I'm revising an early scenes from my WIP. Originally, I basically had only a placeholder. It reminded me that I needed to introduce a character. We'll call her Rebecca.
Now, as I change this scene, I've been thinking about how I can make it more memorable. I originally started out telling the reader where Rebecca went to school--she's a scientist--followed by a scene describing her meeting the protagonist, Hannah. They were at a restaurant having brunch.
To punch up the scene, I first gave Rebecca a stronger personality. I made Hannah wrongfully assume that Rebecca was rude when in actuality she's just more honest than everyone else. I'm making Rebecca's dialog more direct relative to Hannah. And, instead of placing the scene in a restaurant, I had the characters meet at an aquarium, in front of a sunfish exhibit, to bring up a theme of being an outsider or an alien.
I thought this was a good start.
I wanted to make the scene more emotional, so I thought about timing. Before, Rebecca and Hannah met on a relatively random day, weeks before the BIG EVENT. Now, I have them meeting the night before the BIG EVENT, so they're both under more stress, and they're both feeling a little more desperate as the event approaches.
As I wrote out this scene, the situation pushed the characters to do something that I would have never expected. They are both about to have surgery to remove a body part, and when the evening ends, they dare to undress in front of each other to see their "complete" naked bodies one last time before the operation.
For me, this revision was much better than what I started out with--the scene in the restaurant. To get to my new version of the scene, I had to sit quietly for two days and run through various options in my head. I think this was productive, but now I wonder if two days was long enough. How would my scene change if I took two weeks to mull over my different ideas? Is the time spent thinking and waiting worth the improvement to the scene?
I know one can't take forever to write every scene. We'd be dead. But I'm curious to know how long you sit with new ideas and if you think more time would equal even better ideas. How long do you take to come up with a scene?