A lot of introductory participial phrases, that's something that seems to correlate to "new writer" for me.
Here's another. Gushing. I'm thinking not of where, in the query letter, you tell me how wonderful I am (gush away then :), but rather in the story, where the writer amplifies in an overly positive way--
She was astoundingly beautiful.
The keychain was the most wonderfully perfect gift he'd ever received.
The chair was incredibly richly detailed.
The road was wonderfully pretty.
She was incredibly beautiful.
He was amazingly smart.
The problem is usually in the modifier/modified combination. This doesn't mean you shouldn't use modifiers-- I love 'em-- but be careful of redundant combos:
But you know, I could probably live with those, because I see that the writer has a vocabulary. But whenever I see "incredibly" in a sentence? Well, it means NOTHING. It's just an intensifier, and more annoying than, well, "more" or "very" (which are, after all, common words that mean exactly what they're meant to mean in the sentence-- intensification). "Incredibly" means 1) nothing, 2) not what you want it to mean in front of that other word. (It means "unbelievably," another empty intensifier.)
You don't want to sound like a pre-teen girl talking about how much she loves one of the Jonas Brothers, do you?
"Incredibly delicious..." This makes me think about how "delicious" used to be enough. You know, when I was growing up, a dish of vanilla ice cream was about as far as our little imaginations could reach. But that wasn't delicious enough, and now this is what you can order (for $7) for dessert: A brownie sundae, with brownie, hot fudge sauce, chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, whipped cream, oh, and vanilla ice cream. Definitely "incredibly delicious".
(Speaking of definitely... a couple semesters ago I had a raft of papers come in that kept using the word "defiantly" -- "I was defiantly glad that Mom and Dad adopted my little brother." "History is defiantly the major for future videogame writers." Whoa. I mean, that led to some interesting ideas... defiantly glad, huh? Mom and Dad punished you for being glad? Or? Then I realized that they'd all misspelled "definitely" the same way-- definately-- and spellcheck had corrected that to "defiantly". :)
Consider a "show" here so you don't have to "tell" so much.
Even raising his hand for the bill set off waves of pain through his shoulder.
He was so grateful he sat down and wrote his mother a thank-you note.
If we "see" the amazingly incredible whatever, we'll believe it more. After all, Helen wasn't termed "amazingly beautiful." Rather she had a face that launched a thousand ships.
Try to show the amazingness in some action or some comparison. Don't gush-- show us.