The Fall 1975 issue of Paris Review featured an interview with novelist John Steinbeck. He won the Pulitzer Prize and was a Nobel laureate, and The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men are still required reading in many English and literature classes. I'm sharing six tips from that interview (culled by the excellent Brain Pickings blog), with a few additional comments by me. This is number four of six:
"If a scene or section gets the better of you and you still think you want it--bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find the reason it gave trouble is because it didn't belong there."
If you still want the scene but are still unsure of how to write it, asking the following questions can be useful:
* What does each character in this scene want?
* In this scene, what is each character afraid of?
* What's the difference between what the character says or does and what he or she would like to do or say?
* What is each character's emotional state at the start of this scene?
* What's different at the end of this scene?