Earlier this week I got stuck looking up at a mountain of text that went nowhere, did nothing (except set up some really trifling details), and just got in the way of the story. The whole chapter wasn’t useless, but it needed extensive work to bring it up to how I’d rewritten other parts. I deleted all of it and rewrote it all.
What came out of the process is definitely a lot better, although it’s almost kind of cliche. Essentially it’s one of those “goodbye to the family” scenes that’s a necessary evil to show your characters actually care about their loved ones. Poorly written, they end up being a quick exchange of “I love you” at some train station or airport, or maybe a trite line of how Character X loves Character Y so freaking much. On the opposite spectrum, the goal is to get a reader to feel the breaking and fear that separation brings.
Reading an emotionally charged scene is one thing, but writing one is a whole other matter. The process is exhausting. Although I’m happy with how the revision is going, reworking a scene like this is a marathon and not a sprint. I’ve been having to fight the urge to jump to a fight scene where the action picks up, time dilates, and I don’t have to care about feelings. Sadly, the scene is also one of those pivotal moments of decision that ends up having an effect on everything that comes afterwards, so I can’t just leave it alone.
I’m pretty sure there are different types of scenes that writers love hanging out in. There are probably writers who love doing scenes that involve punching readers right in their feelings. Personally, I’m happy the story goes down the plot rabbit hole after this.