I came across an old post about some of my greatest challenges and fears as a writer. I thought I would list a few and invite you to do the same in the comments section.
1. The fear of not making my male characters masculine enough. In many books by women authors (especially romances) I find that the male characters think, act and talk a lot like women. Perhaps I'm sexist, but I think men should seem different. Because they are from Mars.
2. The beginning. I think all writers struggle with this. On the one hand you have to hook the reader's interest without too many boring details, but on the other hand action that takes place in a vacuum is boring as well. I really don't care who is stalking Esmerelda as she approaches her car if I don't know who Esmerelda is, what she is doing there and why the stalker is pursuing her. Putting her in imminent danger on the first page makes me feel manipulated. Like, I'm just going to go get a cookie now. Good luck, Esmerelda.
3. Keeping strong physical (or emotional) action from seeming overdone. Sometimes I find that when I'm describing a busy scene, it comes out looking silly on the page. I find it helps to read these sections out loud and to try cutting about half of the original description. It's easier to add more if needed than to keep shaving little bits off. Unlike carpentry.
4. Feeling foolish when I see my prose. Sometimes even after I've done several edits, the whole thing still just seems invalid. I have come to realize that this is a side effect of looking at my own writing on a computer screen rather than seeing it in print. Other books seem to have an authenticity about them because they are actually books. Imagining the text of my favorite novel as it would appear in a Word Document helps a lot.
5. Exposition. Where the heck do you put it? This is surely my biggest challenge right now. I want to use an omniscient voice so I can tell my readers about my fantasy world. But I'm being told, "Noooooooooo, omniscient won't sell." So where the heck do I mention that my characters aren't human? They're not going to sit around thinking about this fact, because it doesn't matter to them. There's not going to be a scene at a bar anything like this:
Lt. Harth: "Hey, Faldur, aren't you glad we're small and quick, unlike those big clumsy humans?"
Capt. Relaszen: "Hey, now, Prince Melbrinor is six feet tall but he's got magical powers, too, so he can beat any of those guys if they come our way."
Lt. Harth: "I've never actually seen a human, have you?"
Capt. Relaszen: "No, but I'll bet one's never seen you either. Hahahahaha!"
Instead I have to rely on subtle clues and hope the readers pick them up.