I cannot speak for other authors but for me as I develope my characters they take on a life of their own. I may attempt to dictate the direction of the story but many times they tell me in no uncertain terms what they will and won't do.
Without giving away any of the story of Susquehanna Brave I am having difficulty with Danielle. I am at a point in the story where I want her to show compassion for someone but she is NOT in the mood. Her disfigurement has seared deeply and turned her heart black. When this type of problem arises I have to slide my chair away from the computer, take a break, and consider my options. So I spent the day trimming tree limbs that have grown too big and are blocking my view. Hmm..? Blocking my view. Interesting metaphor. Six hours of sawing, chopping, tripping over myself, and hauling the limbs to the mulch pile have reawakened forgotten muscles and given me the answer that will be acceptable to Danielle. In fact I received a rare smile...actually it was a smirk from Danielle as if to say, "Took you long enough to figure it out." Characters...Ugh!