As odd as it sounds, when I can't get a cohesive thought in train with what I'm writing, I just starting writing something random. I had a block before I started Jackals, I knew what the book was about, all the ins and outs, but I couldn't start writing. One evening, after watching August Rush (for the umpteenth time), I wondered if I could write a sequence around music, using words to convey the sound and images, not only the of act of playing, but the images created by the music. The sequence was short, but it was so cool. I had to put it in a book. It's in the fourth chapter of Jackals. From there, the whole book just kind of sprang forth like a well. 10-weeks later, I had 100K words. I've talked to several writers that get caught up writing a book from beginning to end, linearly. I don't. I write what I know, what inspires at the moment. For Balance, I wrote the first four chapters, the last four, and than filled in the middle.