Friday, October 8, 2010

Every end is a new beginning – proverb

Yeah, but no I haven’t finished my latest work-in-progress, or rather work-in-slow-motion, Love By Design.

I still have 15000 words until The End, but I’ve been thinking about chapter endings and chapter beginnings. I always try to end a chapter in such a way that it will make the reader want to turn the page – and it doesn’t have to be a so call ‘cliff hanger’ just something that intrigues the reader to - well – read on.

But it is also important not to leave the reader hanging when she turns that page to the next chapter. Of course, readers of such authors James Rollins or Tom Clancy know that they do leave the reader hanging because they have multiple POV’s and action going so they jump around.

Romance is a little different especially when you are only using the hero/heroine’s POV (and it’s not a romantic suspense)

I thought I’d share an example from Love By Design

It’s the end of Chapter 20 – I’m in Victoria’s POV. She is arguing with her mother who is a rich socialite with powerful friends. The mother disapproves of Russ and tells him to stay away from Victoria.

“I’ll have you deported.” Evelyn pointed at Russ, her bony finger barely holding up under the weight of the four-carat diamond ring.
“If you do I’ll follow him to Australia,” Victoria threatened back.
Evelyn drew back her hand lifting it to her chest and turned toward her daughter. “You wouldn’t.”
Delighted by her mother’s appalled reaction Victoria couldn’t help but take it one step further. “No, you right, I wouldn’t. I’ll marry him.”
It wasn’t the look on her mother’s face that was priceless but the silence that followed.

Of course we know previously that at this point Victoria is just saying this to piss off her mother. So are you wondering what Russ is thinking at this point? I know I was so I started Chapter 21 in his POV with this...

M-m-m-marry him? Russ resisted the urge to make a break for the door and catch the next flight out of the country. No green card was worth marriage not even if it got you into Heaven. Hell, he’d swim back to Australia if he had to.

So that is my little take on chapter endings and beginnings.
I leave you with this quote by I Ching –
“No good ending can be expected in the absence of the right beginning. It is too late.”


  1. Okay, I have missed hearing so much of this now, I'm totally intrigued.

    And outstanding I Ching quote. I should get it tattooed on my forehead!

  2. Hi Taryn. Yeah I was blown away by that quote.

  3. Had to read the quote a few times before I got it. (Had some celebratory wine with dinner!) But now that I get it, it's great!

  4. I disagree with I Ching. As Jesus says "The end of a thing is better than the beginning thereof" And from the author of Stairway to Heaven: "there's still time to change the road you're on" . But I can see how it would apply well to writing a book.

  5. Liz, You did a nice ending and a nice beginning to the story. Get those 15,000 words done soon.