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Chapter endings

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Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:54 am
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Snoink says...

Not a lot of credit is given to where a chapter ends and begins actually, though it is an art. For instance, a couple of months I was writing something that takes place in two chapters, but it was split improperly and both chapters suffered horribly.

You split a chapter whenever there is either a movement in time or a cliffhanger.

We split time up because we do that naturally anyway. Splitting it up in a chapter only increases the feeling, thus makes it seem natural.

For cliffhangers, we usually stop it in mid conflict and then, next chapter, we have the the conflict resolved. Think about it in an "unfortunately/fortunately" sort of scene.

Chapter 1

Blah, blah, blah, setting gets introduced, characters are introduced, blah blah.

Unfortunately, something bad happens.

Chapter 2

Fortunately, what happened which is bad is now resolved.

More stuff happens, setting, characters are developed, blah blah blah...

Unfortunately, something bad happens.

Chapter 3


This is such a common plot device that you probably haven't even thought of it! But, at the same time, these conflicts are wonderful ends of chapters and should be used to their full potential.

Also, by splitting up the conflicts between chapters, it allows for seemless transition of chapters. This is a very good thing. It means that you can float from chapter to chapter without even noticing that you've just read twenty of them!

For parts, this is a little different. While you want to glide effortlessly to chapter to chapter, parts are basically a landmark in the story which says, "Something completely different is going to happen which is going to make the plot even more tense." Of course... it has to be used right, or else you'll lose the reader completely.
Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." ~ Richard Bach

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Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:07 pm
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Rosabandit says...

Yay, first post!! That helps alot. My friend (who edits my work) says I skip around in chapters too much. Now I have the tedious job of going back and fixing it all. -Groan-

Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything's different?
— C.S. Lewis