“… the moment we [the readers] stop caring where the story will go next, the writer has failed, and we stop reading.” -- John Gardner in The Art of Fiction.Sometimes this occurs in opening paragraphs consisting of a description of the setting or backstory, turning me off before the story really begins. I read a submission recently that didn't introduce any characters until the last third of the story. The beginning consisted of background information. [yawn]
I need to pay more attention to plot movement in my own stories. I tend to rely too much on scenes full of backstory to show the reader my characters, when the same information could be included within the present action.