Excerpt from "The Metaphysics of the Novel, The Inner Workings of a Novel and a Novelist" by Don Pendleton.
It will be those chapter endings that will inspire the reader to turn the page. How many times have you heard, "I couldn't put the book down. Before I knew it was three o'clock in the morning!" So always give some extra thought to where you leave the reader at the chapter end. Implant in the reader's mind the need to turn the page. Leave them with suspense or a dramatic moment, or with wonder, and with a caring about what happens on that next page.
An example of that type of chapter ending is taken from my Joe Copp novel, Copp in Shock. Copp had suffered a bout of partial amnesia and was at war with his own mind, and with those who would eliminate him.
Something dark and scary was whispering at me. Something almost already known or at least suspected, and maybe too terrible to contemplate. If so, could I handle the truth, or had it been blotted from my mind as a merciful amnesia to shelter a knowledge too terrible to face? What kind of guilt, what fearful truth could I be hiding from even my own mind?
Had I crossed the threshold into every good cop's worst nightmare?
And what have I been trying to hide, even from myself?
My God, what could I be guilty of here on this dark side of paradise?
In Jersey Guns, the seventeenth book of the Executioner Series, I ended Chapter Fifteen with:
The Beretta was in Bolan's right hand and the silencer was threading itself aboard when he hit that door at full stride.
Everything Mack Bolan had ever been and ever wanted to be was concentrated on that terrible point in Jersey, that awful moment at the end of the turkey chase–at the very doorway to hell.
Hopefully, with both of these chapter endings, the reader was enticed to turn the page–in Joe Copp's case, to discover what "nightmare" was nagging at his consciousness, and in Bolan's case, to discover what hell awaited him. But, of course, every chapter you write will not allow for such dramatic endings but try to give your readers a reason to turn the page to the following chapter.