I've really been struggling with the outline for The Path of Ashes. I had lots of great individual story elements, arcs for existing characters, and ideas for cool and interesting new characters, but I didn't have an overall framework on which to hang it all. I struggled a great deal to get through part one, and then had to start all over again with part two (which is very different from part one), which was even harder even though I had more individual ideas for that section. I just didn't know how they all threaded together.
That (mostly) ended today. It was one of those days where a number of revelatory ideas come to me almost without effort. My subconscious must have been stewing on these questions for a time and decided now was the moment to spit them out. There are a few neat ideas that tie back to a minor scene in The Amber Wizard, and I now have a much better understanding of where all this is headed and how it will end up. Not all of the problems are solved -- not by a long shot -- but most of the major roadblocks just got bypassed.
Kudos to my subconscious!