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Alright, so I just finished a really beautiful scene in my manuscript that happened during an event. Let's say it was a party. So the beautiful scene happened rather in the beginning of the event, with a few time skips to be about an hour or two into the party. I also closed off the scene really well, and it feels weird to throw in what was going to continue to happen in there. What should I do? Like do I close off the event overall and have it move onto what happens after, or should I continue to write a bit into the party?

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  1. Is what happens 'after' relevant to your story?

    If not, skip it. Your readers will fill the gap in their imagination. If necessary, summarize what happens 'after' in half a sentence at the beginning of the next chapter (see my answer here for examples).

  2. If what happens 'after' is relevant, you can narrate it in the next chapter. The chapter break will allow your readers a moment of closure after that beautiful scene.

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Writing what happens after is more like being at the movies with someone that can't keep their mouth shut about what happens next. I would suggest in this example that something else happens. You said it ends beautifully, I would introduce something new in conjunction. Possibly someone showed up that wasn't supposed/expected to be there. Maybe police sirens with flashing red and blues lighting the window curtains, drawing attention. Overall, if something is resolving in the scene as if it could be the end of a mini-story, you need something else to keep it going and the reader reading. I like to look at each scene similar to TV episode of a series. Keep that in mind, and it should help you move your story forward. Don't forget to tie up loose ends from previous chapters as well in your edits.

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If it helps, write it - and leave it out in the edits

Sometimes, my stories have beautiful events, but it's awkward to infodump a bunch of details that aren't relevant to the narrow focus of the plot. But I'll organize exactly what happened in my head, and possibly even write it in.

Then, when it comes time to actually put the thing together, I keep a saved version of the story in the old archive and edit out the scene. You have the background details sitting in your mind, ready to add color and depth to your story. A few times, I even went back and decided a part alluded to elsewhere was really going to work, and created a new scene based on the old one (or details therein).

And writing the scene could open you to a later idea - something that needs explaining later in the story, or a cool twist you can add that you hadn't thought of before the scene was written.

I believe that no writing is ever really wasted: It simply hasn't found a good home yet.

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