When you cast on, how far apart are the loops on the needle? Maybe you have extra yarn from a super-loose cast on. I found that I have better luck casting on using two needles held together (or on one needle a few sizes larger than what I'm knitting with) and keeping the loops right next to each other on the needle.
Similarly, how far down the needle are you working the stitches in your first row? Maybe you don't need to work tighter, just closer together- not so close that you're actually working on the slanted tip, but not to far away, either.
Are you just knitting, or are you purling, too? That might change things...
Can you take a picture? That might help.
Of course, one of the wise modly mods
will probably be along to sort you out shortly.