Lisa's finding her scenes in Billy Wes
-- now retitled Gone to Soldiers
, an excellent title I think -- are on the short side.
Your step outline should tell you where each scene ends up -- what it needs to accomplish dramatically and narratively. One way to flesh out your scenes is to look at where the scene needs to end up, and then figure out what are the obstacles the characters throw in your way
to getting them there. If the scene is about them reconciling, how do the characters almost prevent you from reconciling them? If the scene is about a breakup, how do the characters almost brush all their conflicts under the carpet so they don't
Usually it will be only one character who doesn't want the reconciliation or the breakup -- the other character probably came in the door hoping for it. But sometimes it's both characters fighting their destiny -- the destiny you've created for them.
Your keen observation and loving presentation of how your characters trip themselves up -- how human beings create obstacles for themselves along their paths -- is the guts of a drama. When we watch a drama, it's to see how people mess themselves up -- maybe to get insights into how we mess ourselves up, certainly to help us make sense of the people around us. Because unlike in life, in narrative drama we get to peek behind the curtain and see what makes those people tick. If the writer's observation skills are good, and she can get across what she knows, then we learn something that helps us make a guess what the people around us are really up to.
I long ago decided that one of the best ways to interpret people's actions is to ask myself: if this person were in a novel, what would the novelist be trying to tell me about this person? I still find it's a valuable tool. Even if I don't read many novels any more...