Right after I wrote yesterday's post, the logjam broke.
Our house is constructed so you can walk a circle through its main rooms -- kitchen, a bedroom, hall, living room, dining room, kitchen again. Since it's too hot to go outside these days and also because the neighbors look at me weird if I walk circles around the backyard, sometimes I walk circles through my house. I got the idea from Horatio Hornblower, who paced his quarterdeck for an hour to get some exercise while at sea and think. His creator, C.S. Forester, also paced in his office when he needed to think.
I prefer circles, because the about face part of pacing interrupts my train of thought. I set the timer for ten or twenty mintues and walk and think. I read somewhere where the cross movements of arms and legs stimulates the creative parts of the brain. All I know is, it often works to stimulate new thoughts.
So I walked and asked myself questions, and forced myself to answer them... and suddenly some more details came. I went back to the end of ch 35 and realized that that "intense, really cool, been-looking-forward-to-it for months" bit was just too cool to be allowed to be clunky or off-key. I was demanding that it sing and zing and whatever else in first draft form and forgot all about "really bad draft." So, I decided to take it as it is -- in all its grunting, stuttering, hiccoughing glory -- and move on.
Which means chapter 35 is done and I'm on to Chapter 36.
By the way, BJ Hoff wrote an interesting blog post on Conferences, Critique Groups and Marketing here -- part of a series on detours we can take as writers that end up distracting us from our main work of writing our novels. The whole series is good, but it's probably no surprise to you that I especially appreciated -- and related to -- a lot of what she had to say in this one.