I have found that creating images of my locations is helping me considerably. All the books and articles say that your characters should be well defined. That you should make them "live" in your mind; they then provide lists / ways of getting to know your characters, their likes and dislikes, their strengths and weaknesses and how they would react to any given situation.
Maybe defining locations is not exactly as exciting as getting to know your characters but I have found that by creating montages of my locations i have a much better way of envisioning them. The images bring them to "life" for me and help inspire the stories which occur in those locations.
For example; in this novel, the "Room of Magik" is a central location. What is it like, what is in the room? I bought together a background and several items which I would expect to be in the room. This has helped me to write from knowledge of that location.
The basic stone table was already in the room used as the background. I added the books and scrolls, the shelving with books and the document on the wall. Oh, and yes the flame of the torch.
In this image I have used one of my own photos as a background and superimposed a photo of a statue (a monk) who represents the main antagonist in my story. In this way I have really been able to bring the locations (and characters) to life.
I have been writing since the last post but I am going to stop posting drafts of the scenes from the novel. I am not sure if they really do any good. I will see how it goes.