Every once in a while I realize that my writing instincts ARE getting better, or, at least, I’m getting better at listening to them. I may have a really solid outline in hand for the third Dabir and Asim novel, but as I came closer and closer to the two-third’s mark I resisted the temptation to drive forward to finish the section. Now I realize it would have been an exercise in finishing rather than writing, and that the outline may look solid for the next two chapters, but that it’s not satisfying. By not pushing forward I saved myself at least a week writing prose that would simply have been cut in the end.
Truly, every book is a mountain, and while you have to get to the summit, and use the same kinds of climbing gear, every approach is different. Unless you’re simply writing the same book over and over, you have to change up your tactics.
I’m going to allow myself a slight smile of satisfaction, then stop and start revising the earlier bits to get into better position or the final third.