I've been diligently working on my WIP, but this week I hit a snag. I began writing a scene that just didn't work. I knew what I wanted to accomplish, but no matter how many times I rewrote it, something was missing.
The scene took place at a restaurant where Summer was having dinner with the hunky FBI agent. She only agreed to go out with him because she thinks he's hiding something. He doesn't seem interested in any of the evidence she's come up with so far in the murder investigation. I finally let it sit for a few days, and when I tried writing it again last night, I figured out what the problem was: No conflict.
Instead of a nice dinner where Summer questions him politely (boring!), it's now a scene with tension between them and Summer ends up pissed off and walking out on him. This sets up the end of the chapter, where, because she's still upset, she realizes too late that she's being followed.
As much as I hate conflict in real life, I have to keep reminding myself that my characters live for conflict. Sometimes it's hard to put them in situations that I would never find myself in. I get so used to seeing things through Summer's eyes when I'm writing, that I have to consciously not put too much of myself in her. If I don't put her in danger, threaten her life, have her stumble on dead bodies, etc., it would be an awfully boring story. No one wants to read what happens in real life, especially mine.
That's the great thing about writing fiction. We can live dangerously and not get hurt!