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:
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.
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?