The Beginning: The End

How important is it to come full circle in your novel? #writetip

I find myself at the first draft stage of my third novel. This is a good opportunity for me to check that the ending fits with the first chapter.

Here are some important questions you can ask:

1. Do you close off on any problems you created for your protagonist or other main characters?

2. Do you answer any questions you left hanging in the first chapter?

3. What reasons did you give the reader to keep reading after chapter one? There must be closure to these issues.

4. Do the first and last chapter have something in common?

I like a novel to feel rounded. I want to know there was a point to the first chapter and that the author wrote it as part of a story and not a gimmick to get me reading.  The questions help me ensure my novel offers the reader the same courtesy.

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4 thoughts on “The Beginning: The End

  1. Really interesting questions. Here’s my stab…
    1. Do you close off on any problems you created for your protagonist or other main characters? I think so. I didn’t in my first twenty or so drafts… part of my struggle with the first book in a series. I think I’ve got it now, though.

    2. Do you answer any questions you left hanging in the first chapter? Just one is open, but I leave the reader thinking that they know the answer

    3. What reasons did you give the reader to keep reading after chapter one? There must be closure to these issues.Hmmmm. Well, he was taken away from his parents. He will never see his parents again… but I suppose the reader cares, and wants to make sure he is okay, and why he was taken. Both those questions are answered

    4. Do the first and last chapter have something in common?
    They both have a big transition for the MC. THe last chapter kind of ties things up… not really sure.

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    1. Jennifer, thanks for the questions. Question 4 got me thinking, and I have one key point in the first chapter and last that link tightly. I’ll add your questions to the list I keep. Each book gets easier in the sense that my list of things to check get refined.

      Like

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