Never GIVE your characters anything.
Make them earn it. Make them fight for EVERYTHING. Every single little thing… if it’s easy for them to get, then the story is boring.
Go through your script and list everything your hero gets. The boy’s phone number. The key to the hotel room. The location of the hidden safe. The cure for cancer. Whatev. Anything they get, look at it, and see if you can make it more difficult for them to get…
Make them earn everything. Make them sweat to get it.
If your hero just gets stuff cause he’s cute, then we don’t feel he deserves it. Just like Robert Redford, when he was auditioning for the lead in THE GRADUATE. The director asked him what it was like not to score with a girl… and Redford said, “What do you mean?” Redford never had to worry about a girl telling him “No.” so he didn’t get the part. Nichols cast a guy who would have to earn Katharine Ross, and we believed his story.
Look at every single event in your story and see if your hero has to struggle to get what you give him (or her!). If it’s easy, you’ve got a weak moment… and you can fix it!