After producing lots of words last week, output has dwindled to zero. I'm not worried though because it's mainly because I'd used up all the planned scenes and now have to plan some more. I haven't tried to force it; I've been letting the WIP simmer gently, every so often raising the lid (as it were) to see how it's doing.
I'm reasonably happy with the first 5 chapters (for a zeroth draft), but I knew I didn't just want more of the same. I've reached the transition between Beginning and Middle. The situation is set up, my characters have a Big Problem, and now they need to start making serious efforts to solve it. Also, according to the Browne Diagram I've produced for the plot, I need something more dramatic to happen.
A little while ago, I called on rec.arts.sf.composition's help in generating ideas for fund raising. Mary Gentle suggested that some people might try the pickaxe handle method of dissuading the Earth Mages from moving the mountain to its new home. As I said at the time, I don't want violence to be the solution, but some of the villagers might give it a try. So that's what I decided would happen next; it would also be dramatic and have lots of action.
I wanted to show that intimidation is just not going to work on an Earth Mage. The Earth Mages must repel any attack without breaking into a sweat, but also without causing serious bloodshed. But how? I continued to let it simmer and on Tuesday, driving home after the evening class, my backbrain obliged with some nice images of the Earth Mages doing a kind of very slow and forceful Tai Chi to harness Earth magic in their defence. It has moves like Tectonic Plates Move Ever So Slightly and Magma Rising and Earth Bank Resists the Flood. So the scene planning proceeds and I hope to get more actual writing done at the weekend. Along with nine million other things, of course.