Dead Ringer by Nicola Martin

Don’t give ’em a reason to stop reading – Things I learned while writing Dead Ringer

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One of my favourite pieces of feedback I’ve got on Dead Ringer is: “I stayed up past my bedtime reading it.”

During one of my later re-drafts of the book, I did something bold. I re-cut all the chapters. I made them shorter and I changed the places where the chapters ended.

My purpose (and I think it worked) was to make each chapter bite-sized, but also to give the reader a push to read on. Like, “Oh, I’ll just read one more.”

Most of the chapters end on a cliffhanger or a question. Many of them end mid-scene.

It’s a natural instinct when you’re writing to end a chapter at a moment of resolution (“she went to bed, content that everything would work out for the best”). But that makes it way too easy for the reader to close the book.

My advice is to end your chapters at the most aggravating moments, when the reader absolutely has to find out what happens next. Hey, we writers don’t have to play nice.

Read more of the things I learned while writing Dead Ringer

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