I'm not exaggerating when I say I’ve read practically every book written on How To Write my first year of writing. If the title had writing, plot, character, writers, writing market, publishing, Big Author Name (expect it was actually a name, of course), craft, etc, I read it. I immersed myself fully into learning all there was to learn about writing. Ninety percent of it went over my head because I simply didn't have the writing chops to get motivation or what makes natural dialogue or even what makes great character. I didn't understand good writing is subjective anyway. It would have never crossed my mind or seem like a possibility that there could be some alternate universe where the writing is good, there's nothing wrong with it craft wise, but it's not engaging in any way possible.
I've found, even after all this time later, my go to is craft. When I'm truly stuck on a story I don't just watch other movies or read other books, I pick them up and tear them apart. This may seem like a strange way to fix my own book, but this method has never failed me. There's something about reading or watching something that works or doesn't work that helps me see where I'm going wrong.
Because no matter how many books you write, you still may write something where the pacing is off. You may, Whedon forbid, break character. That scene you wrote and loved and it's brilliant beyond the telling of it, may derail the whole damn story.
Watching other movies, reading other stories, never fails to remind me that craft isn't something you learn and never go back to. Craft is something you have to take with you into every story.
So, right now I'm stuck, but I'm taking in craft because I know for a fact it'll save the mess of a story I've written.
What's the one thing you do to unstick a stuck story? Or unstick something in your life?