Quick cycling pass in the morning, mostly to clean up the typos. Let’s not give inner critic any cracks to get in.
Then I look at it and it hits me that may I need to work out the setting first. When I learned how to write—and this is how destructive the advice out there is—I was told over and over that description was boring. That you should keep it to a minimum.
Even now, there’s a writer who is a popular blogger who tells beginners to introduce description in “drips and drabs.” So you get, “She tossed her blond hair” as part of a dialogue tag, vaguely somewhere.
I had to rewire my brain to put more in. But the setting is always the first thing that hangs me up on the scene because I have to do it first. For a while, that was a role for inner critic. It had to nudge the creative side and whisper, “Psst. You forgot the setting.”
After a while, if I left it out, the creative side caught it, feeling like something was missing. Now it’s the first thing on the plate for me. But I hang on it, trying to come up with details that aren’t simply checking the box.
So I spent some time identifying what this setting looked like at this particular time of day—sounds, smells, temperature. This was a setting that I’d previously used, so it led me to ask, “What’s changed?”
From there, I jumped back into the chapter for about 1K.