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November 22, 2010


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I don't know, Donna. When I'm reading...I like the occasional chapter ending that lets me set the book down and go use the bathroom... ;-)

But I get the gist or what you're saying and have to admit, I love ending a chapter knowing a reader is going to curse me. Because they really need to take a break, bathroom or whatever!

Liz Fichera

So true! A good hook at the end of every chapter keeps me turning pages.


I want the reader to curse me at the end of a chapter too. LOL I think (imagine) it would be the highest compliment if a reader told me all kinds of things fell apart (the kids not fed, etc.) while reading my book because taking a break at the end of a chapter was NOT an option. And I'd tell them, don't worry, the kids will survive short term "neglect." LOL What a "nice" fan letter daydream. *sigh*

I love writing cliff hanger type chapter endings and I'll often split a chapter if I think the middle conflict has been "resolved." That resolution is for the end. In romance writing especially, since we do know the end, the cliffhangers seem almost more important.

And I think now, even though circumstances have forced an extended "break" from my WIP, it's those cliff hangers that keep my interest going to get back to the story.

Very interesting topic, Donna!

Jan O'Hara

Yep. I'm a big fan of ending the chapter on disaster or discovery. As a reader who wants to sleep, not so much. ;)

Donna Cummings

Maureen, I know what you mean--sometimes the "bathroom breaks" end up being in the middle of a scene, rather than the end of the chapter. LOL

So yes, our goal is to be cursed out by the reader! LOL

Donna Cummings

Liz, I have to agree about those ending hooks--they keep me reading way later than I should!

Donna Cummings

Melissa, I cracked up at your fantasy fan letter, complete with all kinds of disasters unrelated to the book. LOL

I completely agree with what you said about romance needing cliffhangers even more than other genres, since we do know we've got a happily-ever-after ending waiting.

I've found that when I'm drafting I have a tendency to resolve the conflicts at the end of each scene, just so I know where I'm going with the story--but then when I'm revising I go back and split it up, to get that cliffhanger in there. *rubs hands together* I love creating that angst for my characters AND the readers! LOL

Donna Cummings

Jan, somehow my comment to you disappeared! LOL

I like that -- ending on disaster or discovery. And you're right, as a reader, I'm cursing the writer who keeps me awake all night to find out the answers! But boy is it fun as a writer. :)

Terri Osburn

This is timely since I'll be working on my Golden Heart entry for the rest of the week. (Synopsis done - Whoot!) I know it's only 50 pages, but I should probably have a cliffhanger or two in there, huh? LOL!

Melissa - I love that fan letter. That would be awesome. I've cursed Christie Craig more than once, for she is the QUEEN of making it impossible to stop reading at the end of a chapter. But I'd still love to be able to DO that.

Donna Cummings

Terri, that's great about your synopsis being done! And I think if you have a cliffhanger or two in your entry, making the judges wish they had more to read--that is a great idea. :)

I've decided I can't read certain authors before trying to go to sleep. LOL Because I know they'll make it so I DON'T go to sleep!

Clarissa Southwick

What great advice. After I finish a book, I always have to go back and check all my chapter endings to see if they have a hook.

Donna Cummings

Thanks, Clarissa. It's usually easier for me to figure out the hooks after I'm done, although once in a while a good one shows up in the drafting phase!

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