Monday, July 2, 2007


I was once asked how I provide such continuity from one chapter to the next. It's really very simple. I begin the new chapter with an event or person or article that was alluded to in the last few paragraphs of the previous chapter. For instance I end chapter six in Ninth Lord of the Night with Zack saying, "In that case, I'm going swimming."I begin Chapter Seven with, A redhead beat him to it. When he came out of his room there she was, stretched out on one of the chaise lounges in an eye-catching floral bikini, her fiery hair blazing in the sunlight.

Simple enough after it's all done, but it really does take some thought. Especially when changing from one POV character to another. But, I think smooth transitions are an important tool to keeping the reader's interest. The reader begins with the familiar and then can be taken to the unfamiliar without being confused or having the story lose believability. Later, after Zack has explored parts of the ruins in Tikal then I could end one chapter with him in his room at the compound and begin the next with him in a different place - like The Lost World Complex, because, now, the reader is familiar with the layout of that particular structure and ready to go beyond the familiar and into the unfamiliar.

Another important thing. The end of the book reaches somewhat into the paranormal. For the end of the story to transition from the normal to the paranormal and still be believable I had to insert the same information over and over again. Every time I did it, I did it in different ways, but it was imperative that the reader never forget certain Maya myths and legends or the ending would so surprising that instead of giving the reader chills it would simply lose credibility. By the time Zack had his greatest experience, I needed the reader to be open to this possibility, although certainly not expecting it.

Transitions can be rough or smooth depending on how much thought a writer puts into them. The key to having a fast paced novel is making the transitions so smooth that they don't interrupt the story.



  1. That is some great advice and a good learning tool to use...
    Thank you-

  2. Well said, Diana, Good points, all!