With my writing resumed I find myself having to do something I've not done in awhile, talk to my characters! Yes, I actually talk to them out loud as if they were in a room with me. I find that it helps me to unearth my story, overcome writers block and get to know my characters and their world. I can also vent my frustrations to them and ask for guidance. Call me Francis Farmer but it works for me. For anybody who doesn't know, Francis Farmer was a 1930's and 40's movie star who had been frequently committed to insane asylums.
If unearthing my story suggest that the story already exists somewhere then good, because I believe it does. I think all stories exists in the aether's first. The writer is selected by the characters to bring it into the world. The author is merely a channel and I believe they are carefully selected based on very complex and specific character traits that they themselves have that enable them to tell the story exactly as the characters want it told. If I try to write a story and it is not working no matter what I do I think that is because the story is not suited for me as an author. Timing factors could be involved, too. So, I don't think writers should give up writing all together because one story went south. I can just ask my characters if I'm suited to write their story or not! It also does not necessarily mean that the story was bad idea.
It is important for me to understand and remember that my characters are my friends and I am in partnership with them. They have an interest in the work turning out well, too. So, they should be consulted with regularly. Sometimes It might take a couple hours or a couple days to get an answer but I always get it. What really intrigues me is when I write something that seems to make absolutely no since whatsoever. I'll say to myself ''why did he or she say or do that?'' But I leave it because a few pages or chapters later that character will always justify their words or actions.
I also believe that characters are not of our realm/dimension, So they have no need or use for money or notoriety. They Only want their story told in our reality/realm. If there are any accolades to be enjoyed the writer reaps them all. So I just look at my stories/characters like I would a sexy guy I want to go home with and I say- use me!