The fantasy story that I am working on at this moment is unlike many of the stories I have attempted to write (I say "attempted" because I have yet to finish one of my original stories). It is not about an epic quest from one side of the world to the other, nor is it a fantasy story with what we'd consider "magic". There are, indeed, several scenes so far that involve action/danger, but they are not the focus. Most of the story's drama comes from relationships, the main character's doubt in herself, and political intrigue and conspiracy (which the MC naturally must figure out). After a certain point rather early in the story, the plot then remains in one location, so I can't rely on adventures and quests to keep things interesting. That must somehow be achieved through the people and events in the city. The trouble is, I have been stumbling a bit with this type of plot, especially when it comes to the "slow"/"quiet" scenes that take place between the high-intensity game-changing scenes. "Small talk" can also be a struggle, but I know that that is where most character development can occur. I want to keep the story interesting without resorting to having high-drama and action happening all the time. In fact, such things would not make a huge amount of sense given the details of the setting. Pacing is also an issue. Quieter scenes must balance out the "louder" scenes, but, as I mentioned above, those can be more difficult to pull off and make convincing. I have to have the reader be invested...somehow. Now that I have given you a sense of what I'm struggling with, I will briefly describe the story's plot/setting so that you can get an idea of how this pertains to the larger picture... The story is told in first-person, therefore making events in the story limited to what the main character sees, hears, and does. The MC is 9 years old for the first few chapters, and after that point it exclusively focuses on her as a teenager (or young adult, in the context of this world's society). In this world, the main religion worships the sun and fire, and the phoenix is a real creature that is viewed as a god. The religion is led primarily by women, with young girls being taken (with the families' permission) to train as priestesses. The MC is one of these girls. Once she grows up and learns to accept her fate, she and her friends are sent to the capital city to continue their training. But the temple they are at is attacked, and they are forced to flee, and this is what kicks-off the story's main source of drama and conspiracy. From then on, the MC is living at the temple in the capital and ends up discovering her important destiny. She uses that in order to investigate what has been going on. When the story is not focusing on what she and others are doing within the temple, it shows what she sees while in the city streets, and the relationships she develops with characters. So far, there have been several flashpoints, both physical and emotional. As you can see, I have not gone into too much detail about my story so as not to overwhelm any of you. I will gladly go into more detail about events and such if you need to know anything in order to help give me advice. Please, don't be afraid to ask for more clarification!