What defines an excellent chapter? What makes this particular chapter one of the best in my novel?

Chapter 23 just flowed out of me. I experienced some of the I can’t remember writing this phenomenon Holly describes in an email to HTRYN students. I didn’t struggle with my thoughts, with description, or with the death of a main character. I just saw it and wrote it.

The MC suffered her terrible loss with sorrow and dignity as a strong, sweet secondary character helped her to safety. I could see him so clearly; his outlines were bold, his bravery was understated, his strength and compassion tangible.  The chapter ended with a wonderful hook.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m writing science-fiction romance, a genre that can’t be taken too seriously. However, those characters at that particular time interacted seamlessly, with depth and clarity.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that I only made a few changes. (Most of my chapters look like a bloody crime scene, splattered with red ink.)  And, it doesn’t break my heart that I have only four chapters to go in lesson seventeen.  As a spare writer, I struggle to add dimension to my world and my people and, in this chapter, I nailed it. I just hope after revision most of the novel will be this deep and rich.

So, I ask you brother and sister writers. What makes your chapters memorable?

9 thoughts on “WRITE IT LIKE YOU SAW IT”

  1. That’s incredible! Such a great thing to experience as you approach the finale! Congratulations 🙂 A memorable chapter is when everything just naturally comes together layered with everything plus MORE without you having to strain your brain to make it work – conflict, pacing, character arc, twists you didn’t see coming but fit perfectly. I’m swooning just thinking about those magical scenes. Write it like you saw it…the perfect words I needed to hear right now, thank you!

  2. My favorite chapter in my book is chapter 6. It’s got a lot of dialogue and humor, and I remember laughing out loud a couple times while working on it, just getting into the characters and their exchanges. Sometimes you just hit the right rhythm and it all just kinda flows. It’s such a great feeling.

    Glad to hear yours is going so well, and it’s interesting to me (and not all that surprising) that this moment of gelling/flowing came about in chapter 23 for you. My husband’s always been big on the 23 enigma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/23_enigma), which I’d never really heard of ’til I met him. Now, I encounter it everywhere.

    1. I’ve never heard of the 23 enigma before but, as I said, I wish all my chapters were as readable as 23. Now, of course, I’ll see 23 everywhere! In fact, I’m remembering being 23, and there may be something going on there with 23. Wow. Kinda amazing.

      I do remember when I made Word Wizards lol. Chapter seven. It is a great feeling.

  3. it’s wonderful seeing such passion about what you’re writing. Come to think of it, I’ve never heard of the 23 Enigma either, till now. As for my own writing, I think the biggest surprise in my own writing has been, ‘Wow… that scared the heck out of me, and I wrote it!’ pertaining to some horror story work I’ve been doing.

      1. Sure thing! I just finished mine. I felt like a hacksaw-wielding maniac after editing it though. Didn’t realize just how condensed 1,000 words really could be.

  4. It’s always powerful when our muse is with us!
    May she be at your shoulder more often. Oh! Wait.
    She is.
    Hum-m-m . . . may you notice her there more often.

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