I used to suffer from talking-head syndrome. I loved them so much that I didn’t seem to notice when they spent page after page, just talking without anything happening plot-wise because I was enamored with the characters. Then I got a job in a kitchen while I was going through school and learned the “If you have time to lean, you have time to clean” cliche.
The same thing happens with writing. If characters have time to sit around and talk without any issues at all, anyone who is not the author can get bored. While writing the book, if I found my boys just talking, I threw frost giants at them. I think it worked perfectly. When I’m bored with what is happening on the page, I remind myself of what Donald Maass said in one of the two brilliant workshops I’d attended with him. I ask myself what is the worst possible thing that could happen in that exact moment and then let that happen.
Writing has never gotten boring since. It meant a lot of throwing out a lot of my pre-planning as the character who is vital for the plot suddenly ends up dead instead of helping the characters get to the next part of the story, but I don’t mind the cost. Great writing is a lot of things, but obvious shouldn’t be one of them.
The Care and Feeding of Sex Demons at Amazon