This morning, I sat down to write and the novel had a little surprise in store for me. The scene I'm working on is supposed to end with Matt and Ray getting arrested. Well, I'm working on it and Ray's being all remorseful and stuff, not as dark as he usually is, and then, my brain says, maybe they don't get arrested. And I think about it and think a little more.
Mostly my thinking was considering how the novel changes if this plot turn doesn't occur. If I can take it out and the novel doesn't change, then, yes, taking it out is the right decision. But, if it does change the novel significantly, than it shouldn't be taken out, the novel needs it.
I think I know what changed to bring this about. In the first draft of the novel, there's about 100 pages of what I call Matt wandering around in search of a plot, and I needed something really big to give the plot enough forward momentum to bring things to a head. With the front part of the novel now carrying more dramatic weight, I don't need this scene to be as big. A lot of the information that was in this scene has already been dealt with. But there is still a reason for the arrest, so I've decided to leave it in. Only Matt gets arrested, though, Ray escapes, and Matt's arrest is really Ray trying to save him from something else. Which I like very much. Matt sees it as betrayal, but he has to make a decision to ask Ray for help later. Actually works very nicely, I think.