compared to Fable.
Compared to fable, it's like this - Fable is a game with a main story plot that has some adventuring on the side. Skyrim is a giant adventure with a little bit of main quest on the side. There are guilds in Skyrim that are longer than the main quest, and there are 4 guilds. You have your hands full.
Not going through this to fix typos if there are any lol.