I know taking inspiration from other writers is nothing new and I'm sure we all do it, but I thought I'd share something that really helps me get words down and kick start new chapters or paragraphs. Before I start writing, I place two or three of my favourite novels on the desk before me. These should be writers whose style you admire and enjoy reading. And then I start writing. When - not if, but when - your flow dries up and you grind to a halt, or when you stare at the blank page of a new chapter, or find yourself asking why you're writing a particular scene and if it serves any purpose, stop and pick up one of the novels. Look at how they start new chapters, new paragraphs. Do they write scenes that a writing tutor would tell you served no real purpose and should be cut? This takes a matter of seconds, and just reading a single sentence or two will motivate you to get going again. It's a fairly new discovery for me, but I think it will turn out to be invaluable.