How do you get past Writing bumps?

Last night I’d read Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass, and started the chapter on characters. I was excited to learn how to make more gripping characters that people will root for.

drama_faces

 

Maass says to not make a protagonist have too many negative traits, too depressing etc.  And just like people won’t usually stay with a person that’s depressing in real life, they will lose patience for the character.  Since my character is someone who through much of the book is close to a mental breakdown, I became worried he may fall in this too negative category.  

And so last night while I was writing I felt stuck.  What if I had made a mistake with my main character?  Does that mean I have to start over?  So I sat at my desk staring at the notepad, and finally did a free write approach, fleshing my character from a new perspective.  

I am wondering whether other people have run into similar problems while writing?  And what they did to get past them?

 

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