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Friday, August 24, 2007

Scene transitions – ending hooks

End each scene/chapter with a hook sentence or paragraph, just like your opening. This is sometimes referred to as a “rise.”

If you are using good scene structure (which you should be doing like a good writer), you’ll be following Dwight Swain’s Scene and Sequel pattern, which naturally gives you a rise at the end of every scene or sequel.

This keeps the reader reading, because it presents something surprising or curious at the end of the scene, and they want to find out what happens next! “Just a few more pages …” Aaaah, music to a writer’s ears.

”It’s gonna be okay, Mom.”

She wrapped her arms around her son. As far as she was concerned, things couldn’t get much worse.

Then a beam of light sliced through the darkness as someone pushed the front door open.

Nowhere to Hide by Debby Giusti


Back out on the porch, she lifted the shotgun and said, “Come any closer and I’ll shoot you.”

Buried Secrets by Margaret Daley


I glanced out the [plane] window a final time. Saginaw, Michigan—and Mom, Pop, and Nelda—was eons away. My entire existence had been marching toward this moment in time. Would I measure up?

Of course, since this man-made contraption would never get off the ground, I wasn’t sure it mattered whether I did or not.

Sniffing the faint scent of wieners in the air, I settled back to await my death.

Monday Morning Faith by Lori Copeland


My cheeks flushed as a couple of kids around me let out low whistles. I sank back into the chair. All I had wanted to do was have a normal end to my senior year. So much for normal.

The Encore by Sarah Anne Sumpolec


Grandma straightened with a frighteningly excited look on her face. “I know what I’ll do.”

God, now would be a good time for a waiter to brain her with a serving platter.

Grandmother gave a gleeful smile and clapped her hands. “Yes, it’s perfect. I’ll pay for breast implants for you!”

Sushi for One? by Yours Truly


Go through your manuscript and look at the ending to every scene. How can you revise it so that you can add a rise or an ending hook sentence?

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