“To make a scene is to put your characters onstage and let them act out their own story. The point of view may not be strictly objective…but any scene is essentially dramatic; it follows George M. Cohan’s celebrated advice, ‘Don’t tell ’em—show ’em.’ A scene must persuade us in all its aspects, which means that the characters must be credible and consistent; that the dialog must approximate real talk without being cluttered by real talk’s monotony, fatuousness, and repetition; that the action must move in a direct line, without wanderings or irrelevancies, and that an internal logic must hold the scene together, beginning and middle and end; and that the setting must be sensuously realized and then never permitted to drop away and be forgotten. If any object is important enough to be mentioned [in the scene], it should be put to some use. As Chekhov says, if you hang a gun on the wall at the begin¬ning, it has to go off before the end. If there is a fireplace in a scene, characters should warm themselves by it, or lean on its mantel, as part of their stage business, their real-seeming.”
– Wallace Stegner