on Fiction University:
Sometimes, characters need a little boost to get them moving so the plot doesn’t stall.
I tend to procrastinate, especially when I already have a lot that on my plate. My to-do list fills up, and any task that won’t get me into trouble if I ignore it falls lower and lower on the list until it’s forgotten.
This can be problematic in life, but it’s deadly for a plot.
If the novel’s problem can be resolved “whenever” and it doesn’t matter when that happens, there’s no sense of urgency to the story. No urgency lowers tension, and low tension makes it harder for readers to care. And a lack of caring means the book will probably wind up forgotten at the bottom of a to-read list.
Nobody wants that for their novel, so give your plot a ticking clock.