A SMATTERING OF FIVE-MINUTE ADVICE that can save you hours of rewrite time:
I’m a big SAVE THE CAT groupie and the book's author Blake Snyder often quotes sources of inspiration. One of these sources is Robert McKee and his book, STORY. Of course I had to read it.
The full title is STORY: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting. Screenwriting translates to story writing or books in my mind, and McKee is brilliant on the subject—talk about having Ah-ha moments! Sometimes ideas are simple, but we as writers get lost either in language, ideas, humor, etc, and we forget to focus on the structure.
McKee says every scene in your story must have a value at stake.
At The beginning of each scene ask yourself what value is at stake in my characters life. A value could be love, life, acceptance, a belief system, family foundation, friendships, etc. Determine the value at stake in the scene and then ask: How is the value charge at the beginning of the scene different from that value changed by the end of the scene. Think of these charges as positive or negative charges.
Different scenes can have different values at stake, but the charge always has to change in every single scene or the scene has no place in your story.
********If the value condition does not change from the beginning of the scene to the end of the scene then nothing meaningful in the scene took place.********** If that's the case, delete or rewrite the scene.