Commercial Break Returns?


#1

You know how tv shows will say a dramatic line before cutting to commercials, and then say that same line again to catch people up when they come back? Does anybody do this for chapter breaks in their books? I will sometimes because I know most people stop reading at the end of a chapter, so when they come back later a quick one sentence recap might help them not need to look back at the last page to remember what’s going on.

Falquin leaned in conspiratorially. “That, my friends, is where you all come in. This isn’t just me paying off my debt, Lingo. It’s about us… you, me, and Sebal… pulling off one of the greatest heists in history!”

Sebal groaned. Lingo, however, raised an eyebrow in interest.

“Go on,” he said.

“Together,” Falquin said with a wicked glint in his eye, “we’re going to kidnap a pyromancer!”

Chapter Four

“We,” Falquin said, “are going to kidnap a pyromancer!”


#2

People don’t really stop at the end of chapters–at least, no one I know does. Readers generally just keep on reading because there is no wait between finishing the last chapter and starting the current one, unless they choose to stop.


#3

I don’t mean that in a one-chapter-per-day kind of way. I mean that when they call it quits for the night and go to bed, they’ll usually do so once they finish the chapter they’re on instead of quitting in the middle of it.


#4

Or when the run out of material to read


#5

Oh. I just fold the page I’m on and close the book, dunno about anyone else


#6

I don’t fold the page because that’s bad for the book, but I grab the nearest thing that I can use as a bookmark, put it in the book to mark my place, and then go to sleep. I don’t usually care about finishing a chapter. On Wattpad I usually stop at the end of a chapter, though. It makes it easier to find my place the next morning.


#7

Me too. That just screws with my mild OCD.


#8

Rather than having the original speaker repeat himself, it might be better to have one of the others say (or think) at the start of the new chapter “We’re going to kidnap a pyromancer?” It serves the same purpose without being repetitive.


#9

I either stop at a chapter break or at the end of a chapter. I won’t stop until I come to one or the other. Which is why I’m always sad to see a lack of chapter breaks. I read the book less because it’s less convenient.

And folding the page of a book is heresy.


#10

I think it depends. I read a story on here once that was completed by the time I read it and it used to repeat the last paragraph of the previous chapters as a recap on the next one and I found myself skipping it because it annoyed me a little as I’d just read that part.

But if you’re updating your story like once a week it might help readers to remember where they left off. I’ve been reading more serialized stories lately and I noticed that my memory of where the previous chapter left off is sometimes fuzzy after waiting a week and I find myself going back and looking at the last few panels/paragraphs. So it might be a good idea in that case.


#11

I have indeed done that before, or something similar, though it wasn’t really to help audiences remember so much as to get back into the story’s flow, if that makes sense. Though I don’t quote directly, I do it a bit differently. If I may borrow your example to show:

Chapter 3, last line: “We’re going to kidnap a pyromancer!”
Chapter 4, opening line: “Kidnap a pyromancer?”
And from there it continues on normally.


#12

I mean, I don’t really have a problem with it. As long as it is an immediate pick from where the last chapter left off. My suggestion would be however not to change the wording. First he says “we’re”. Then he says “we are”. That I wouldn’t like.

Another approach is that rather than having the character repeat his last line to start the new chapter you can have another character do it or at least respond to it.

“Together,” Falquin said with a wicked glint in his eye, “we’re going to kidnap a pyromancer!”

Chapter Four

“We’re going to kidnap a pyromancer?” Frank gasped.

Frank is just a guy I made up to demonstrate.


#13

If you’ve got a captive, caught-up audience and a regular posting schedule, it can work.

But for someone catching up on earlier chapters, the repetition across chapter lines can feel like speed bumps… I wouldn’t recommend it. If I put a book down, I’ll usually just re-skim the last chapter to catch up before reading the newest one.


#14

Leading the reader to read forward from one chapter to another, keeping the reader interested to read forward, is just common sense, and standard novel technique. If you are not doing that yet, you’ve a ways to go, and some revision to consider.


#15

I usually use this technique if I just came back from a long hiatus or if I changed the POV.


#16

I really like this Frank character. Can we see more of him?