I've been unhappy with the WIP fourth book in my Diaspora Worlds series for some time. I changed the title, I eliminated some characters...I wrote through to the near end...I whined. I moaned. I talked a writer friend with good instincts for content into reading it.
"Hmmm, that Karvar."
Yes. That was the problem, stupid cardboard Karvar...but I got no blinding inspiration on fixing him. Nada.
SO I broke up with him, left him languishing in an alien jungle. That was actually easy to do because the old personal life was thumping around demanding attention.
I read Harry Potter. In fact, I read the series twice, watched the movies, read writing books. I do love to read. I also read HP Fanfiction...I once was very involved in a fanfic community, and always loved when an author captured the character, seamlessly placing them into a new story.
And one day it became clear. Karvar is angry, and embarrassed, and stuck in a mess of his own creation. Not some calm robot...and he's a lot more fun to write!