A word about pacing.
In my books, chapters tend to fall into two categories: chapters that deal primarily with characters, and chapters that have a lot of action. When I outline my book (yes, way back at the beginning), I think about these two types. Do I have the mix of action/character chapters that I want? Are they interspersed the way I want them to be?
The answers to these questions dramatically change the result. The extremes explain it. Go all-action chapters and you get “The Bourne Ultimatum” where if you go with all-character chapters, you get “Little Women.” Of course, each of these (especially in novel form), you have some of the other type of chapter. You might not think of it as such, but a chapter with Jo and a meeting of the Pickwick Society is an action chapter; important things happen, and the characters do not resolve major internal conflicts. Character chapters in a “Bourne” novel are easier to spot, mostly because nothing blows up and speeding cars aren’t involved.
And, naturally, each chapter has a soupçon of its counterpart. Nothing in writing is Boolean.
Then, once I’ve determined the mix of chapters in my outline, I look at how they’re arranged and see the “rhythm” of the pacing. Consider these two examples:
Which of these seems like the more interesting? Which one looks like the pacing of the action “beats” will better drive the story? I vote for the second.
Of course, there’s no hard and fast rule, but most successful stories have a rising level of action as the plot unfolds. Tension rises, and partially relaxes, rises some more, and relaxes, rises more and more, to the climactic moments, and the story resolves. Action, in its various degrees, helps drive the tension. Action provides the pace of the conflict.