For an intro into where these tips are coming from, please see my post: A Full Manuscript Rejection, or a Gold Mine?
I’m not sure I completely agree with this from the angle where it’s marked, but I’m mentioning it nonetheless. In the Gold Mine Manuscript, the MC had something weird happen to him. It’s something that could possibly change his life. One chapter ends (paraphrasing) “He had to find the truth. He cleaned up the mess, closed the doors, and formulated a plan.”
The publisher highlighted “formulated a plan” and called it “Pre-Telling.” They said this is telling us what is happening without telling us what “did happen.” They asked the author to look for instances like this in the novel and eliminate them. They wanted her to show them what happened instead.
Now, I read this as a decent chapter close. It left me wondering what the MC was going to do. I think that was the effect that the author was going for. In my mind, it gives you a little push to turn the page. However, my opinion doesn’t really count, does it? They red-lined it.
Do with this what you like. I’ve seen this in published work. Frankly, I didn’t mind it, but somebody “in the know” did. I suppose, like anything else, once we stop using little writing crutches like these, and we see what we can do without them we will realize what better writers we can be. Which, I suppose is what looking at manuscript red-lines like this is all about… even if we don’t necessarily agree.
In some cases, you need to decide what is best for you. However, I would consider trying to write without something like this, and see if you can still get the effect you want without the Pre-Telling. You probably can. If you can’t, and you are unhappy, then maybe you have a decision to make. Just get ready for the red-line (or maybe not… like I’ve said. Some publishers have let this go.)
Hope this helps!