Posted by: nancycurteman | November 11, 2017

How to End a Chapter in a Mystery Novel

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The end of a chapter in a mystery novel is as critical as the beginning of a chapter. It’s important to make the end of the chapter as enticing as the chapter’s opening lines. The beginning lines of a chapter are meant to lure readers to read further in the chapter. The lines at the end of the chapter are meant to lure the reader into future chapters.

The end of a chapter has double duty. It needs to provide some closure on an event previously developed in the story or in the chapter while at the same time it must raise reader tension about the next challenging event to follow. Chapter endings should tie together story elements from previous chapters.
They also act as transitions between what has happened in the chapter and what may happen in the next chapter. There are many ways to end chapters that will entice readers’ to avidly continue reading. Consider some of these kinds of chapter endings:

  • End your chapter in the heart of the action.
    • Cliffhangers are terrific enders in mystery novels.
    • End with hooks that pull readers into the next chapter.
    • Hold your readers’ interest with unexpected twists in those last lines.
    • Use anticipation and fear to end your chapter.
    • Introduce new problems or a new character.
    • Reveal something surprising about a character’s personality or motives.
    • Introduce a new conflict or reveal something that changes readers’ opinion about a character.
    • Have your character grapple with what he will do about a coming conflict.
    • Reveal a devastating secret.
    • End with a question.

No matter what kind of chapter ending you choose, the last lines must hint of something to come without giving it away.

More tips:

How to End a Mystery Novel
How to Write Endings for Mystery Novels
8 Questions You Should Answer in Your Story Resolution

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Responses

  1. Really useful post, I will be taken advice from this! 🙂 Thank you!

    Like


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