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Chapter Breaks for Each Scene?

Maximum RideHere is an interesting page-turner technique. James Patterson (www.jamespatterson.com), author of numerous best-selling books, has released the latest installment of the Young Adult series.

In this book (titled School’s Out Forever) there are 142 chapters (yes, 142!). There are only 406 pages. Some chapters are three or five pages; others are only a paragraph or two.

Each scene gets a chapter break. You end up with a lot of white space, but I think this is on purpose. My theory is that by having each scene be a mini-cliff-hanger, and requiring the reader to glance over at a new page or turn to a new page, you create suspense.

A glance at some of his Patterson’s books targeted to adults make me think he does this all the time.

Is this a new trend? A gimmick? Or a valuable tool for thriller writers to create suspense?

More importantly, what do you think publishers think of this technique? Should writers consider this technique when they are preparing their manuscripts?

Let me know your thoughts. Discussion is underway at the Faith*In*FictionFor Writers’ forum where I have also made this post.

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