While doing some rewrites on my novel Misconception this week, I noticed a common theme. A whole bunch of chapters ended with Taliah, my main character, falling asleep. At first this seemed fine. Taliah traveling into dreamland at the end of all these chapters was a great, easy way to wrap things up for the time being.
It wasn’t until last night that this particular thought ocurred to me: Does this ending make my readers want to read on?
No! No it doesn’t! This is terrifying! How else am I supposed to to wrap up a chapter? If this applies to you, I’ve got you covered. Here are some ways to wrap up a chapter other than your character simply falling asleep.
1. A Forshadowing Nightmare
Yes, it’s very cliche, but a nightmare that leaves readers questioning will prompt them to keep on turning those pages.
2. An Interruption
Imagine just about to close your eyes after a long day, settling into bed, turning off the lights, and then there’s a knock on the door. Or a crush coming from downstairs. Maybe your character forgot something? Or perhaps, someone else is in the bed. An unexpected surprise will leave readers on the edge of their seats.
3. Make It a Sleepless Night
A chacarter that tosses and turns is a lot more lively than one who just lies there. Ending your chapter with a character occupying their sleepless self can help you transition into the exciting stuff that happens in the next morning.
4. Just Think of Something Else
If it’s nighttime in your chapter and you really just want to wrap things up, skip ahead to the next morning or find a different exciting way to end your chapter.
I used all of these methods to get Taliah out of bed and on her way to doing something exciting. Try them out and see if they work for you guys too. See you all next week.