So my hero and heroine were on the beach with their team of marines, archers, and members of the Order of the Eyes, getting ready to kill the guys on the wall, get into the city by stealth, and rescue an entire shipload of their people who, if they fell into the hands of the torturer on his way from another city to work them over, would cost the Tonk their survival.
It’s a big scene, critical to the story, and I knew it.
But there my people sat, on the damned beach, bitching at each other about trivialities. I knew what was supposed to happen, they knew what was supposed to happen, and yet it wasn’t happening.
So I reassessed the scene. What was I missing?
Well, I was missing the fact they they were missing a fact. A critical fact that was going to lessen their chances of success to almost nothing. That they were going to FAIL in the rescue attempt that meant the loss of their war, their people, their whole world. This is the horseshoe nail for want of which a war is lost.
For the sake of their world, they had to save that nail. For the sake of the story, therefore, they HAD TO LOSE IT.
Once I realized that, they quit their yapping, got off the beach, and got to work. I’m making good progress now. Because I know, even if they don’t, that they’re about to get the shit kicked out of their future.