Is there a moment of ultimate stakes in your current manuscript? If not, you need to fix it on the page to ensure that your hero’s testing and eventual commitment will be fixed in your readers’ minds for a long time to come.
STEP 1: Identify the moment in your story when your protagonist’s stakes hit home—when she realizes that there’s no turning back. This is the moment of irrevocable commitment.
STEP 2: Write out that moment in one paragraph.
STEP 3: Look at the paragraph you have written. Notice its shape, feel its effect. Now imagine that this is the first paragraph of your novel.