Monday, July 26, 2010

Starting/ending a chapter

I think often many of us writers ask ourselves how we are going to start and/or end a chapter to the story we're writing or have written.  I believe that you are really asking yourself about each chapter as you write them.  The truth of the matter is that there is no wrong or right way to start or end a chapter in your story.  It's all up to you --the writer.
With the beginning of a chapter it is always hard to know where to start --especially with the first chapter.  After you get past the first chapter it is easy, though.  You may have noticed that a popular thing to do to get the reader automatically interested is have a prologue before the first chapter.  Prologues usually can always draw your readers in because you can make the prologue focus on whatever you want.  Though your first chapter does not necessarily have something of particular interest happen, I myself have always found this helpful.  Once you're past the first chapter the beginnings of your chapter can probably just start off where the last chapter has ended, though some authors have started elsewhere.
Often, though, we writers probably try to come up with shocking endings for our chapters.  You know, the kind that end with a cliff hanger.  The ending that makes your reader want to continue reading more.  However, you may find that you will not always be able to end your chapters this way.  If your readers already like your story, though, I don't think then you have to worry so much.  Your readers will understand that not every chapter can end with a cliff hanger, and if they already like the story then it is appropriate to assume that they will continue reading it nonetheless.  So long as you have interesting action and dialog and so forth in the chapter, I truly believe that your chapter will make it through just fine.

Have you ever read a summary to a story that was more intriguing than the several first parts of the story itself?  That's because the writer wants to pull you in.  They are going to tell you everything that is most interesting and most important in the summary so while you are reading you will be continuing on to find out more.  All along, however, the great thing is that as the writer one can give hints of something as the story progresses.  What the main character does not know, the reader and writer may know.  Such an example of this would be with my current story, Cursed with Power.  Celestria questions how many of the other Dark magicians are actually still alive, though the reader and the writer already knows that all five are alive.  Throughout the entire Magicians series, each Dark magician ponders about who of their allies is still alive, though it is already known because of the five books in the series that there are only five.

For now that's all of my advice on writing a chapter.  Just remember that when you write a chapter to not worry so much about how it starts and ends because then you might not get all that you wanted in the chapter.  Best of luck to you if you're writing something right now, as I am.
And as for why I did this post?  Well, I just happened to be thinking of it.  I always think a lot about my chapters too, so I figured I would share my thoughts out loud.
Happy writing,

1 Comment:

Sheron Parris said...

I was just thinking this earlier today and was going to write my own blog post about Chapters. Glad you did it. =] Haha.

I do love your blog posts.

Post a Comment

I love comments, so please take the time to leave one. Thank you!