Deal with your inner critic by giving it a voice. Place a piece of paper beside you as you write. Title it ‘The critic’s page’ and as you write, when you hear your critic mouthing off, write down all of its injections and then move on.
Don’t let your inner critic get in the way of the story.
If you find yourself struggling to get words down, you might try clustering, which is when you splatter words about what you need to write on a large piece of paper.
In writing your journal give primary attention to detail; for it is a detail which organises and preserves experience for your future self or some another reader. General statements like “we had a wonderful time” or “it was the dismal morning” make a mockery of the whole procedure, for they it evaluate the experience without recreating it. Robert Grudin
Your outline is a dialogue you have with yourself around the story, helping you to find the structure before you begin to write. It is a map that shows the many different routes you can take to get to the end. It is a guide, not a prison, as brief or detailed as you want or need it to be.
Each major plot-point is revealed in a scene. Write vividly. Show your story, don’t just tell it.
An advantage of writing an outline is that if you get stuck on one part, you can put that aside and move on to the next. And as you write your outline, you will find that you will see at a glance what has been missed and what needs to be written.
If you use the author’s voice (omniscient point of view) in your story, don’t use it to tell the story, but to counterpoint the story.
The function of dialogue is to talk the unknown into existence. It conveys information, moves the plot and reveals character. It shows education, class and culture.
Keep the main antagonistic off centre stage. His physical presence should be rare and reserved for climatic scenes of confrontation. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the Count seems more fearsome by his absence.
Remember: the more we know a character, the less they frighten us.