My characters are not speaking to me.
I'm sure all of you who are writers have experienced this at some point or another. Knowing that is comforting, but somehow not quite helpful.
I've written the character studies. I know these people. The plot is all outlined and summarized. I've even written the first 2 chapters and one in the middle.
But now I'm drawing a blank. I've fallen victim to my own self-criticism. I'm crippled by doubt. It sucks. It's amateurish. It's too outlandish. The devil is in the details and even though I can come up with the summary and plot outline, I feel unable to write the nuts and bolts. I'm incapacitated by fear over the sheer magnitude of the project.
I have to write how many pages?!
I believe in the characters and the story. But I fall into the trap of comparing my writing with already-published writers and of course I pale by comparison.
I ask myself, is it even worth the effort? Can I ever hope to compare?
All of this inner hand-wringing is obviously stifling my creative process. Although I am tempted to give in and believe the inner critic, I am also determined not to give up.
So, what do all you other writers out there do to get your inner critic to shut the heck up and allow the words to flow?