O, wait; this is only regarding writing? Phew! You were about to read a pretty sorry session of verbal throwing up!
1.) Spelling. I think I’m a night-mare made manifest for my senior editor. She humors me, truly. But I wish I was a better speller. I have greatly improved and now make more “common” errors, though I still hate them. “Loose,” and “lose.” “Manner,” and “manor.” “There,” “their,” and “they’re.” I also struggle with simple things like conjunctions and possession. Anyone who owns the first edition of my first book knows what I’m talking about. And just think, for the editor to miss the things that slipped by means she was REALLY distracted by all the other junk!
2.) Letting the reader assume the emotion of a scene. Meaning: if I have to explain the emotion that should be felt to the reader, then my writing is faulty and ineffective.
3.) Thought flow. Sometimes I can really make things confusing for the reader…you know, like not knowing who’s talking (especially when there are a lot of characters in a scene). This makes them stop reading and try to figure out who is saying what. Anything that makes the reader stop is bad (unless of course it’s emotional or thought provoking). They should never get “hung-up” because of the writing style. The converse is true, too. Sometimes I can be too emphatic about what’s going on and then it becomes tedious and overly critical. Again, the flow of reading is hindered.
4.) Mixing up people, places, and items. For this reason I usually write with three Word documents open at any one time. With a Mac (and using Expose) this is incredibly easy to have multiple windows at my fingertips. I keep detailed records of everything from plot to quotes to items to locations of special events. But even still my wife will say, “Huh? I thought [so and so] was back in Adriel still?” O yeah–he is.
There’s more, but that’s enough blood-letting for now. Thanks for reading!