I've been pondering a quote from Aristotle via the Playwrights Guild of Canada as I tear down and rebuild NOT's dramatic engine:
"If you string together a set of speeches expressive of character, and well finished in point and diction and thought, you will not produce the essential tragic effect nearly so well as with a play which, however deficient in these respects, yet has a plot and artistically constructed incidents." -Aristotle, Poetics
The balancing of Aristotle's elements and the achievement of the essential tragic (or in my case, comedic) effect will happily occupy me for the rest of my days. In the early drafting stage, my characters tend to sit around metaphorically, having coffee and rubbing the sleep from their eyes - not the most stirring of scenarios. It's up to me to clap my hands and get them up on their feet so they're actually doing something. And when my brain and Internet Explorer (remember, the wifi ain't spry) both start spinning their wheels, I just pack it in and go for a bike ride.