I don't believe in writer's block. I think it's writer's idleness. You keep writing and eventually it comes right. But not this time. I kept writing and three times I ended up in a different cul-de-sac.
Time for drastic action.
I gave up and walked away and let the dust settle.
I read a couple of books, did some other work and blanked the problem from my mind. I have a mind that likes blank as much as I like a pint of bitter. So I had a few pints as well.
Normally, I plot the next chapter in my head when I go to bed. Sometimes I jot down a few words on a pad in the dark as an aide memoir. Sometimes the aide memoir looks like a doctor's prescription but the act of writing something down fixes it in the mind anyway.
But for the next few nights, I avoided the book. I thought of something else when I went to bed: I replayed an imagined Lottery win in all its glory – which is about as close as I'll come to a real Lottery win.
Then five days later, I went to bed and the plot came knocking. It must have got bored being left in limbo. And it had the answer. It was drastic but it was the right answer.
I had to go back to the point where I had made a wrong plot assumption and chop everything from there. Ten thousand words were ditched, which is a sizeable chunk of anybody's imagination.
No writer likes giving up hard written words: they represent blood, sweat and tears. But that 10,000 had to go. And do you know? It's flowing again with not a cul-de-sac in sight.
Only another 30,000 to produce and I can get depressed about the re-write.