View Full Version : stop question

Home - Discussion Forums - News - Reviews - Interviews

New reviews, interviews and news

New in the Discussion Forum

Pages : [1] 2

June 26th, 2006, 01:47 PM
When you are reading a novel and have to stop reading, where do you stop? Do you stop at the end of a chapter, end of the page, when there is a lull, or in the middle of a page?

Chapter breaks mean nothing to me because I totally ignore them. I stop when there is a lull and it seems that authors NEVER put chapter breaks when there is a lull. I assume this is because they are afraid if you stop at a natural lull then the reader won't come back.

Because this is how I read myself, I tend to put chapter breaks when there is going to be a significant lapse of time or at the end of a scene when my character has turned contimplative (anxious about the future/ fate of her loved one) Is this writers suicide?

June 26th, 2006, 02:28 PM
I stop reading between paragraphs. Literally, I'll just stop, use the bookmark to show me exactly where I stopped, and then come back and pick it up where I left off (sometimes reading the previous paragraph)

It has nothing to do with chapters, pauses, or anything.

In my writing, I prefer to leave a chapter on a cliffhanger, but if it's logical (major change of scene) then I have no problem stopping there.

June 26th, 2006, 04:26 PM
When reading, I prefer to stop at a chapter break, but if it's not possinle - something else to do, or if it would take too long to reach the end of the current chapter - I'll often just stop at the end of the next paragraph.

June 26th, 2006, 04:32 PM
The only time I don't stop at chapter breaks is when something unexpected interrupts. I don't start a chapter, if I know I won't be able to finish it.

As to writing: some people like to use use chapters as a pacing tool, but once I'll do chapters in my own work, I'll make it a structural principle (that should make it easy to find a specific scene to go back to, should they choose to).

I'd say how I handle chapters depends on the novel I'm writing, but since I've only ever written short stories I can't really know. :cool:

June 26th, 2006, 06:13 PM
End of a chapter, whatever needs doing can wait for a few pages :D

June 27th, 2006, 12:42 AM
Yup, end of chapter, unless of course I'm being interrupted.

When I write chapter breaks tend to be on scene changes, or when I've given the reader (Assuming I ever have readers) something I want them to think about before they plunge on. I'll throw in the occasional end of chapter cliff hanger, followed by a scene change, and I'll tell you what happens sooner or later.


James Barclay
June 27th, 2006, 09:17 AM
I stop when I realise that I've read the same paragrpah eight times, a whole lot of time seems to have passed and I am dribbling on the pillow/sofa/chair.

However, I end chapters when they need to be ended when I'm writing. Could be a cliff-hanger, could just be the end of a peaceful scene.


June 27th, 2006, 11:21 AM
I stop when I realise that I've read the same paragrpah eight times, a whole lot of time seems to have passed and I am dribbling on the pillow/sofa/chair.

That's me, too. I stop when the book drops onto my chest and I wake up from the impact. My free reading time is usually after I've gotten in bed.

Dragon Child
June 27th, 2006, 04:02 PM
I tend to read until I can't stand to read anymore, whether from eye-strain or need for sleep, regardless of where I'm at.

When I absolutely have to stop reading right then, I'll just go with the end of a sentence or, preferably, a paragraph.

Though, I do find chapters very convenient for when I don't want to stop reading. "Let me just finish this chapter!"

June 27th, 2006, 04:35 PM
I read till I have to get out of the bathroom. Sometimes I'll go for the end of a section/chapter if I'm close to the end.

Chapter and section endings tend to come not when there is a lull or a cliffhanger, but when there's a shift -- the author is going from one set of things, settings or focusi to another. Which is why it's convenient for authors who are using multi-pov's in third person limited, third person omniscient or other formats, to switch pov characters at a chapter break.

There are a lot of ways to do a chapter break, including cliffhangers as an obvious way to keep readers reading -- more effective if chapters or sections are short. But the key is generally to have a moment, or a line of dialogue or a character observation, etc., that strikes a chord and will be remembered, to orient readers for the shift in the next chapter or section. Which a lull might not really accomplish, since the experience of a "lull" as a lull may mean that you are bored.

But quiet moments can be effective chapter endings, if they have emotional strength or are otherwise memorable, and provide a good end-frame to what's happened so far.