Want help creating a chapter in your book?
Here are four easy steps to help you on your journey. These writing tips have helped me many times and I’d love to share them with you. Crafting a chapter shouldn’t be an overwhelming task.
Step 1. Start with a question.
Well, sort of. The only reason people read fiction is for three reasons. First, they want to escape in a sense. Second, they want to see some kind of conflict. Finally, resolution to all that conflict.
So, don’t be blunt. Be vague and be sure to trickle out all the information. Give them a good question that forms inside the readers head or even a direct one from your main character.
It sounds overly simple but think about all the books you’ve read and why you kept turning the page. There are questions that you want answered and there is conflict, resolution, more conflict and more resolution. So, expand big questions and conflict to what you want to happen in your chapter.
Step 2. Give them conflict or build on previous conflict.
Like I said, this is a core function of a reader. They want, in fact NEED, conflict. This is a great writing tip given to me from a NYT Best-selling author. When drafting your chapter, identify a small conflict within the story that can contribute towards the overall plot arc of the story.
There can (and should) be different pieces to the conflict too. Some parts psychological/internal and some parts external. You have to consider the arc of the character and how it coincides with the arc of the story. Any climax in a fiction novel is generally preceded immediately by the character arc climax.
The conflict you create must some how build upon what has previously happened and also be a platform for more to come. Finding ways to RAISE THE STAKES is important too.
Step 3. Offer them breadcrumbs.
There are not many books that give you nothing until the very end. Dan Brown is a master of questions leading to more questions with his DaVinci Code novels. You don’t have to be writing a mystery to lead people down a path that ends up in more questions. You should (just like Dan Brown does) offer them answers to the questions you’ve already posed.
Step 4. End with a question.
You already knew this didn’t you? The end of any chapter, except for the last one (unless you plan on having a sequel), should invariably end with the reader wanting to turn the page and start on the next one. Great books are the one’s readers burn through as fast as they can.
The questions are important and should lead the reader to the next revelation and part of the story. I prefer to think of each chapter as a miniature short story and it has helped in crafting the meat of the chapter. I know that the protagonist isn’t at the end of the book yet, so finding the question to end with is simple…
It is a lead in to the next chapter and start of the next short story.
Again, if you’re looking for some great help on crafting your novel DOWNLOAD THIS to help out. Also, check out one of my FANTASY SHORT STORIES HERE to get an idea of how I put together these four steps.