I know I need a hook at the end of each chapter to keep a reader turning pages. I also know a reader needs to have just enough information to get glide back into the story after having to put it down to work or sleep.
I also know chapters are trending shorter. In my WIP's first draft, my goal was 5,000 words. In the editing, they are organizing themselves to an average of 1600 words. I'm not having trouble finding a hook--scene breaks work nicely.
I am having a debate right now, where I am in the editing. Here is the end of the chapter:
After Christina departed, Jeremy said, “Thank you, ma douce. You helped Christina to remember how much she needs to be involved in the affairs of her school.”
“You care about her,” Angel observed.
“She is a fine lady, worthy of the highest respect. Much more than le Roi gives her. He is a peacock. Many pretty feathers, but underneath he is just a scrawny rooster.” Jeremy rubbed his hands together and grinned. “Maman says I talk too much. We have the work to do. Interrogate me while I cook dinner.”
Angel hesitated. His cottage was not the proper setting for an interview, but she had a job to do, no matter how distasteful.
“I’m not hungry,” she said. Then her stomach growled loudly.
Here is the opening of the next chapter:
The wall lining the narrow stairs that led to Jeremy’s loft was dotted with dozens of framed play programs and cast photographs. In one, his arm was around the student who played Isolde, and she gazed up at him with an adoring look.
Angel felt a twinge of alarm. Two years ago, she’d mediated a case of inappropriate teacher-student contact. If she accepted Montague’s offer to supervise RISE, she’d have to deal with all sorts of crises. A smart administrator prevented potential problems. “Do you hire a photographer to take these pictures?”
The sound of water gushing into a kitchen sink stopped. “On opening nights,” Jeremy called out. “Parents take very good pictures, too. Look at ‘Arsenic and Old Lace.’ That was our first production.”
Holding her glass of porter, Angel climbed the carpeted steps. Jeremy seemed to bestow the same familiarity on other student actors. This was something to she’d have to monitor, low priority. She turned to go back downstairs and realized she could see into his loft.
Do I need more a detailed setting transition? She's been to his cottage before (in an earlier chapter), so the reader has been introduced to the layout.
What do you think?