Now that I have internet, alertness (I was so tired past couple days), and time again, I'm here to give you this week's filk video. Even though the lyrics are slanted toward fantasy roleplaying games, the title Never Split the Party is one of those rules that many stories across genres break whenever they can.
Sometimes characters have a good reason to split up. Maybe someone kidnapped a few of them, a rockslide interrupted a tricky crossing, they had a big fight amongst themselves, they are doing a pincher type move on the bad guys, or something like that. But sometimes characters seem to think they should split up for the sake of splitting up. Why? I don't know. They're usually the ones movie goers and readers are yelling at to stay together for better safety.
I'm sure you can think of a few movies and books where it didn't make sense why the characters would think it was wiser to break up an already small group into ones and/or twos to go off in opposite directions. It's one reason I can't sit through horror movies. I don't like fear for fear's sake, and I think 90% of the characters are idiots for doing things like splitting up just because the author wanted them to.
Don't be one of those authors.
If they need to go in different directions, give your characters valid reasons to go off on their own built out of what has been happening and based on their personalities. Your goal may be to increase tension because some thing from Dimension X is stalking them, but if the characters have no valid reason to split up, it turns into major cheese instead of real worry.
This video makes great use of pop culture, utilizing clips from LotR, The Mummy movies, Avatar: Last Airbender (anime), Dresden Files, and The Road to El Dorado. Jonathon as the sneaky rogue makes me giggle every time. He did keep wandering off to find the treasure in the Mummy movies. Enjoy!