My husband and I were watching a really great series of shows last week on Netflix. I was really enjoying it. It was action packed with ninjas and superheroes (you can probably guess what show I was watching, but I'll keep that a secret).
There was this one scene near the end, where the good guy is fighting the worst bad guy. His minions just stood around watching. It was as if they were taking a coffee break. My husband and I were both questioning this. Why not help out their boss? The guy was being beaten up, big time, but the ninja guys were just watching. HUH?
It reminded me of a book I read, while helping out another writer who went on to fame. That writer had an argument scene, where two people were screaming at each other. The tension was high and the pace was fast.
All of a sudden, the author decided to put in back story...like over a page of it, in the middle of a scene. I questioned their methods there. It destroyed the scene. Of course, they argued and did what they wanted to do, but seriously? A 'coffee break' in the middle of a fight scene is never a good idea. It makes the fight lose momentum. Once you do that, you lose readers (or viewers) and credibility.
So if you want your characters to take a coffee break, don't do it in the middle of a fight scene.
Have a great week!