Ack! I’ve not posted in over a month! I’ve not been idle though:
I’m still sticking to my habit of cranking out at least ~200 words a day. Even if it’s another version of a scene or nothing to do with the book I’ve kept this up (except during travel: writing on the go is the next thing to figure out).
Unfortunately I’ve come to a point that I’m rehashing the same material which is not only boring but isn’t moving the book forward.
I’m finding that once I’m in a rut it’s best to stop writing and start reading. Research is preferable but fiction is good too – really, anything that shakes up the brain pan.
The research is, as ever, essential because it provides not only more information but new ideas. For example, one name I pulled out of the source material and used as a placeholder for a minor character turns out to have been a spy with ruthless methods and uncertain motive. Using this discovery makes this character both more interesting and better rounded, which in turn makes his interactions with my protagonist both more layered and easier to write.
Fiction introduces rhythm of prose and familiar words used in new ways (I’ve always been a reader, but I’m finding that my work uses an embarrassingly small vocabulary). Descriptions are also helpful, because for all I can see scenes “in my head” they never turn out on the page the way I envision, so it’s good to see how others do it.
So, still always the student.
In the new year I’m going to have my first writing group critique, so I’m spending some time hammering that out into something I’m confident sharing. Keep you posted.