It's comforting to hear about very accomplished writers struggling (and solving) with the same kind of story issues I have. In this post, Nicola Griffith comes up with a solution for the common problem of having a character in her current project spending a lot of time alone, thinking. How to maintain tension, engagement?
Here's the snip:
Ever since I started writing Hild I've been searching for a way for her to have alone time that wasn't just wandering about in the woods. (Personally, I love wandering about in the woods, in real life and as a writer, but it is difficult to maintain any kind of narrative tension/reader engagement.) The other day the solution presented itself: Hild climbs trees. (I have Anthony to thank for this: I downloaded a sample chapter of Robert Macfarlane's The Wild Places and, bam, there was the solution.) So now I going through the ms. looking for places to feather in her tree climbing habit. Along the way I'm researching a variety of tree species and growing conditions, and the beasties that live amongst them.