How do you resolve and address a conflict that escalated quickly and should you even address it?

I wrote a scene and on re-reading it, it didn't make sense and just distracted the readers from the actual plot.

The scene went as follows:

Person 1 talks to Person 2 explaining something. Person 2 plays with his gameboy. Person 1 takes the gameboy and then smashes it to the ground. Person 2 hits Person 1 in the face. Person 1 screams at Person 2 and tells him to take the situation seriously and then hits him in the abdomen, which brings him down.

After that, the two don't even mention anything about the incident and it makes things awkward between them, but the way the dialogues are written it seems this never happened. I have no idea how to address this and if such conflict should start and end as quickly as possible or let it drag on. The issue is I have no idea if I should rewrite the dialogues to show there's some awkwardness between the two and how to do this.

It seems better to just avoid such a scene and just be straight to the point as I feel it doesn't achieve anything. I don't even know what the point of this scene is.

  • 2
    Why did you put the scene in there? What is the point of the physical conflict? Are the characters normally best friends, and it is the seriousness of the situation that caused the explosion? Why did that explosion happen, and what did you want to show the reader with it?
    – JRE
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 14:11
  • 1
    I'd be tempted to move the violence into a clearly marked fleeting fantasy on the part of the point of view character, particularly if and assuming that this reaction is part of her personality.
    – SFWriter
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 16:44

1 Answer 1


Various ways to handle could work.

Delete it as irrelevant.

Give it consequences. They are on bad terms, and it serves as foreshadowing for a future violent eruption on insufficient grounds.

Tone it down, but still give it consequences proportionate to the new level. Notice that if the violence is toned down to a wish for violence it can still act as foreshadowing for actual violence.

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