I like to think that I'm pretty good at coming up with interesting locations and describing them well, setting the setting well. I think my overall metaplot is pretty well organized, and has the potential to lead into some very interesting events. I admit I'm not the greatest actor, and I don't think well on my feet; but I try to make up for this by planning as thoroughly as I can for certain events.
Well, I think I may have identified the problem - While I'm not as bad at plot as I thought I was, perhaps, I have trouble (a) knowing how to move along that plot - what exactly happens, at what pace, in order to reach the climax?
And (b), more to the point, I have trouble creating plot for individual sessions. That is, I know who the villains are, what they're up to, what they want. I know what the Duke's Court and the other major "good guys" are up to, what they're doing and working on. But then you bring in the PCs, who are not Knights of the Realm, or anyone else who is directly involved in this here plot... What do I do with them on a moment-to-moment, or session-to-session basis?
Last night's session was the first - I have two PCs, a new changeling (a pooka) out to explore this new world he's discovered hidden beneath reality, and a rather more experienced Redcap who's a chef by nature and a grand socializer as well. The setting was a commoners' faire, basically just a large gathering of commoners that's meant to substitute for the nobles' Court. Here's somewhere people can come to trade goods and services, and to discuss the problems faced by the commoners' society, or by the Changeling community as a whole. I introduced a bunch of NPCs, having my playercharacters basically just keep running into people and having little conversations, little things happen. I don't want to bore you with every detail of what I did and didn't do, but essentially, I was trying to set up the idea of "there's tons of people here, there's lot of noise and activity - this is supposed to be colorful and fun and exciting! But instead it's just silent, because I haven't planned for specific exact things to happen to you." If this were a videogame RPG, you could spend quite some time just exploring the fair and talking to people and such, without things needing to happen directly to you in a "yank-you-by-the-nose here's-the-plot-come-over-here" kind of way. But I guess that's the difference between tabletop and Playstation.
So, now that I've rambled on for quite longer than I intended, my question comes to this: does anyone have any suggestions for how to create in-the-moment plot? I need to keep my players entertained and interested, and I also need to pull them into the grand scheme plot, revealing things at the right pace.... It's far too tempting to reveal things very slowly and subtly, but then nothing really happens. It's also too tempting to reveal things too quickly, seeking a grand overdramatic giant battle or whatever, but that's not really true to the plotting and scheming and such that ought to go on over the course of a longer plot.
I know it's not really the kind of thing you could help with, without sitting down with me IRL and planning things out with me, but I'd just like any thoughts, ideas, suggestions you all have.