Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Push them up (and other tips)

No, this post isn't regarding bras. Instead, as I'm embarking on another round of edits, my agent brought up valuable suggestions for tightening and adding tension:
Push up the scenes that add tension.
More specifically, if there is an "oh my gosh" moment in chapter ten, try seeing if it can happen earlier in the manuscript (maybe in the first several chapters). This keeps the first part of the manuscript as an action packed exposition. 
Ask yourself, if I skipped this chapter, would I still be okay to read the rest of the story? Or would I be confused? 
In my exposition, I introduced the M.C.'s family and then didn't have them really playing a role again until the end. I nicked out their intro (and the rest of the chapter). 
Don't have any two scenes where the setting and action are the same, even if the plot point is different.
My M.C. and her two best friends frequently meet in her apartment and at a cupcake shop. While that's fine to show their routine, it doesn't add an element of freshness to the work.


  1. Oh man, I so understand this 'push up' theory. My collab partner and I deleted the FIRST FOUR chapters of our story thanks to feedback from CPs. It just wasn't needed. The few things that were we sprinkled in later. Great post! So glad you found me so I could find you :)

  2. Interesting points. Very thought-provoking. I'm guilty of the last one. *blush*

    Welcome to the IWSG. :)
    IWSG #178 (...until Alex culls the list again. :P)

  3. "push up" interesting advice. Congratulations on finishing your novel. I found you on the insecure writers support group.

  4. Nice tips to remember. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting, and thanks for the follow. I'm following your blog now. It's always nice to make a new blog friend. Don't you love the internet!

  5. Interesting points! Thanks for sharing some insight from your agent. :)

  6. I have heard of this push-up theory a lot. It does add tension. Thanks for sharing the insight from your agent.

  7. After I wrote my first draft of my current WIP, I had someone point out a problem. My first turning point was at about 40% in. Way too far. Luckily it wasn't to hard to adjust, and now it's at about the 25% mark. Just with this novel I've been learning more about story structure, somthing I'd never thought of before. So I've definitely realized the importance of pushing up those scenes.

  8. Hi Saumya. I'm hopping over from IWSG. Great post. While you're at it, get a hold of Donald Maass' book THE FIRE IN FICTION. Excellent help in polishing a WIP.