When I was in college getting my degree in Creative Writing, it wasn't uncommon to write five to six papers per week, given all the classes I was taking. And very early on, I had adopted a policy where, in every paper, I intended to make my reader laugh or have an intense emotional reaction. Sure I was just writing reading responses about short stories or papers on the politics in Plato's 'Republic,' but often my professors would note sections that made them laugh. Or exclamation marks scrawled in red ink would litter my sidebars where my professors had been shocked by my commentary. And it worked. I had a great track record for getting A's on those papers.
When it comes to Sorrow, I hit a roadblock a few months ago. It was all ready for publication and I had entered into the Amazon's Best Newcomer contest. I didn't make it far, but I did get published and I even hired a professional voice actor through Audible. He quickly turned into my editor as well and started asking questions about the Sorrow universe that I wasn't prepared to think about.
Cut to about four months later when I realized that I've been holding on to a story of the past, and hadn't been able to see the story that it could be.
I was open, for the first time in years, to my old policy about getting intense reactions from my readers. I found plot twists just sitting there that I hadn't used before, because I was protecting the story that was. I wrote scenes that made me, as the author, cry, because they were so powerful...and perfect...for the Sorrow universe.
And now the story is nearly complete. And it's better. And stronger than ever before.