Lately, in working on my current novel, I’ve found myself spending a lot of time on subplot instead of the main plot events. I need to make decisions about which parts the reader needs to experience as the story moves along and which parts can be summarized through dialogue or a descriptive paragraph.
It’s not as easy as it seems. I want to experience all of it. While that’s perfectly reasonable for the first draft, I also don’t want to lose my focus on the main storyline. Some questions I'm asking myself:
1) Is the information in the scene critical to moving ahead the plot?
2) Am I getting so far from the main story that the reader will forget what’s happening?
3) Do I need to know what’s happening here? If so, I write the scene but mark it for possible summarizing later. Maybe I need to know, but the reader doesn't.