Sister Bug: Mom, I have a book to read to you.
Me: Okay, lets hear it.
Sister Bug: I can read all the words. I can probably read them better than you.
Sister Bug: First before we read, you need to know how stories work.
Me: *holding back a smile* Okay, why don’t you tell me.
Sister Bug: First you need to know the characters and setting. Then the characters have a problem. This very important. Every story has a problem. If there isn’t a problem—it isn’t a story. Do you understand?
Me: I think I’ve got it. You are very smart.
Sister Bug: I know. Then at the end they fix the problem, and that is it. Are you ready now?
Me: Yep, lets hear it.
As she read to me I was only half paying attention. I was impressed with her simplistic grasp of plot. I know writers that struggle with this “very important” problem part. If your characters are wandering around in your story not doing much but admiring your world building skills and killing time, maybe they need a problem to wrestle with :)