Wow, we're already at 50 patrons with four days left to go in the patron drive! Thank you all so much for spreading the word, and welcome, new patrons! I'm really touched by your support for Story Hospital.
Since your circumstances make writing a bit challenging for you, you're responding to that by sitting squarely in your comfort zone. Every writer does this from time to time, especially when starting out, and there's no shame in it. You just need to recognize that it's what you're doing, and consciously make the decision to make yourself uncomfortable in the service of your art.
For the last week of October, it's patron drive time here at Story Hospital. I have 39 fantastic patrons right now (thank you all!). If we can get that number to 50 by October 31, I'll make an extra post every week in November, aimed specifically at helping folks who are doing NaNoWriMo.
Self-criticism is incredibly painful, because we know where all our own weak spots are. But by that same logic, we can also be our own best allies, cheerleaders, and friends.
It sounds like going scene by scene and character by character has been helpful for you to this point, but it's not what you need right now. You need to see the novel as a novel, to grasp it in its entirety and understand not just the individual parts but how they all work together. You need to turn off your engineering brain and get the book's gestalt. And how you do that is: you read the book.
There are very few arts or crafts where an important part of creation is destroying part of what you've created. Even sculptors don't have to make the marble before they start chipping it away.