Tweet of the Day: Writing Excuses 7.44: Writing for Comics
Move the story forward!
Raise the stakes!
Punch up the action!
Take a break….
Yes, sometimes you need to take a break from the action and give the characters (and the audience) a moment to catch their breath. Hence this trope. A space for a bit of introspection, maybe some meaningful dialog about the characters hopes, dreams and fears. Think of these scenes as punctuation to the action. If the action is the subject-verb in the sentence, this trope is the punctuation at the end that tells you that the thought is done. They also serve to move the narrative forward, the character narrative that is. A scene moves the story forward in two ways: plot or character. Action is all about the plot, the things that happen. The Quite Drama Scene is about the characters: who they are, what they want, how do they related to each other and the world, etc. Without them you only have explosions and kung-fu kicks, which granted are lots of fun but useless by themselves.
Of course these scenes can seem like place holders between the more action oriented scenes. Remember that they have to contribute something to the narrative.