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Margaret lives in a constant state of fear. Fear of her mother, whose constant state of anger and unwillingness to speak of Margaret’s past have long since pushed Margaret away. Fear of disappointing her father should he ever discover the events of that day. Most of all, Margaret lives in fear of her abuser’s return. Margaret turns to self-harm to cope with her pain and fear. Only when her self-inflicted injuries bring her near death does she realize she has the power and the support from an unlikely place to stand up to her fears and believe in herself again. Tristis Manor is a novella from The Never Chronicles, an epic fantasy series.
Ending a chapter
By. J.R Wagner
So you’ve written a multi-chapter book. Congratulations! You’re certainly entitled to do the happy dance a few times before sitting down and focusing on the next phase of your writing. Actually, I would suggest waiting at least six weeks between the time you type your last word of your first draft until you begin editing.
There are plenty of posts and books and videos out there that address first draft editing. Most cover the mechanics, some cover content. I’m going to cover (briefly, I promise) ending a chapter.
In my opinion, there are two ways to end a chapter. The right way and the wrong way.
The wrong way:
Even if you have a great story, you may still be in danger of turning readers off simply by ending your chapters in a non-engaging way. Some chapters are designed to break up the flow of a story. Sometimes they mark the end of a chronological sequence. Sometimes the next page picks up right where the last left off making you wonder why there was even a new chapter at all.
The important thing to remember is at the end of your chapters, the reader better want more. The wrong way to end your chapter would be, for example, to end it when the story reaches a lull. Another example would be to end your chapter at a point in the story where things are stitched up nicely and the reader has no further questions (and, as a result, no further desire to move to the next chapter).
The right way:
End with a cliffhanger. Every chapter? Yes, every chapter. This isn’t always necessary. There are other ways to end a chapter and still get the reader moving forward –ending with a crescendo, for example. The story builds, gathers speed, the sub-plots start coming together, (Stephen King is a master at this) but in the early part of a novel, it is difficult to pull this off simply because typically, a story builds as it progresses.
This is my opinion. I’m sure some writers and teachers of writing would cringe at this advice but as a reader, this is what keeps me moving through a book instead of putting it down after 50 pages because I can’t justify wasting any more time with it.