It’s a trust thing…

So the good news is that I’m getting into edits and writing and thinking about writing etc. once more. Which means that I’m probably going to get back to posting a bit more regularly again. But then I have a bit less time than I’d like, so I might not. I am, therefore sticking to posting as and when I have something to write about. In the meantime, I’m trying to get around to visiting more of you.

In the meantime I’m going to draw some inspiration to an experience I’ve had while editing on Friday.

Just to recap: As some of you probably know, I had to split my first book into two in order to sign with my former publishing house. Which means that (even though I now have my rights back), I have to make sure that both halves have to stand on their own as stories.

See, for me to put the stories back into one book would require undoing a ton of work, and that’s just not my style. As a result, I’ve had to form a smaller story arch to carry the over-all story that runs through the whole series.

To a large extent, I did this already for the former publishing house, but basically I was told that the story-line wasn’t strong enough.

And if you read Wednesday’s post, you’ll know that I’ve been grappling with ways I could strengthen the story.

Believe it or not, I published that post, opened my manuscript and made the second change that occurred to me. Even better, I think it works. Better than that, it’s truly an elegant solution. It was a simple change, about 1500 words added in, and ever since, the repercussions of the addition have continued to improve the story.

Bet you want to know what I did.

Lucky for you, I’m awesome, so I’m going to tell you.

I took a bit of information that I’d kept for the big shocker reveal at the end of book four, and I put it:

Right. 

At. 

The. 

Start. 

Of book 2. 

Aaaaaaah… the lovely sounds of writerly minds screeching and screaming “what?!”
Now what could possibly incite me to do that? I mean, there’s the shock value. The horror. (Because it really is a horrible thing that’s going to happen.) All the emotional impact I could have gained! 
“Undo it,” some of you will be screaming at your screens. 
To which I say: “You of little faith.” 
See keeping information for a huge reveal has its places, I know. But darlings, if something really really big is set to happen, it might just be better for the reader to know it could happen, early on. 
Why? 
Stakes, darling. By showing what could happen, I’ve set up some huge ass stakes. I’ve also forced my character into doing something she might have done anyway, but some people struggled to understand before. 
“But still,” some might sob. “The big reveal!” 
And this is where the title for today’s post is from. See, sometimes, we need to trust that our knowledge about our stories isn’t finite. See, I know that by the time I’m at the end of book 2, I will more than set up other HUGE, SHOCKING, HORRIFYING things to happen in the sequels. So taking one and using it for all it’s worth isn’t a bad idea. 
In fact, it’s perfect. Exactly what I needed. 
So if you get stuck, think about revealing your “big reveal” sooner. I promise you that doing so will lift a saggy middle and set up something even better for the end. 
All you need to do is trust yourself. 
Anyone else notice a vast improvement in plot strength from revealing information sooner? 
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15 thoughts on “It’s a trust thing…

  1. Yes, to your question. Absolutely yes. And that “undo it” conversation you posted I had with myself. But what's best for the series is what's best for me.

    Still working on the trusting myself thing, though.

    Happy writing!

  2. Ooo, I know exactly what you mean. I have a pretty big reveal in book two of my series (although if you pay attention to the clues, it shouldn't be that much of a shock). I wasn't going to mention what the reveal was until the MC figures it out, but I realized the people in the prologue already know. So I've decided to go ahead and tell the reader the reveal, and they'll have to see how and when the MC will find out and how it'll affect her world.

  3. I guess I've never got 'the big reveal' thing. Maybe I do it unconsciously through my storytelling, but mine are more as the plot develops and the reader learns more and the twists and struggles of the main characters.

    I'm very glad you're moving forward and making progress. I agree in that going back and reworking and adding more work to get an old result isn't a direction that is normally best to take.

    Keep on moving forward!

  4. I actually have a huge problem with authors that hint and allude to things for several hundred pages and by the time they finally get to 'the big reveal' it's lost all its momentum because you figured it out a long time ago and nothing else is going on because they were counting on that 'tension' to keep a reader hooked. So good for you! Don't hold something back just for the sake of holding it back. If it works in book two then that's where it belongs.

  5. Ah, that's pretty ingenious. I've moved whole sections around in my drafts before. And if you think it'll work, it will – because you're the only one with ALL the info about the plot across all of the books. I love it when a solution pops into my head like that – it's exciting!

  6. Glad you found a solution to your issue. Sounds like it will definitely raise tension, which is always good. How and when to reveal information is a real challenge.

  7. For the record, I totally trust you in regards to where you place things in your books. Are you needing reviews, BTW? Cause I'd love to read and review your books!

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