She turned the corner and came face-to-face with the ***. Startled, she dropped her coffee cup. It shattered on the hardwood floor, splattering hot coffee and shards of fine china against her ankles.
Or, if I'm uncertain how to write a scene, I'll enclose notes about the scene within three asterisks:
Betty stood at the front window and watched her fiance approach the house. She had news for him, news too important to tell him over the phone, and she'd been waiting nearly an hour for his arrival.
***Betty tells Bob she totaled his car.***
After she told him about the accident, Betty collapsed into Bob's arms. Bob absentmindedly patted the back of his ex-fiancee's head, thinking about his car. His car? A completely restored 1957 Chevrolet Nomad is not a car. It's a treasure. Betty could be replaced, but his car? Never.
After I've completed a draft, I use the search function to find each occurrence of three consecutive asterisks. Then I insert the correct word or write the missing scene.