I am currently in the process of finding the absolute worst place to end my chapters, namely, where it hits the fan.
First of all, a little background. Although I’ve made scene breaks, when writing this book I made no effort to divide up by chapters. Previous books have taught me that I move stuff around or change things quite a bit. I decided doing it in this book would only create more work later, and it was better to save the chapter breaks for when I was analyzing the tension in scenes. And, because I can’t resist an opportunity to toot my own horn, I was right.
I’ve spent the last week color coding my book to highlight the conflict (as well as dialogue, description, and action). As I did so, I realized many of the scene breaks ended on a weak note, which did not bode well for the eventual chapter breaks. So I moved them. Right in between the areas where the biggest conflicts were going on.
Will it work? Yeah, I think it will. These are the areas where sh!t is going down and the reader will (I hope) have to see what’s going to happen next.
Thus ends another story about how this jumble of words is very slowly forming something I would allow you to read. How do you end your chapters? How important is tension and conflict before your breaks?