10 Compelling Ways to End a Chapter

Hello, everyone! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen! Chapter endings are some of the most crucial aspects of a book to keep a reader’s interest. The entire reason why we read books for hours is because of the author’s ability to make us turn the page through increasing conflict and unanswered questions (until the very end, of course.) And a book filled with flat chapter finales is a quick downhill to boredom.

As authors, it is our goal to keep our readers on the edge of their seats as they emerge themselves into our story. So, today we will be exploring some of the most compelling ways to end your chapters. Let’s get this party started!

1. A cliffhanger

One of the most classic ways to end a chapter is the classic cliffhanger method. What’s behind the door? Who is the mysterious person? How will the protagonist react? Cliffhangers are that feeling that we get after a small meal. Although we’ve partially satisfied our palette, we still have a taste for dessert. After effective cliffhangers, the reader will likely turn the page due to the urge to know what happens to your characters next.

TIP: Cliffhangers are a writing tool that should be used in moderation. Too many within your story can cause repetition, a lack of versatility, and boredom for your readers, which is something we as writers want to avoid.

2. An exit or departure

And I don’t necessarily mean a literal exit; although, with enough details, your characters leaving a room can be an effective way to close a chapter. But you could also end a scene with your characters exiting from a situation. Whether that means removing themselves from a toxic relationship or exiting the Earth to go to outer space is completely up to you and the plot of your story!

3. Pose a problem

If there’s anything that makes a good novel, its the constant obstacles that we put in our protagonist’s way as they inch closer to their goal. And it makes for a great chapter when you end it with another problem for your main character(s). This will leave your readers curious about your protagonist’s reaction, and we all know what that means; turn the page!

4. Have your characters make a tough decision

If you decide to end one of your chapters with a problem, the beginning of the next chapter could be an overview of how your protagonist reacts to the newfound obstacle. Then, you could end the second chapter with your characters making a plan or decision on how to solve the problem. By using this technique, you are opening the door for more conflict as the “new plan” may or may not succeed in the favor of your characters.

5. Add a surprising plot twist in the last line

When it comes to finishing up a chapter, there’s nothing more satisfying (and gripping) then a last line that pulls the plot in a completely different direction. In my opinion, these chapter endings are the most effective when executed well because they simply make readers ask themselves, “What’s next?”

6. Ask a daunting question

One of my favorite ways to close a scene in my novels is by asking a daunting question that gets the reader thinking. For example “Who am I?” is a simple yet deep question that could get your readers thinking with your protagonist. You may even want your protagonist’s question to be addressed towards another character. There is plenty of room to be creative with this technique, so just go where your story takes you!

7. Have your characters make a vow

In every interesting story, the protagonist has some sort of goal or mission that they want to accomplish. And a good way to put their commitment to the test is to have them make a vow to themselves (or if you want to raise the stakes, someone important to them) as a way to end a scene. Later on, you can put obstacles in their way to make keeping their vow a much harder task.

8. A reminder of the conflict

To further explain this idea, around the 25% mark of a story (also called the “Fun and Games” section in the Save the Cat outline method) there is an introduction of subplots, and things may be looking up for the protagonist before the sudden blow of the midpoint, where things usually take a downhill path. While it’s okay to have “fun” and lighthearted chapters within our novels (which can actually add a lot of depth and character to a story) its important we don’t get off track from the conflict and theme of our story, while doing so. Therefore, sometimes its good to have an event or a character’s thought remind the reader of your main character’s mission and all that’s at stake.

9. A catastrophe

Instead of leading your readers to wonder what’s next in a cliffhanger, why not end your chapter with a disaster to spice things up? This can be a fantastic way to pick up the action after a period of a slower pace within your story, and amp up the amount of pressure on your protagonist; the perfect way to get your readers to keep reading!

10. Your protagonist learns something new

Finally, a great way to end a scene is when your protagonist learns new information regarding their goal. Depending on the point within your story and/or the current circumstances of your protagonist, this information could help or hinder them reaching their goal. Once again, that’s your call to make, as a writer with a great story to tell!


I had a lot of fun with creating this list for how we can end our chapters with a hook! Although I originally made it to help other authors who need help in this area, this will also help me in turn during my journey with NaNoWriMo, this year. Please tell me, what are some of YOUR favorite ways to end a chapter? Also, which one of the tips that I listed above did you like the best and/or find the most helpful? I would love to hear from you!

Have a beautiful and blessed day, everyone! God bless you all, and I will see you next time! Peace in! ~ Q’Zion ♡

NaNoWriMo Week 1 Update!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen!

Around October 21st, 2022, I made the decision to take on the challenge of NaNoWriMo (writing 50,000 words in 30 days) for the first time ever! It might seem a little reckless, but I was able to do a good amount of planning before November started. And as soon as November 1st arrived, I was off to writing. While I’ve only been participating in NaNoWriMo for 9 days now, I’ve already learned so much about myself as a writer and a person, and it’s insane to see my novel expand day by day!

Today I’ll be sharing three short tips for beginner and veteran NaNoWriMo participants, as well as an update for how I’ve been doing during the first week of the month-long challenge. Let’s get started!

Tip #1: Don’t Stress It!

If there is any advice that I could give to anyone who is doing NaNoWriMo this year, it’s don’t stress too much about trying to hit a certain amount of words everyday. Sometimes you may write 3,000 and that’s great! But on other days, you may only feel like writing about 500 words, and that’s okay, too. In my opinion, the most important part of NaNoWriMo is taking a little time to write every day. And make sure that your minimum word count goal is realistic to the time you can put into your project, this month. For most of us, that’s likely so much more than we write in our average, day to day lives. And if you ask me, that’s a huge win!

Tip #2: Use Word Sprints

One of the writing tools that are provided in the official NaNoWriMo website while your writing is a Word Sprint, which is where you set a time and a word goal that you want to hit within that time. For me, I shoot for about 100 words every 5 minutes; it’s a speed where I’m not trying to write 3,000 words in an hour, but fast enough to get words on the paper without overthinking and/or going back to edit what I’ve already written. Word Sprints are super personalized to a speed that you’re comfortable with, and I think that’s why they’ve become one of my favorite tools to use during NaNoWriMo.

Tip #3: Listen to Relaxing Music

Soft, classical music playing in my headphones has been one of my friends during my NaNoWriMo experience. It makes it a lot easier to tune out the background noise that can be distracting during the writing process, and helps you think about “what’s next’ in your project. So on those days this month when you’re stuck in a bowl of pudding (thanks to lovely writer’s block) you can refer to this playlist that I made on YouTube of instrumental music you can use while writing or reading.

Week 1 Word Count

November 1st: 1,298 words

November 2nd: 507 words

November 3rd: 1,538 words

November 4th: 2,589 words

November 5th: 2,086 words

November 6th: 1,017 words

November 7th: 1,531 words

TOTAL WORD COUNT: 10,566 words

To be honest, I consider this such a huge accomplishment for the first week of this challenge! Although I have been dabbling between about 200-1,000 words behind, there’s still plenty of time in the weekend for me to get some extra words in. And considering that a 3-day weekend is coming up this Friday (due to Labor Day) I think I’ll be getting ahead of the game very soon!

Week 2 Goals

– Write at least 1,500 words every day

– Write 3,500 words at least one day

– Reach 22,000 words


I hope you all enjoyed my Week 1 NaNoWriMo Update. Hopefully the tips and my progress were able to help and/or inspire you for your project! Please comment down below, will YOU be participating in NaNoWriMo, this year?

Have a blessed day, everyone! God bless you all and I’ll catch you next time! Peace in!

How I’m Preparing for NaNoWriMo [Preptober]

What’s up, everybody! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen!

If you haven’t already heard, National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo fo short) starts on November 1st … and that means that it’s time to write a novel! In case you aren’t familiar with NaNoWriMo, here is the official website’s description of their Young Writers’ Program;

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, empowering approach to creative writing. The challenge: draft an entire novel in just one month. For 30 wild, exciting, surprising days, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create!

Our Young Writers Program supports under-18 writers and K-12 educators as they participate in our flagship event each November, and take part in smaller writing challenges year-round.

ywp.nanowrimo.org

In other words, NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge–both for adults and kids/teens in the Young Writers Program–to reach a personalized word goal by writing every day until November 30th! No editing or revising; just writing.

I’ve “participated” in this challenge for the last couple years, but I’ve never actually gotten my project off of the ground. However, this year I’m planning on writing a 50,000 word novel, starting on Tuesday! Ambitious, right? But don’t be fooled; I didn’t decide to do this challenge unprepared. Today, I’ll be discussing some of the ways that I’ve been preparing for National Novel Writing Month! Let’s get started!

Established my goals for the challenge

For me, NaNoWriMo is an opportunity for me to write everyday, quit worrying about making my writing perfect, have fun, and produce a novel in the process. Although my blog has significantly increased the amount that I write, NaNoWriMo will push that to the next level, and I think that my word goal will really challenge me to increase my writing skills and hold back on my perfectionist ways. The challenge is really all about having a good time doing what I love to do; write. So that’s something I plan to keep in mind throughout the entire process.

Made a schedule (sort of)

Okay, so I haven’t made a schedule where I’ve figured out the exact dates and times that I will be working on my novel; after all, every day is different. But I do know that in order to reach my word count goal by the end of November, I’m going to need to write 1667 words every day. That means that even if I can’t write that many words on a day that I’m busy, I could make up for it on a weekend or on a day when I don’t have much on my schedule. Having an idea of how much you need to write to reach your goal–in baby steps–is super helpful to break down the task in front of you without it being too intimidating.

Gotten to know my characters

In the novel that I am almost done with drafting, I pretty much dove into the writing process with the idea and built on that from there. And while that was fun to try, that project has been at a stand-still for a while, now. Since writer’s block is not really an option when you have 30 days to write a novel, I did a little (no a LOT) more planning this time around. For each of my characters I filled out a questionare on who they are, what they like to do, where they live, their personalities, etc., and I think that really payed off. Now, I can picture how each of the characters look in my head, and I have a better perspective on who they are as individuals. And considering that characters are one of the most important parts of a story, that will be super helpful for me, later on.

Established my setting

Usually, settings aren’t something I do a whole lot of thinking about when I get an idea for a story. Like with my characters, I kind of go where the plot wants me to go. But this time, my novel takes place in a magical kingdom split into 4 (meaning there are four pairs of a king and queen.) Each kingdom has their own customs, geography, and citizens with their own personalities and behaviors. Therefore, establishing my complex setting for this story was a crucial part of making my novel’s first draft as well-executed as possible.

Prepared small rewards with my family

Right after I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, I made sure I discussed it with Goodmommy. She was so supportive that she even purposed that every time I write 5,000 words toward my goal, she’ll give me 5 bucks! And every 25,000 words, we’ll go out for ice cream! Awesome, right?!? To be honest, I think getting family support and small rewards to look forward to will make NaNoWriMo so much more fun!

Outlined my plot

Finally, I outlined all of the major events of my plot. At first, I wasn’t planning on doing this AT ALL. But I’ve had a pint full of motivation lately, thank God, so I ended up going for it. Now that my plot outline is complete, it will most likely save me from running into writer’s block halfway through November. And as a writer, that’s almost always something to celebrate.


By now, I’m quite sure you guys can already tell, but I’m super stoked to get involved in the hype of NaNoWriMo. Although I realize 50,000 words is a pretty steep goal for my first time doing this challenge, I’m more than confident that I can reach it! Please tell me down below, are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, what are some things you’re doing to prepare? And if not, have you ever heard of National Novel Writing Month?

Have a happy and healthy rest of your day, everyone! God bless you all and I’ll catch you next time! Peace in! ♡

How to Get an Idea for a Novel

Hey, everyone! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen!

Writing a novel is one of the most rewarding things one could do as a writer. You put your ideas, creativity, and time into a story and your hard work payed off; what a feeling! But the thing is, how can you know what that’s like when your stumped on what you want your novel to be about?

Brainstorming the conflict or plot of your own story can be intimidating to think about, but there are so many ways to get your creative juices flowing and your fingers typing. We just need to use our imaginations. With these easy-to-follow yet effective tips, you are likely to come up with a fresh, awesome story idea in the blink of an eye. Let’s get started!

1.) Think about a story that you want to read, but hasn’t been written.

If you’re a writer and a bookworm, like me, its likely that you’ve come across many awesome novels. But have you ever thought about a story that you’d love to read . . . that hasn’t been written, yet? Whether this is a random thought or a new discovery, there is always an awesome story that hasn’t been told. And since this idea hasn’t yet been taken, it could be the perfect starting point of your very own story.

2.) Write a novel with a spin on a classic story.

From fairy tales, to fables, to the bedtime stories that every kid grew up reading, we’ve all had our fair share on classic, timeless stories. People are used to hearing them be told a certain way, but the perfect way to spice things up is to retell one of your favorite fairytales with a special twist. Although this can be a risky topic for a story, if it is well executed and thought out, it could make for a fantastic novel.

3.) Try the ‘words in a jar’ method.

This might sound a little confusing, so let me further elaborate. The ‘words in a jar’ method is when you put a bunch of words in a jar that you’re interested in, curious about or like to read about. Some examples are rollerblading, magical creatures, France in the early 1900s, factories, Columbian culture, etc. Then, you pick out three random words and try to make a novel idea out of it. You may not be crazy about every idea, but you could also find something that you really love. Either way, this method is perfect to get your brain . . . storming when you need some inspiration.

4.) Use the genre that you like to read.

Let’s face it, if you like to read realistic fiction, you’re probably not going to be as familiar with the fantasy genre. Although writing a novel in a genre that is newer to you can make for a fun challenge, its not the most practical for a well-developed story. The books that we read are a representation of what we like in literature. Therefore, what makes more sense than to write in the genre that you like? If you write a book that you are already passionate about, then your readers likely will be, too.

5.) Create a character based off of you or someone you know.

Characters are like the building blocks of a Lego wall. They are the people that your readers relate to, participate in dialogue to move the plot along, and portray the theme that you want your novel to represent. And making a character from scratch is not always a walk in the park. Therefore, using an experience of yours, or basing your character off of you or someone you know well (with their permission, of course) can be a good solution. If your character has a similar personality to you or a friend/family member, you can already have a sense of who they are and what they believe. Besides, writing is even better when we include the ones that we love.

6.) Just write.

Although all of these activities can be life-saving in the writing world, sometimes nothing beats facing writers block like the old fashioned way: just writing. Even if you jot down the first thing that comes to your mind, random ideas could turn into a bestselling novel; just like every single good book of the past. All we have to do is sit down, open our laptop, and write.


Finding an idea for a novel can be harder said that done . . . but with fun, creative ideas like these, it can be another challenging yet rewarding writing task that can lead to a one-of-a-kind story. Please tell me in the comments, what are some other ways that someone could find an idea for a narrative? Also, which of these tips did you like the best or find the most helpful?

Thank you all so much for joining me, today! God bless you all, and have an amazing rest of your day! Peace in! ~ Q’Zion ♡

Observing Two Sentence Stories

Hey, everyone! This is Princess Q’Zion and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen. Today, I decided to get creative and do something a little different. I found an old post that I did a little over a year ago, in which I discussed a technique that I had learned in Creative Writing Club: two sentence stories. And I even listed a few that I’d written on my own during the 15-minute exercise that we did during the meeting.

If you’d like to view my first post about two sentence stories, please click here.

I had such a blast writing about them last time that I decided to do a follow-up (or shall I say, continuation) on two sentence stories and how you write them. So, without further ado, let’s begin.

What is a two sentence story?

I recall this being my first thought when I’d first discovered two sentence stories, and I’m assuming it was yours, as well. So, let me break it down for you. They’re basically short stories of pretty much any genre that are written in only two sentences. Most commonly, they are meant to have a funny, surprising, or unexpected twist in the last sentence to add a satisfying ending to the mini-novel.

They’re really awesome for anyone going through writer’s block in the sense that they make you use creativity. After all, it’s not always a simple task to write an entire story in two sentences. But with a little creativity and originality, they can be super satisfying to put together.

Tips — How to make two sentences count

Now that we all know what a two sentence story is, it’s time to dive into exactly how you can write them. Here are a few of my tips for how to make the two sentences count!

  • Make it simple – If you’re a writer like me, it can be tempting to want to stretch the story as much as possible. But don’t overthink it. It is called a two sentence story for a reason.
  • Use personal experiences as inspiration – As for what I can tell, it is so much easier to write a story in two sentences when they’re about something funny or memorable that I’ve experienced. Not only does it make them less of a struggle to write, but a lot more relatable, as well.
  • Go with the flow – When trying different writing icebreakers like two sentence stories, sometimes it’s best to just jot down whatever comes to mind. You can always go back and make edits later, but the whole point of short stories are to practice and have fun!

My original examples

Two sentence stories are such a blast to write. To help any of you who have never heard of this writing exercise until today, I decided to write a few more two-sentence stories of my own. I wrote a total of four in a few minutes of brainstorming, and I have to admit that I’m super happy with how they came out. Hopefully, you all enjoy them, as well.

Since this is my personal writing that I posted on my personal blog, it is considered my property. Therefore, please don’t claim it as your own or use my writing. This is just me sharing my writing experience with you, for reading purposes only. Thank you!

Hello Sun — I go for a jog in the sun on a cozy, summer day. It feels like God is smiling down on me.

What They Once Were — Some adults say they don’t like children. And I’ve always wondered “What were they 40 years ago?”

Phone Screen — I stare in agony as my phone slammed to the ground, it’s sparkly pink and blue case all I can see, before I pick it up and turn it around, my heart skipping a beat. Finally, I exhale: no cracks.

Words — What are words? They’re just swords tossed around.

Book — A good book is like a best friend. It’s there whenever you need it.


Okay, is it just me or does it make you feel accomplished after you’ve written a good short story? Two sentence stories are one of my favorite writing techniques to get my mind going, and hopefully you all enjoyed learning what they’re all about. Please let me know if you’ve ever heard of a two sentence story before today as well as which one of my two sentence stories you liked the most.

Have a fantabulous day, everyone! God bless you all, and don’t forget to smile! Peace in! ♡

7 Tips for Blogging Consistently (and Efficiently)

Hey, y’all! While blogging is a very fun and rewarding way to help others, it can be tough to come up with new content for your viewers. Any good blogger wants their content to inspire and inform others, while giving people someone to relate to. Regardless of how much we blog, we want to make each post a good read, but it might not always easy to constantly come up with new things to post.

If you are struggling with being more consistent on your platform, feel free to look at these tips, stating how YOU can blog both consistently and efficiently.

1.) Do Your Research – A great method if you want to know what’s currently getting a lot of traffic is doing your research. Search for what topics are popular during the current season, month, year, etc. Pay attention to what type of blog you have (fashion, religion, lifestyle, motherhood, etc.) as well as what topics interest you. While paying attention to what people currently like to read is good, I want to stress that this doesn’t limit you from coming up with your own, new ideas. You can start a new trend, too.

2.) Write Everything Down – It’s funny how when we sit down to write something, it can take a few minutes to think about what we want to write. Meanwhile, great ideas can randomly pop into our heads when we’re doing everyday tasks. If you ever get an idea, find one designated space (either virtually or in a journal) to jot down your thoughts. This way, anytime you might get writers block, it will be a source that you may use to break that cycle.

3.) Listen to Your Audience – Unless you’ve just began your blogging journey (which I congratulate you for starting), chances are you’ve already gained an audience. Whether that audience is big or small, its important that we pay attention to which posts our readers seem to enjoy, most of all. What type of content gets the most likes, positive comments, and overall attention? If you know what your viewers like the most, then it will be much easier to find things to write about.

4.) Make Content with Respect to what You are Passionate About – Coming up with blog post ideas can be a lot harder if you aren’t writing about things that you truly take an interest in. A lot of people want to read the blog of someone who is raw, realistic, and is doing what they love–and you can identify whether someone loves what they are writing about by reading their work. As long as you make content about what makes you happy, the right audience will come.

5.) Keep in Mind that Less can be More – A lot of times, we may try to make a post that’s super detailed and long. But in reality, people don’t want to read a 3,000 word blog post–especially not if you are a daily blogger. It’s best to keep your content under 1,500 words per post. This way, you can focus more on the purpose for each post rather then how long it will be. Remember, nobody has to read your posts–it’s part of our jobs as writers to reel our readers in so they’ll want to read them.

6.) Use National Days as Inspiration (especially lifestyle blogs) – Okay. So this is a method that I use all the time. In fact, I think I need to make it a category. There is literally a National Day for everything. I mean, you think it and there will probably be a day for it. The options stretch from Celebration of Life Day, to National Umbrella Day to World Poetry Day to Celebrity Birthdays. I personally use nationaltoday.com to get detailed descriptions on the multiple national days of every single day of the year. It is definitely a great tool for any blogger that struggles with making constant new, yet exciting content.

7.) Organization and Readability is Key – A good blog post should be organized and easy to read. You don’t want your words to be so long that they cause your audience to x-out the page, scratching their heads. We want our point to come across well, and the best way to do that is by making our words easy to understand. Some ways that you can keep good organization in your posts include using bullet points and numbered lists, using correct punctuation, rereading each post and separating your writing into short paragraphs (no more than 150-200 words each.)


Wow! That was a lot to write, but I enjoyed it. Blogging (and writing) are forms of self-expression. As artists, we should use our writing as an outlet to express ourselves and our passions. A great blog comes in many forms, but just remember in all things to make sure that your writing is true to who you are. What is the reason why you started a blog in the first place? If you stay efficiently consistent, I’m sure your blog will be getting a lot more acknowledgement very soon. :))

Have a blessed day, y’all. Peace in! ✨

5 Tips for Anyone Who Wants to Practice Poetry #poetry

Poetry is a writing technique that I’ve loved for a long time. It allows you to express yourself, tell your story, and use your creativity to make every poem that you write your own. Today, I had a Creative Writing Club meeting, and I noticed that a lot of my fellow members said that poetry was a little more difficult than them.

I understood them completely. As writers, we all have those things that we are naturally good at and the other things that we WANT to learn but just don’t know where to START. That’s where I come in. Take a look at these tips that can help anyone who wants some extra poetry practice.

1.) Read the work of other poets. Poetry is a form of art. And just like visual art such as paintings, sculptures, and sketches, it is important as an artist to be inspired by the work of your peers. This in no way means that you should copy another poet. However, you can gain a lot of knowledge regarding rhythm, how to tell a story and really convey your emotions in your work by looking at the work of poets who came before you.

2.) When you have an idea, jot it down in a poetry journal. Every work of art starts with an idea. It doesn’t need to be specific. You may just sit down and say, “I want to write.” Then, maybe the idea will continue to become clearer as you write. Other times, they just pop into our minds randomly: while eating dinner, watching TV, or any other daily activity. Whenever this happens, write the idea down in your personal journal, whether for just poetry or writing in general. That way, when you feel motivated, you can use that idea and put it into words.

3.) Be okay with being imperfect. So maybe you tried to write a poem, and it isn’t what you thought it would be. I applaud you for being you. When your work is imperfect, that means that it has your personal touch. It is authentic, raw, and a representation of the fact that you made the choice to try something new. That is nothing to be ashamed of.

4.) Don’t focus on complexity. I think a lot of times where we go wrong, as writers and human beings, is we make the simplest things a lot more complex than they really are or have to be. Every line doesn’t need to be 20 words to make an impact. In fact, it’s sometimes the short and sweet poems that really pack a punch. So focus on the quality, not the quantity or how big the words are.

5.) Always reread, review, and revise your work. Don’t just write a poem and then continue with your day. After you finish writing the draft, reread it. Find ways to improve it. And again, they don’t have to be super complex. Does the poem have any spelling errors? Are there any boring words that you could make more vivid or descriptive? Is this poem a reflection of you trying to make a replica of someone else’s writing or a reflection of the gift that has already been given to you by the Lord? Really think about that, for a second.


It can be hard to make poems original, and if you don’t want to share them with anyone, that’s okay. You use it as a learning experience, and a stepping stone to getting better. Just keep in mind that it can make the process easier, and a lot more fun, when you just let the words flow from your heart, onto the paper.

I hope you all enjoyed! If you’re new, please like this post and follow my blog for more.

I’ll see you next time! ✨