Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thoughts for Thursdays

Today's quote:

"Usually, when people get to the end of a chapter, they close the book and go to sleep. I deliberately write a book so when the reader gets to the end of the chapter, he or she must turn one more page. When people tell me I've kept them up all night, I feel like I've succeeded." Sidney Sheldon

I've heard many different perspectives on this. Some people enjoy reading a book that gives them time to catch their breath in between each chapter, while others enjoy the breakneck pace that leaves them breathless at each turn and dying to know what happens next.

I'm the type that loves moving at the breakneck pace, but I don't mind the breather now and again. When I'm forced to put down the book at a point when I need to know what happens next, it drives me crazy--this is when I appreciate a nice wrap up chapter.

With my own writing however, I try to do a bit of both.

What's your take on this? Do you love to read books where the end of each chapter forces you to turn to the next, or do you prefer some time to catch your breath? How about when it comes to your writing?

20 comments:

Melissa said...

I'm a hundred percent with you on this one. I like to read books with both. It makes them so, so, so much better.

I try to do the same in my writing. Hopefully I succeed. It's hard to know though until I give it to other people to let them see. I always find judging my own stuff to be hard.

Terri Tiffany said...

I like to be left thinking about what will happen next but also so I can break a little. Thanks for this as I started a few new chapters and will watch my endings closer.

Justine Dell said...

I like both. But there have been some books I just can't put down. It's both irritating and wonderful because 1. the dogs need fed and so does the child. 2. when I've read a 350 page novel in one day, it makes me feel pretty darn good.

But a breather would be nice. I always try to end my chapters on a hook, but I don't know how well I succeed at the ptq (page turning quality).

~JD

Palindrome said...

Too me it's like eating on the go or savoring every bite. Both are delightful. a book that's hard to put down is very easy to pick back up but you always return to writing that's like a warm blanket, a world you are loving surrounding yourself in.

Suzi McGowen said...

I tend to read books all in one sitting, so I don't use chapter breaks.

When writing my Troll Wife story, I like to end at a natural stopping point, but leave the reader with a question so that they can pause, but have a reason to continue.

My steampunk story, has more cliff hanger chapter endings, because that's the kind of story it is.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I prefer a pause in between chapters when reading, although a couple of my chapters end with a taunt to continue.

Melissa Gill said...

I like a little bit of both myself. I have virtually no will power once I get started on something, so if I have a book that forces me to turn the page, I will literally read it straight through. That does bad bad things to the work life, family life... So if I find a book that makes me feel I won't be able to put it down, I usually wait to start reading it, until I can carve out that amount of time. That's not necessarily a good thing.

My preference is for a book that carries you along for several chapters, and then gives you a natural breather. That way I can read like a normal human being, and keep my job.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Well it depends. I actually got annoyed at a book I read recently because the author kept ending the chapters on these great must-turn-page hooks and I really needed to go to bed. LOL!

Jemi Fraser said...

I like a variety - I hate when things become far too predictable.

Christina Lee said...

LOVE that quote. I'm not sure, still trying to figure it out in my own writing. But when reading, a little bit of both is good!

Talli Roland said...

Great quote - I'm sure I've heard that before somewhere. I prefer a mixture. I don't like to be breathless all the time but I do like a bit of tension here and there.

Tamara Narayan said...

Both is best. When I realized that every single chapter of The Da Vinci Code ended in a cliffhanger, I got annoyed. It was too obvious and overdone, almost gimmicky.

Aubrie said...

I don't mind breathers in books, as long as it isn't every chapter. But as for my writing, I always try to keep the pace going. :) Good questions!

Vatche said...

Awesome quote, Writing Nut! I might use it for one of my mental snacks someday!

As for me, while I read, I prefer to have a breather every once in a while, but page-turners are always a personal favorite.

As for in my writing, I write cliffhangers at the end of each of my chapters most of the time to keep the reader turning the page. If they turn the page, then I've succeeded.

Write on and read on!

Lynda Young said...

I love to read a book I can't put down. It means I'm enjoying it, and, when I do put it down, I know I'll have soemthing to look forward to when I return. I try to write my own novels that way.

Amanda Sablan said...

Either one is fine for me, and in my own writing I try to include both breathers and cliffhangers. Too many of the latter though can be irritating.

Cher Green said...

I love books that won't let you put them down. When I do put them down it is at the end of a chapter, but there's that pull for next time.

I try to do the same in my own writing.

Brandon said...

I like a mix of both when I read :)

When I write, I don't plan the ending, the scene unfolds unto itself.

The Words Crafter said...

I prefer a page turner with the occasional breather. Realistically, even with fiction, fantasy, and horror, action can't happen all the time. There has to be movement, the setting of a scene...and these are great opps for breathers, don't you think?

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I believe Sidney Sheldon is right. Leave them with a cliff hanger or the reader may well leave you!

Have a healing weekend, Roland