|I will call him Squishy and he will be my Squishy.|
Writing is something that's a creative endeavor. It means pulling something out of nothing. It means putting something out there that wasn't there before. And that's super hard. Unlike most other arts, it's 100% sequential. One word has to follow the other. It's got to be linear (for the most part). It's not like art where you see it all at once. Everything has to make sense. And you don't get anything but words to help build the world. You can't play music to emphasize mood. You don't get anything visual that demonstrates the architecture or character expressions -- no art or illustrations. You've got no other tools but words and your brain.
It's like programming. You put down the code, you debug it, submit for code reviews, debug some more, then release it. But there are no patches. No post-fix releases. No DLC that could explain something. No repairs based on customer feedback. It's got to be perfect the first time. And that is intimidating. It's got to be perfect from the initial idea (the strange attractor), it's got to have flawlessly-written characters, mistake-free plot, and all of it's got to be interesting at the same time.
I'm still trying to work through that freeze response. But I have made some progress on outlining the next novel and I've read enough comic books that I feel I can go back to reading actual books.
Outlining a novel is tough, because it's like dreaming. For Reprise, I didn't have much to it. I pretty much imagined the next "section" as I tried to fall asleep. I didn't give much attention to cohesion or character- or world-building (especially unnecessary since it was fan fiction). And Defender was so long ago, I don't remember what I did. Stare at a computer? It's where the perfect image in your head becomes imperfect by putting it on paper. It's where 100% of the creativity comes from. After that, it's simply a matter of converting the outline/notes to readable form.