Since I'm working on the 1,000 word chapter for the James Patterson co-author contest, I'm skipping to Mr. Patterson's Chapter lesson.
Michael Connelly said that, in every chapter, every scene, James Patterson moves the characterization and the action forward, and turns on the movie projector in the mind of the reader. Mr. Patterson says to start with enough information from our senses to make the reader feel they are in the scene. Write how the main character perceives the environment: what do they see, hear, smell? The description needs to be new, fresh, catchy; make it your own, especially no an old cliche.
Regarding point of view, Mr. Patterson prefers first person and third person in the same story. First person gives an immediacy to the writing. Third person allows other's view points. Mr. Patterson likes to include the villian's point of view. In a chapter, choose who's point of view is the best to accomplish the desired effect.
Mr. Patterson views a writer's work as building each chapter with characters in a scene doing import things to move the story along. Write as though you are in the scene with the characters, make it come alive for the reader. A scene's description should echo the character's point of view. For example, a house can be described was as having eyes starring down on the character making him feel small. Or the same house can have warm pastel drapes like their grandmother's house, giving the effect of welcoming eyes.
Chapter's need drama to catch the reader's attention and hold it. Build from there to the middle. The chapter ends with something to propel the reader to the next chapter. The chapter should generate questions that must be answered.
Here is my opening to my co-author contest chapter:
Cat[, a junior CIA reporter] and Noi[, a Thai bargirl hooker] jumped out of their taxi and entered Bangkok's international airport where tourists, business travelers, and assassins were getting their boarding passes.
In the main departure hall Cat heard the drone of a thousand voices and baggage wheels rolling across the floor. It was the size of an American football field contained within five story high glass walls and ceiling. The afternoon sunlight brightened the airline counter isles.
“We need to split up to quickly find Chan,” Cat said.
“Where he go?” Noi asked, head tilted up to the departure board. “America? Europe?”
Poor uneducated Noi. Cat guessed her paying boyfriends were from there. However, she also scanned the board. “No. China, Taiwan. Maybe Hong Kong.”
“What airline?” Noi asked.
“Noi, you're wasting time. Go that way. I'll go this way.”
Cat walked off. Noi had wanted to remind Cat how Teacher[, Cat's CIA cultural studies instructor, who Cat was working with,] had told them to stay within sight of each other.