Breaking down the brick wall turns out require more construction, not deconstruction. Argh. This is what I get for diving into this novel last Nov 1st without doing the proper world building first. Oh, it's been there vaguely in my head the whole time: geography, political climate, etc. But that's not good enough. Now I need the details, the history, the whys and wherefores that I sort of relegated to the back burner in the rush of putting words to paper for Nano.
Not that I mind this kind of thing, quite the contrary. I love it. I could make up worlds and their histories forever. It's as exciting as coming up with an entertaining twisting plot. Same "wow" factor. What I do mind is that it's interfering with my need to finish the first draft.
Today, I drew maps, named the other city-states, started recording their histories, political, military, economical... Time-consuming, but necessary. Without a clear understanding of the city-state relationships, there's no conflict, without conflict, no motive, without motive -- no story. Understanding the motives on a visceral level is not the same thing as having them in black and white. Or white on blue, LOL!