In the middle of last week, I said to myself, "F* it." I then had my main character curse and stopped giving a damn whether it sounded like a fantasy novel or not or it had any particular tone. That broke me out of the stiffness. I had this subconscious idea of what a novel sounded like, and I knew that my editor would question the tone. Until I stopped caring, that care froze my energy and my verve.
I have no illusion that I have the correct tone for the work. I think I both need to loosen it up more in some ways and tighten it up in others. What I really needed to remind myself was that this was a first draft and I can go crazy on it in any way that I please. I'll sort out everything else later.
And I will sort it out.