Steps to a Story: Cliffhanger!

If you haven’t read today’s installment of With Honor, it ends with cliffhanger.  These are always interesting to write.

There are two approaches to dealing with writing action in two parts, and I have done both.  One is to write the entire sequence of events, then find a suspenseful moment within the whole to create a split.  This is good if you haven’t quite figured out the best place to stop for the break.  It also helps to foster continuity between the sections; you don’t have to pick up where you left off in your writing, because it’s already finished.

The other approach, which I took with this part of With Honor, is more useful if you already know where you want to end the first part.  I simply wrote the section, focusing on the action that led up to the moment where the story pauses.  For people who may not be good at splitting and tweaking once the whole section is done, this is a good technique.  It forces you to create the end of the first part and the introduction to the second part as you are writing, rather than adding it later.  This is also a good way to approach it if you want to change point of view or add background details at the beginning of the second part.  You just have to be careful when you write the second part, so you don’t create continuity problems.


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