Back to reading small essays by writers either famous now or in the past and finding little gems that inspire me. Morris L. West was a writer I remember reading. One thing from his essay that struck me spoke of "the writer's selective process." How right he was with this one. I know that sometimes when rough drafting a story I start writing every event of a character's day. When I go back to look at this scene I often laugh. Why? Because I'm rather bored. Then I stare at what I see and suddenly one of the incidents I've noted is the one that causes a change in the story. Often this is something that gives me a Why or a How. Those pages are torn up and only the moment of a change remains
This moment of change is the one for me because often there are other moments that would produce a change in a different direction. What I've learned from this is one must look at their characters' lives and decide where they are going. Keeping the goal in mind allows you to move the story along. Side trips can be fun but they can also muddy the fictional story a bit.
How do you choose your selective moments? Is there a process you use or do you wait until an incident jumps out and hits you in the eye? Many writers do this by instinct others have to search.