OK. 2013 had it's challenges, right? You had some successes and some maddening failures. It's fine. Don't obsess about the problems and let them hang over your head. You learned from both types of experiences and you're a better writer for it.
2014 is a new slate, a blank piece of parchment for you to ink with your imagination. You can take all the things you learned from those countless rewrites and improve your dialog or plot arcs.
Settle your nerves as you write and make sure you've got it as right as possible the first time. Take your time. Be patient with your characters. Let them talk to you and show you what happens next. Let your imagination speak to you.
Here's a couple of things I learned to check in 2013:
- search for these 'gotcha's' that I continually get mixed up
breath - breathe
says - said
they're - their - there
your - you're
comma's in the right places for dialog
- constantly go back and read the story out loud
I found lots of gaps and 'say what?' in the story with this tactic
- when I'm idling on something, sketch out a couple of possible paths; explore; play with it!
- add 'richness' to your environment
talk about the characters surroundings. this gives the reader a more interesting feel for the story, something to chew on. I'm really bad about making my environment too lean.
I'm sure you have some things you know you have to do better. Write them down on a sticky note or tape a list where you can review it everyday.
Keep plugging, keep making yourself better. Your readers WILL be able to tell and so will you.
Keep writing, Buckaroos!