Is it possible to never lose momentum in a story?
I would say yes. I’m working on a manuscript that starts with an intense action scene. The scene peppers information about the story as you’re reading it, but you have to keep up. It’s fast. People love it. So far everyone that has read it (about 20 people or so) think it’s spot on for an opening.
The next scene I ratchet it down. I start giving more information about my protagonist and her life as a young college student. But that’s where people quickly grew bored.
Most complaints were that I started off with a bang and the next chapter was a feckless whimper.
Well, to be honest, I kind of wanted it that way. Wait. I don’t mean I wanted people to get bored, I wanted them to keep reading, of course. I was hoping to let them catch their breath for a few pages before going hellbent again. Literally, the only time I slow down the entire story is in that part in the 2nd chapter.
So, one of two things.
I didn’t make you emotionally attached to my protagonist in the first chapter. You just didn’t care enough about her to carry your interest into the next chapter, which digs deeper into her as a character. If you don’t care about the characters, you won’t give a crap what happens to them and you will easily put the book down. Not only that, even when something great happens, or something scary, etc. –you just won’t care.
OR! My second chapter just isn’t engaging enough. I need something to grab the reader more or a more riveting scene. I need the transition scene to slap the reader across the face, and further increase the emotional attachment to my protagonist.
So now to the hardest part of writing. The thinking part.