We have featured a wealth of wonderful (and often, hard-won) advice for the aspiring constructor, but once more, I have to give the final word to constructor Doug Peterson:
“Not really a “do-not-do,” but one pitfall for many newbie constructors is trying to do too much too soon. A rookie will come up with a fabulous theme, a 25×25 reverse-double-rebus with sprinkles on top, but the poor guy or gal doesn’t have the construction chops to pull it off. And often the whole concept is inconsistent or otherwise flawed.
“I think it’s important to start with the simple stuff. Make a few 15×15 puzzles with 3 or 4 theme entries each. Get a feel for the basics of themes, grid design, and clue writing before moving on to painting-the-Sistine-Chapel-level stuff. I certainly don’t want to stifle creativity, but for most constructors not named Patrick Berry, there’s a learning curve.”
Good luck, my fellow puzzlers!