How Do I Keep My Reader's Attention?
Cliffhangers. At the end of every chapter, use a cliffhanger. That’s right, every chapter.
Why Should I Put Cliffhangers at the End of Every Chapter?
Your goal is to keep your audience reading. Since most people like to finish reading at the end of a chapter, you create a situation where they simply must know what happens next, and of course, they have to start the next chapter to find out how your MC gets out of this one. Now they have to finish the next chapter. Place another cliffhanger at the end of that chapter and guess what happens. Yep, they have to keep reading.
When the chapter ends with a fight scene, create suspense by having your character be bruised and beaten, trying to lick their wounds only to introduce the possibility of a new danger.
How do I write a great cliffhanger?
Create the possibility of a new danger. It doesn't have to be real danger, but the possibility something bad may happen to your MC will keep your audience on their toes, unable to put your novel down.
Let’s say your MC has finished battling off their attackers in an alley. Your MC has won. Yea! But when she exits the alley, bruised and limping, a dark van screeches to a halt, blocking her path.
Your reader will want to know who is in the van and why are they there. Are they kidnapping her? Helpers who have arrived too late? Both?
Your MC has finally found who they have been searching for and is now chasing them down. She is running as fast as she can, and she is gaining on him, but he turns down a side street. Hot on his tail, your MC sees what street he chose, but when she makes the turn, she comes to a dead stop.
Now, your reader will want to know why she came to such an abrupt stop. Does the guy have a gun pointed at her? Has he disappeared? Is there an entire gang standing in front of her?
Creating unknown situations where your reader simply must know what happens next will make them turn the page and start a new chapter, keeping them up all night.
What better compliment could you get than, “I couldn’t put the book down!”?
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