In SAVE THE CAT, Blake Snyder says: The plot doesn't just move ahead, it spins and intensifies as it goes. It's the difference between velocity (a constant speed) and acceleration (and increasing speed).
In my critique notes from my CP last week, she wrote this, after a scene: What is the goal and conflict in this scene? Is he just trying to get through his shift at work?
*heh heh* Yeah, pretty much. :D
Sometimes I do this when I'm stuck. I just write, not really considering the protagonist's motivation in that particular scene, but still thinking it's helping the story along. Or, I figure it's moving the plot forward, but obviously, not quite enough.
Blake Snyder's rule: It's not enough for the plot to go forward, it must go forward faster, and with more complexity, to the climax.
Nose to the grindstone. Thinking cap, ON!