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Well, I'm now over halfway through Reckoning, the final section of my second novel, Perspective.

I hit a major stumbling block a few days ago and struggled with inspiration for a while, but think I've finally cracked it.

I'd written the first two chapters of the section quite quickly, which had set things up exactly how I wanted. I've also had the grand finale mapped out in my mind for a while now too.

That left me with a few of chapters to bridge the gap. The first was fine, but then I ground to a halt. There were things that had to happen in the next chapters for the ending to make sense, but I just couldn't get it to work in a satisfactory way. It was either believable but boring, or interesting but unbelievable. In both cases, it seemed to lose momentum and tension, which is the last thing you need before the big showdown.

So I took a step back and looked at some of the personal motivations of the key supporting characters, and found my solution. Framing what had to happen in giving a satisfactory conclusion to a couple of the secondary character arcs gave me the focus and momentum I was looking for. So thanks go to one of these characters, in particular. I always knew her time would come...

I've written the first of those chapters, possibly the darkest thing I've written so far. I hope I've done it justice.

It's lead me to tweak the ultimate resolution slightly too, it feels much more fitting now.

On the subject of inspiration, while writing I've found myself listening to music that I've not considered since probably the late 1970s, early 1980s - and even then I wasn't a huge fan. I was looking for something on Spotify that didn't distract me too much, but I'd enjoy while trying to concentrate on my writing. I stumbled across a Mike Oldfield playlist, which I found fitted the bill surprisingly well. I've ended up listening to most of the things he's done, and somehow it seems to fit the rhythms of how my brain works while writing really well.

I'd not taken much notice of anything he'd done for ages, so was pleasantly surprised by the quality and variety of his work since that period. I just play a mega-playlist of many of his albums on the Sonos speakers in my study when I start writing, and it seems to help keep me focused.

I'll probably be sick of him by the end of this book and never want to hear him again, but thought I ought to give him credit for his supporting role!

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