I should've learned this by now. What I finally realized was I was forcing situations on my characters. I had one direction I wanted the plot to follow, but my poor character was having none of it.
I've attended several years of the National Book Festival down in D.C. I've heard the likes of Sue Grafton, Nevada Barr, Mary Higgins Clark, John Sandford, and Clive Cussler talke about their characters as if they're real. As if they run the show. They'd say things like, "I got to Chapter 3 and my character wouldn't do what I wanted." I remember looking at these authors with skepticism. They sounded insane. Um, excuse me, but aren't you the author of these fictional characters?
Yeah, well, that was before I had characters of my own to wrangle. Now I know what they mean. It's all about the human condition, I suppose. If you have a character with this personality put into this situation, then 9 times out of 10 they're going to respond thus. And I was trying to force a round peg into a square hole.
So I gave up and let my character do what she wanted.
Lo and behold, I got unstuck! The words flowed again. Does this mean my characters know more about the story than I do? Hmm. Scary thought.
And just in case you're wondering, this character is the lead in my third novel (working title Flesh and Blood). Her name's Brynn Taylor, and she's definitely got some issues. I look forward to watching her figure her way out of them. :)