Despite having been at this game for the past five years I still repeatedly make the same mistakes. Hopefully others can avoid my repeated mishaps:
1. Tenses. When I write I will confuse my tenses consistently. It’s an editing nightmare but I can’t stop – when I’m writing it’s the last thing I’m concerned with, I just want to get all the words out before they vanish.
2. Planning. I don’t do it – I wing it. Again, this creates an editing headache. Still, I only start planning once I’ve written about a quarter of a project because that’s when I realise I’m not sure where it’s supposed to go. If I planned in advance life would be easier.
3. Timelines. I forget about them and get really confused and have to constantly check back. The worst offender for this was my novel More than Human where the protagonist is pregnant. Keeping track of the stages of her pregnancy was a disaster. I’m still worried that it’s not right.
4. When characters are talking to each other I have to force myself to add in description. Dialogue comes more naturally to me than description and describing that someone ‘sighed’, ‘laughed’ or ‘cried’ jars me. I don’t know why.
5. Description. More of an expansion on my previous point. I’m not great with description, I just want to get on with the action but description is important – how else can the reader picture where the characters are?
6. Grammar. This is something that has improved but I’m still not brilliant with grammar. My A Level English teacher once told me as a baby I must have said “goo gaa” instead of “gaa goo”, that’s how confused I am about grammar.
7. Working on too many projects simultaneously. So much less gets done.
8. Starting a new boxset. Nothing gets done then.
9. Doubting myself is one of the biggest stalls to a project.
10. Procrastination. Writing this instead of continuing with the chapter I’m currently working on. There was absolutely no reason for me to stop writing, I just did.