I realize that nearly all of writing a novel is just sticking to your guns. Can I just say that I have a FUCKTON of respect for all the people out there able to finish something? I don't care if it's the worst piece of sucking drivel with zero story elements worth reading. It's still finished. Which is a world more than I can say for myself.
My first problem is that I keep biting off more than I can chew. I keep rereading that awesome quote by Ira Glass, "Do a lot of bad work, your taste is impeccable, you skill has to catch up with your taste, etc..." but of course I can't find it anywhere on the internet right now. I have it printed out and pasted in my notebook. But my skill is definitely not up to speed with my tastes. I want my stories to have complicated interwoven plots and subtle characters and bangtastic settings, but they always turn out like an awkward and melodramatic sixth grader.
I come up with these grand ideas for a story, and then end up pulling half of it out. I keep reminding myself to start small, finish something, then move up, but I'm too impatient. I try to freewrite to discover intricacies of my setting, but I only feel like I'm wasting time. I'm trying most to ditch that habit. Brainstorming doesn't feel like I'm getting anything done, and yet it's absolutely necessary.
I'm currently breaking down the main plot of my book into the 20-block storyboard. I have a general idea already, but I am forcing it to fit into the template. Learn the template first, then I can break it. I'm trying to develop characters as well, because a story can't exist with only the protag, villain, and sidekick. Well, some stories might, but not mine.