Ending a Scene

So here I am again, adding a new column to my spreadsheet. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone can write a novel without an ever-evolving spreadsheet.

Previously, I blogged about Starting a Novel Scene and Before the Story Begins, and I don’t know why I didn’t notice at the time, but perhaps I should be checking how I end each scene.

I believe variety will help make a novel more interesting to read, so I added a new spreadsheet column called The Ending.

It contains one of four entries

  • Action
  • Dialogue
  • Thought
  • Narrative

The first draft is written without thinking about this. I want to write what comes naturally, and I want the story to flow.

But once the first draft is complete, it’s time to use various techniques to ensure the novel is as good as possible. This is when I check whether the scenes end in different ways. If all the scenes end with narrative for example, the novel might be tedious to read.  This is a less artistic part of the process, but no less important to the end product.

Anyone else have spreadsheet tips they want to share?


9 thoughts on “Ending a Scene

    1. Garry, I use the spreadsheet for all of these things. My column on – what is the char wearing, tells me if I’ve repeated the same clothing too much. I just can’t write without a spreadsheet.


  1. Good idea, Kristina! I’ve started using the spreadsheet technique and this idea of types of chapter endings will be helpful. I have noticed I love to end when it’s night time and start the new chapter when they wake up. I’m sure your list will help me as I revise.


  2. Good point. It makes me think of listening to an album where all the songs fade out. After a few tracks I start to wonder if the artist just doesn’t know how to end a song any other way.


  3. Great idea!
    In fact, I know exactly how I can adapt this to Scrivener, by making each scene’s index card a different color based on which of the four categories the scene ending falls into. I like pretty colors!


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