Warning- Writer At Work! By Penalty of death of your favorite character do not enter except in case of real emergency. Things that constitute a real emergency; the house is on fire, the zombie apocalypse has begun, lunch is ready.
The writer must be in it, we can't be to one side of it, ever. He has to be endangered by it. His own attitudes have to be tested in it. The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always.