When you're revising a scene, pay attention to the most dramatic sequence of events. Now sometimes that's a no-brainer-- Event A has to happen first because it causes Event B. But sometimes several things happen that are not clearly causal, and you can manipulate the sequence for dramatic effect-- and to cause something later.
For example, I have a story I'm working at (slowly), where, to summarize, two friends have reunited briefly one evening. Actually, he has sought her out tonight. They are occasional lovers, but for complicated reasons can't have a romantic relationship. But they do love each other. So anyway, he's come to the town where she lives, and just in time, because she's about to leave town and disappear. He's the only one who knows why (it's a situation they share-- they have to move on every couple years to avoid The Bad Guys).
Anyway, I had the long scene like this:
1. Re-meet, dancing, a bit of romance.
2. They make love and re-affirm their affection.
3. He tells her why he has found her, what he has to tell her (that another in their group has committed suicide, apparently because he can't deal with the anxiety of the constant threat of the bad guys).
4. She gets mad at him for waiting to tell her, and they talk it out.
5. He sings (he's a musician) a song that's just for her, and she realizes she still loves him, not just as a friend.
Okay, now really, as a short story, it would work okay, because it ends with her realization that she can't get over him.
But it's a scene in a novel. And I read this over and reminded myself that scenes that end on a resolution have no forward thrust-- the reader has little reason to turn the page.
And putting the song-singing at the end also decreases the tension, because it shows immediately-- not even in the next chapter-- that she has forgiven him for not telling her first, and also that the revelation of their comrade's suicide has not harmed their relationship.
And there's also a really useful romantic convention, that the disaster should happen AFTER the greatest show of trust between the couple. There's a lot more emotional force when the disaster is going to threaten something we've already seen is powerful and important to them.
So I'm going to rearrange the events so that all the romantic stuff comes first, and after he sings to her, he feels (okay, this is a guy, after all :) that now he can tell her the bad news, because, well, he's gotten the sex and the love. Wouldn't want to tell her first and not get lucky. :)
So it's plausible enough with his character. And it's more dramatic structurally. I also think it helps delineate them and show one of the major conflicts between them-- he lives utterly in the moment, and she's more of a long-term thinker. So as long as he's not focusing on their friend's suicide, he can enjoy being with her. He actually can put that away for long enough that they can have this lovely evening together-- but he knows that she simply can't, that she'll be dwelling on the suicide and get all sad and depressed, so why not put that moment off?
And it leads to more conflict, not less. As I had it, the conflict of him withholding the information and also of the horror of the suicide dissipates because she realizes this is just how he is, that she can't blame him for being himself, and she forgives him. That quick. And the conflict dissolves into dust. But the conflict will remain solid if I end with it. Even that bit of white space between this and the next chapter is enough of a pause to allow the import of the conflict to grow in the reader's mind. And remember, what we put at the end, we're showing is important.
So just a thought about scene design. I think this is really an essential part of making the reader experience the action and get the emotion you want her to get.