I am working on a book, which, for want of a better term, aspires to be a page-turner. Full of suspense and surprises, it’s meant to be a galloping narrative. When one writes this kind of book, there are always vital issues of pacing. One of the specific concerns is how a chapter is constructed—not least, how to bring a chapter to an end in such fashion that it drives the reader forward and flings him/her on to the next. Simultaneously, one wants chapters to be relatively the same length. While clearly the text is manipulated, is must not appear so.
All of this requires constant balancing of the particular moment with the whole, a constant back and forth for the writer, so that the reader goes straight on. It is rather like a tightrope walker, who, even as she steps across the rope with an a look of absolute ease, is constantly dashing back and forth to make sure all the ties are tight, and the line taut.
Besides, when you write a book like this there is no safety net.