Here is a great quote by Alec Sokolow - co-writer of Toy Story and others. This appeared in the very last issue of Scriptwriter. I believe this advice extends beyond our immediate work however.
Everybody loves the smell of their own farts. Everyone has to piss on something to make it theirs. Lose the fight before you lose the job. The camel shits and caravan moves on. Every once in a while the camel's going to take a crap and you're either going to have to walk through it or walk around it. Your job is to plough through and move on.
Wise words - possibly. Or maybe Alec has been working with kids for too long. But actually, as with so many of these things, this idea can also apply to our characters as well as to ourselves.
I know that 'everyone has to piss on something to make it theirs' can seem to apply to development execs, agents, producers, actors etc all suggesting lines. But equally it applies to any character in the plot. What are they doing to make the problems, the solutions, the issues theirs? What do they do with it that no other character would.
Or maybe we are just pissing in the wind!
Photo by eNil.