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 ♡

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 ♡

50 Blog Post Ideas that Your Followers will LOVE!

Writing is a fun, simple, and creative way to express yourself and inspire others. But let’s be real here: writer’s block is not very helpful, despite the fact that we can all get it, sometimes. If you are stuck on what to write, or you just want some extra inspiration, here are 50 blog post ideas (lifestyle, fashion, literature, Christianity, etc.) to say goodbye to your writer’s block!

  • 10 things you wish you knew when you started blogging
  • How to maintain good mental health during the pandemic
  • How to spend more time with God
  • 5 ways to balance your school and social life
  • Write a book review
  • Your daily routine
  • Share some cute pictures of your pets (if you have any)
  • Best books for moms, teenagers, kids, young adults, etc.
  • Why is self care important?
  • What living for God has taught you
  • Your favorite books of all time
  • Your favorite YouTubers/YouTube channels
  • How to enhance your creativity
  • Blogging tips
  • List blog post ideas
  • Share some of your artwork and drawings
  • Give an update on your New Year’s Resolutions — how are they coming along?
  • 10 chic bedroom ideas for teenagers
  • My (insert item) collection
  • How to fashionably wear baggy clothing
  • Your favorite Netflix/Disney+/Hulu shows
  • 10 tips for focused photography
  • Winter or summer skin care tips
  • Give other bloggers some love by sharing your favorite blogs
  • Q&A post (ask your followers to ask you questions, and then write another post where you answer them!)
  • Your biggest pet peeves
  • Share your favorite reading spot
  • What inspires you?
  • How to make your relationships stronger
  • Write a tutorial
  • Do a video post–post it on YouTube and add it to a post
  • How to walk 10,000 steps a day
  • 10 ways to avoid negative peer pressure
  • Tips for being a better older sibling
  • What’s in your bag?
  • Your top 10 favorite apps on your phone (especially iPhone, Google, Samsung and Android)
  • Organization tips
  • Why did you start your blog? — explain who or what encouraged you to start your journey
  • Celebrate your blogging anniversary
  • How to find writing inspiration
  • How to learn to love yourself
  • Show pictures of your favorite outfits
  • Who is your idol?
  • What are you thankful to God for?
  • Best board games for family fun
  • Show your blog stats (views, likes, comments, etc.)
  • Monthly wrap up
  • 5 tips for how to read more
  • How to be/remain productive
  • Interview someone

I had a lot of fun brainstorming and creating this list, and I hope you now have a lot of inspiration for your blog. If you try any of these ideas, please feel free to comment down below so that I may check out your amazing writing! <33

See you later, beautiful people! God bless you all! ✨