As my youngest son used to say when he was knee-high to a grasshopper, the weather was "in the flurries out there." The Taco Bell management, however, must have misread their annual memo on the date they were to turn off the furnace. I swear they had the air conditioner on. Inside felt colder than the sub-freezing outside. If my teeth hadn't been chattering so hard, I would have stood up and hollered, "It's not summer yet, folks! Turn up the heat!" (Oh, well, maybe I wouldn't have been so bold, even with non-chattering teeth, since I wasn't actually a paying customer today.) Perhaps the manager's dreams of spring jarred loose his hold on reality? Had his yearning for warmer weather overruled his common sense? As much as I'd like to see the warm, green offerings of spring, I'm not yet ready for the A/C.
Writer, take heed! You may find yourself wishing, hoping, dreaming for that big plot change to happen sooner rather than later. NOW. But don't rush the story. Don't force your main character into an icy, premature dark moment before you've had time to turn up the heat on character and plot development. Conversely, don't keep the heat on too long, either, expecting your reader to sweat it out when they really need a cool blast of refreshing change.
To mix my metaphors--(close your eyes, Brandilyn)--avoid that dreaded middle muddle, where it feels like we readers are being forced to wade through quicksand when we really want the story to move swimmingly along. Pacing is everything.
Can you think of your favorite example of a plot which demonstrated pacing that was, in those famed words of Goldilocks, not too hot, not too cold, but j-u-s-t right?
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. --Ecclesiastes 3: 1, NIV.