I think I know why my writing dried up. The plots have huge holes in them!
Okay, so they’re not exactly huge holes. But there are some serious gaps in the story structure, and I think that I was subconsciously focused on that, which made writing pretty much impossible until I dealt with the weaknesses. I’m the type that likes to have a road map, even if only in my head*.
Story One has the problem that the actual story is much more epic in scale than I had originally planned. There are so many subplots and angles to it, that I need to work them all out now, or become hopelessly tangled and off track.
Story Two is missing the main antagonist. In my head I had ‘somebody is doing bad stuff intentionally’, but when I’m writing, I actually need more than that. Go figure. So now I have to figure out which of the antagonists is actually The Antagonist. Because this story has a lot of antagonists; people who have their own agendas and wish to either use the MC or work against her. But beyond this, there is an active force working against the main characters and the smaller antagonists, I just hadn’t bothered to figure out who/what it is, or what the motivation is. Sigh.
I really do find writing this all out here very helpful; just now I had an idea for story two. Not a solution to the problem I’m looking at (of course not), but a work around to something that had been worrying me about a character. Yay?
*That said, a detailed outline is my preferred method. When something is just in my head, I lose bits due to having a memory like a steel sieve.