When I hired a freelance editor this winter to help me with my manuscripts, one of the things he picked up on was my chapter endings. Early in the story I had a tendency to wrap up the scene at the end of a chapter instead of leaving people hanging for more. Toward the end of the book I did better with the cliffhangers, but I needed to stretch it all the way through the book.
I saw his point and worked on making sure I did more to make people want to read on. But then I started watching the show Arrow on the CW network.
Holy hanging by a thread, Batman.
The show is a modern version of the DC Comics superhero Green Arrow. They’ve made him gritty, realistic, and the show is a mix of adventure and adrenaline mixed in with some amazing story hooks.
The bad guy shows that he’s got a new trick up his sleeve. The one person that was killed – are they really dead? On and on it went, never a dull ending.
There is not an episode that doesn’t end leaving the viewer crying, “More!” That worked when we were catching up on Netflix, but now that my boys and I are caught up, we’re stuck waiting.
And we’re dying.
I thought I had the trick of keeping a reader hooked figured out, until I started watching Arrow. Now I know what it is really like. Of course the types of media are different and the type of episodic programming of TV doesn’t fully translate to writing a novel. I can’t have such major events happening each chapter.
But it doesn’t hurt to try.
So Ben Wolf, mr. freelance editor (who did a fantastic job BTW, I would highly recommend him), we’ll see what I can come up with now.
Check out this video for a slight hint on what Arrow is like each weekend.