|Oldie Pic for an Oldie Post!|
The only difference is---I'm more likely to catch Sherrinda on Facebook lately, vs. Twitter! (am I the only one using Twitter less?? Hmmm, maybe that's a topic for another post!)
I love watching Sherrinda's tweets on Monday night between (central time) 9 and 10.
Even if I'm not able to be watching Castle (perish the thought!) I can always feel the tension from her tweets.
Usually it's something like, "HOLY COW!! _________________ just happened! AHHHH!!!"
And it's usually during a commercial break.
I can just picture spunky Miss Sherrinda. jumping up and down on her couch, yelling at the TV, "HURRY UP, stupid commercial, who needs Covergirl Makeup or insurance or a dumb car at a time like this?"
Because there is something Castle always does an amazing job at.
It HOOKS you.
It makes you hate commercial breaks... And at the end of seasons... when the main character gets shot (seemingly) dead... (Or engaged to... or almost broken up...)
That's what we want for our books too.
We want to grab the reader's attention and make them hurry through potty breaks, eat with a book in their hand, and read until their eye's cross at 2 in the morning when they have to be up for work at 5.
When they get to the chapter end, you want to entice them to read "just one more chapter."
But how do we do that?
A few ideas:
Leave the reader on an inhale. I think about this every time I end a chapter. My goal is for the reader to take a sharp inhale of breath when they read the last sentence. Don't explain a thing. You build, build, build through the chapter, then KABLAM something happens and end of chapter.
Leave the reader with emotion. Leave the reader crying, or jumping for joy, or scared. We don't like to have unfulfilled emotions.
Leave the reader with a sense of foreboding. Even a subtle illusion to "something might be coming" is enough to perk the reader's interest enough to turn the page to see what that something might be.
Really, it boils down to one thing:
Leave the reader wanting more.
This applies not only to chapter ending hooks, but to our novel as a whole. Until the end, when we reach our satisfying conclusion, our readers should always be wanting more of our characters, more of the story.
Discussion: What are some methods you use to end your chapters? Some recommend to automatically chop the last paragraph off of your chapter ending... agree or disagree? Any examples of good chapter-ending hooks that you've read lately?