A funny thing happened on the way to finishing the scene I mentioned in my previous post. I'd mentioned I was having a tough time with it, because although it was filled with actiony goodness, the next scene is sort of the emotional core of the book, and that was what I wanted to be writing. As you can see in the comments section, some writerly folks chimed in, and in the process of talking through my issues writing the scene, I guess I got my head on straight (thanks, guys!), diving back into it with zeal this morning.
So what's the punchline? Well, once my focus shifted from the scene I wanted to write to the scene I was actually writing, one of my characters did something unexpected. Something game-changing. Something that just fucking resonates emotionally, and casts that character (as well as the central struggle of the protagonist) in a whole new light. (That, by the way, is what Stuart was talking about, and why I hate to skip around. Stephen and Sophie, that's not a diss; sometimes you've got to remind yourself why your process is your process, and examining what doesn't work for you is imperative in discovering what does.)
You know, I'd like to think I've learned a thing or two in the time I've spent writing - about mechanics, about craft, about myself - but it seems there's one lesson I'm doomed to learn over and over, only to forget it again. That lesson is this: the key, for me, to writing is being present in the moment, being invested fully in every scene. When external strife, or writing-as-business stuff, or just plain impatience gets in the way of that, the writing suffers, and the only cure is to find that focus again.
So, yeah. Thanks to those who helped me get my mojo back. DH is a better book for it.