In your book you have a scene that, without spoilers, had to be difficult to write. As an author, how do you make the decision to place something that needed to be for the plot but could have written around it but didn't?
Very good question and a hard one to answer.
A lot of my writing is fluid, changing as I go, surprising to me even. The scene I'm pretty sure you're on about was indeed a tough one. Certain things were planned, other things I was flexible on. I was in two minds about it, knowing the easier option to be doable, but the harder option to be better for the story both as an initial impact scene, and long term. I decided to decide when I got to it, and even then I struggled. I left it open - a cliff hanger of sorts, but open to me too. I wimped out... until the scene that led the reader back to the situation. When I got there, with those characters, I just knew what had to be done. It felt right. Wrong, but right. I knew the characters involved would be effected more and so change more if I made the tough call. It would break the readers' hearts, yes, but also the hearts of the characters. It happens in real life and they needed it to happen, both to bond and to be 'real'.
When scenes like that come, they can smack you round the face. They need to! If it doesn't, it isn't the right time to 'do it'. The emotion has to be there.
Thanks for the question, Brian, and thanks for caring enough to ask! :-)