I have a couple of personal motto's that I steadfastly follow ...
Lettuce is the Devil. (Actually lettuce is merely the ringleader. I eat no vegetables unless they are fried a deep delicious golden brown)
Never do today, what you can put off until tomorrow.
Yes, my friends, I am a procrastinator.
Ever hear someone say, everyone is good at something - they just need to find their niche?
I believe that to be true and I am hear to say luckily I have settled in quite nicely with my procrastination. First, by day, I am a Postal Worker. What is more fitting for a self proclaimed procrastinator to be than am employee of the Federal Government?
And secondly, I am a writer. And let me tell you every fiction writer needs to learn the fine art of putting something off. I'm not talking about the actual process of writing. You have to do that otherwise you are not a writer -- you're a dreamer. Saying or thinking, One of these days I'm going to write a novel, does not make you a writer. Putting ink on paper does. It is my belief you can call yourself an author once you signing your name at the bottom of a publishing contract. So right now I can say I am a short story author and a novel writer.
Still with me? Good.
Back to the part about needed to be a procrastinator. See how good I am at putting things off.
Francesca falls in love with a photographer named Robert while her husband and children are away. Robert and her share a brief time of passion and he urges her to go away with him, but in the end she chooses to stay behind in her bland marriage and continue to be a wife and mother.
That is pretty much the entire story of The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. Now I know the book is often panned and criticized but no one can argue that it was a huge commercial success. I happen to be one of the few people I know who will actually admit to liking the novel, but I wouldn't have if it had been anything like the above version.
It is the doubt of the outcome, the question of what each character will do that propels a story forward. Put off revealing that little detail that clearly spells out whether a character is a hero or a villain. Delay that scene that make it obvious your first person narrator is unreliable. So you female protagonists is madly in love with her next door neighbor. Don't let me as a reader know right off the bat that he too is madly in love with her and can't wait to kill his wife so they can be together. Make that wife's car wreck look like an accident. Keep me guessing, wondering. Try a bit of procrastination in your story.
But, there's always a but isn't there? Don't just add filler. Add characterization. Smaller conflicts that your characters must work through before the big climax is even possible. Throw in a red herring or three.
Think of it as dating. If the minute you walked up to a girl and asked her to dance and she said, "I'd love to, but first let me tell you a few things -- "My ex boyfriend is in prison for stabbing the president of his Hell's Angel's chapter but he's getting released next month. My mom is a meddling old bitty. I like to nag and spend money I don't have. I don't really enjoy sex all that much, and I collect tiny porcelain chihuahuas."
You might, if you are a really nice guy go ahead with that first offered dance, but you'd cut and run after that regardless of how attractive you found her to be.
Too much information too early on is never a good thing. Trust me on that. Wait until you hear that I do to announce, My father's back is covered in hair and therefore I'm bound to look like Chewbacca within a few years. Trust me, she'll learn to live with it then.