I've been struggling with a new project (tentative title is Slaying for Keeps). The heroine is very different from anyone I've ever written before (think River Tam different--only not--just that degree of different). Anyway, I've been plugging away at it and struggling to figure her out. I mean, I know the neurological reasons she is the way she is, but this one thing kept plaguing me. I didn't know emotionally why she acted the way she does.
It's a strange disconnect for me because that's the part I normally know right off, but this particular character (like River) on the face of things rather emotionless. Needless to say, that got in the way of things. I kept trying to poke at her scenes to understand her, but she wasn't giving me anything. With her so closed off emotionally, I was starting to think I'd never be able to flesh her out enough to make her real.
That was leading to... a degree of frustration we won't even really get into.
Then Sunday night, while I was exhausted from a day of sun and pool and booze and time in the car, I wrote a scene from the hero's point-of-view. Like me, he's been trying to figure this chick out and not having a lot of luck (of course, that's where things were supposed to be for him). In the scene she had, what for her was, a very emotional response. Basically something happened and she clutched at his arm. Heroines do that sort of thing all the time, but in this case, the hero realized how important what happened was for her and set to figuring out why. Suddenly, along with him, I learned what makes the chick tick.
It was an "Oh my God" moment of rather epic proportions for me. On the plus side, I think the writing will be easier from here on out. Down side? I have several chapters to go back and re-work using this new knowledge. It's okay though, because I'm pretty sure this will make things MUCH better in the long run.
*happy dances through the day*