After cutting a major portion of what I'd previously written on Book 2, I finally found the way back into Charlie's story. There were a few moments of panic (picture lots of head banging, eating snacks for inspiration, pacing,staring off into space, and asking Charlie and the powers that be to reveal everything in my dreams -- yeah, that one didn't happen . . .), but after looking at things from every angle, reading through Book 1, and finally admitting to myself that I had to scrap several chapters (though saved in another file in case they're needed later on), I found the right path for this book. And how do I know, you might ask? I can only say it's a feeling, a feeling of not 'forcing' things.
I think if I'd been stubborn and stuck with what I had previously, I would've kept banging my head against the wall, and wasted a lot of time on something I knew wasn't 'right'. So, don't be afraid to cut (though always save just in case!), and start fresh. I'm a big proponent of working through the tough spots, but if a tough spot, or the entire story, hardens around you like cement, then it might be time to start thinking about scrapping and starting again. But only you can know when that time comes.
Thankfully, I'm out of that mess and moving forward into gruesome crime scenes, ancient scrolls, inter-dimensional gateways, and a very cool (if I do say so myself) archaeological find.