Where the research is beginning to pay off. When writing a novel, there is a place where you brain is going “Only 20 pages? Are you nuts? You have to write 40 times that to finish the book!”
I run into that when researching the places and times for the next novel. Pick up a source you think will be great, read 80 or 90 pages before you realize the author is only interested in relaying nominally interesting anecdotes about high-level goings on, with none of the detail of daily life I’m looking for. So I’ll put that aside, grumbling about the lost time, and pick up another.
As with the writing, diligence (seat of the pants to the seat of the chair) pays off after a while. The “read” pile has gotten larger, with notes and highlighting and pages worth remembering dog-eared.
But now, it’s coming together. Small scenes appear to me (often at inconvenient-to-record times like driving down a mountainside or in the shower), the image or sequence magnetized, in a sense, by some odd fact I’ve read in one of the other books.
Slower than I like, but better than I could have hoped.