Have you ever fought with a rusted bolt? It's one of the most aggravating parts of fixing something. You get everything disassembled except one bolt. And it will not budge. Usually it feels like that single bolt could hold the entire planet together in the face of a monstrous asteroid slamming into the Earth. Eventually the bolt gives way under attack from a variety of methods and a big sigh of relief emerges.
That's how I feel right now. I have been stalled on my current script. It's not writer's block. The writing never stopped. But it sure did suck. The stuck bolt in this case was the main character. For me, writing really flows when I know characters so well that seem to come alive in my brain and take off in their own directions. At that point it feels like riding a dog sled. You hold on for dear life and do your best to make sure the team heads in the general right direction. You can always come back and smack them into shape on the rewrite if they didn't quite behave themselves. Anyway, the main character in this script has bedeviled me from the start. I knew the structure of the story I wanted to tell but she remained an enigma to me.
I was writing someone so tightly wound that she wouldn't open up and show her true nature to me. She was projecting a front and hiding behind it. And suddenly it occurred to me that I was staring right at the core of this character and was faked out by it. You've probably already figured out what I didn't. The nature of this character is that she fiercely protects her true self by projecting a front and hiding behind it. When that epiphany struck, the bolt popped free.
I've never written a script where I threw out so much stuff before. Endless scenes have been written and discarded simply because they were filler. I was dancing around trying to find the center, writing trivial bits and hoping they showed me something useful. All of it crap. Now that I've come to understand my main character, the scenes come winging out with confidence. And I let out a big sigh of relief.