first... have a pumpkin. Few other vegetables carve as well and almost no meat products will work even a little bit.
second...have a really good carving knife. Good grip long sharp blade. Hold it like a crazed killer to double the fun
third... even if you have a really good knife leave it at home when you go to buy the pumpkin. For some reason people at the piggly wiggly freak out over great cutlery.
fourth... if you don't have children when carving a pumpkin then you need friends and alcohol around for the irony.... otherwise it's just sad carving a gourd by yourself
fifth... if you cut yourself while carving so bad that you have to go to the hospital. Lie.. lie lie lie... tell them you were fending off an intruder.
sixth... triangle eyes and nose is very 3rd grade.. come on people.
seventh... know where you're going to put your newly massacred vegan food before you buy it. Especially if you live in an apartment.
eighth... The jack-o-latern vomiting seeds has been done to death. Also.. do not carve the following peoples faces into pumpkins... Chuckie, Dracula, Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln, Hannah Montana.
ninth... if you use a candle put it in a little clear glass. This will keep it from blowing out and will keep white wax from oozing out of the mouth. (if you did carve Hanna Montana.. white wax oozing out of the mouth is ok)
tenth... having a jauntily decorated pumpkin on your porch up to halloween is cute and shows holiday spirit. After November first you're just a slob with rotting vegetables in front of your house.