- Intensify: Consider the possibilities. What could happen that would raise the stakes?
- Visualize: Close your eyes and let yourself “see” the action unfold. What does your character see, hear, smell, taste, feel and understand? How can you grip the reader?
- Clarify: Is there any information you’ve forgotten to provide because you take it for granted? If you've kept backstory to a minimum, you especially need to make this check.
- Clean up Dialogue: It's easy to overdo use of action in place of dialogue tags. Can you give dialogue a better flow by cutting out extra beats not needed to identify a speaker? Less is more.
- Remove Purple Prose: There are places in a story for lyricism, but if it impedes the flow of your crisis scene, cut it.
- Adjust its Length: Decide how much “territory” your crisis scene needs based on its importance to the overall story. Is it too long or short? Sometimes you can combine scenes for more punch.
- Read for Pacing: Does your scene move at the appropriate pace for its subject matter and place in the story?