Within the past few days I managed to substantially rewrite most of Chapters 9 and 10. The same basic events occur, but I needed to draw out questions/issues that were of concern to the main characters, Jacques and Giel. There was a lot of tension that was building over all the previous chapters, and they had stuff on their minds, and the situations they found themselves in presented them with opportunities to raise those questions/issues and seek some answers. I had touched on this stuff lightly, but needed much more focus on the main story questions, since this is now leading in to the mid-point and it all comes together with a decision that Jacques must make. The new version is much stronger and more directly connected to the rest of the story. I'm very happy with it. Now, just need to ride this out to the mid-point to complete this transition sequence, then it's on to the new, as-of-yet unedited material of the second half.
It feels good to have made some progress!
I'll also mention that some of the other research I'm doing these days involves philosophy, ancient Greece and Ancient Greek. Perhaps the blogs of certain historical fiction writers have inspired me.... ;-) Unrelated to those topics, I've also conceived of a new novel I'd love to write. It is definitely "high concept" and would make a great best-seller and film version, not that I'm seeking to write only for commercial reasons -- my writing is my art, a way to take my life and experience and seek meaning in it and all that sort of thing. But it's fun to realize I've got a really cool, potentially hot idea.
So, the inspiration is there again. Now I just need to buckle down. I think that part is harder, since I know how much work I do when I'm writing and taking a break from all that is such a naughty pleasure in itself. Perhaps Janet Jackson's new album will inspire me. [Disclaimer: The preceding was a joke, it was only a joke, and nothing other than a joke.]
Wishing everyone the discipline they need to get things done,