So, you sit down one idle tuesday and decide that this story, which had been growing inside of you for the last few months, needs to be put on paper (or screen, whatever). You type your first line and instantly, wham!, the doubt hits you.
This is THE obstacle most writers spend their lives fighting against. Not lack of imagination, not too narrow a vocabulary. Doubt. The funny thing with doubt is, like the bridge engineer who throws himself off his own bridge because something had not been calculated properly, that no-one else is going to notice if you don't tell them. The days and hours you spend contemplating the virtues of such and such a character is pointless toil, it really is.
Trying to create your character perfectly is near impossible. Let the characters do it themselves and then let them tell the story, just let them... set them free from your self doubt and get going with the story telling. When I wrote John Derrick, my main character, Rory, started off as a graverobbing schoolboy. I knew it was not the way it was going to pan out and Rory told me so. With his hands covered in mud and his shovel planted in the wet earth next to him he looked up at me and said, 'Rowan, this is fucking stupid. Why on earth would I want to be doing this?'
He was right and I told him so over a glass of whiskey. As soon as I opened myself to him he filled me in on what was really going on in a way that was very similar to the conversation Rory and John has.
YOU HAVE TO LISTEN BEFORE YOU CAN WRITE!
Well, that's the first bit of my advice. I'll try and swing past here as often as I can, but in the mean time - feel free to give us a few of your own tips. Whatever you find works for you, even if it is just a glass of whiskey to get rid of those inhibitions.