Wednesday, June 22, 2011


File:Yesnaby01.jpgCliffhangers have been a part of the story-teller's toolbag long before the first bards wanted to keep their listeners hooked.  When I read a book, though, I don't like cliffhangers.

I don't like cliffhangers at the end of a book or movie series...especially if the book or movie series fails to wrap up the main story in the book or movie.

They're not so bad if the story ends, and the cliffhanger points to a new, related story.

I actually appreciate cliffhangers at the end of a chapter--even if the story is not neatly wrapped up.  I like being so drawn into a book that I have to read the next chapter.  That's fun.  I don't like reading a whole book and feeling like I didn't finish the story.

Can you tell I've encountered a few cliffhangers recently?   Do you like cliffhangers?  Do you have any favorites?


mooderino said...

i don't mind them if they're at the start of a story or midway. But at the end of a story or even at the end of a chapter feels cheap and gimmicky. Annoys me more than intrigues me because I think it shows the writer at work. Not a fan.

Moody Writing

D. U. Okonkwo said...

I'm with you - I like cliffhangers at the end of chapters, I always try and do them. Not always easy or necessary, but they make the reader continue reading. And that's your goal as a writer, to make your reader WANT to keep reading.

Miss Good on Paper said...

I appreciate cliffhangers at the end of a chapter, as you mentioned. I especially notice it now that I'm trying to craft my own novel!

I'm new to your blog and following now. Nice to meet you!

-Miss GOP

Carla said...

Moody, I agree that it feels gimicky, especially at the end of a book. I do like the idea of a cliffhanger at the beginning, though!

DU, It's true--you do want your readers to keep reading. It's tricky to keep them reading and still give them enough information to keep them satisfied!

Miss GOP, Writing a book brings a whole new perspective to novels! Thanks for visiting! It's nice to "meet" you too!


Grillyfish said...

I hate when they leave a cliffhanger at the end of the book to make you want to read the next book - I should want to read the next book because this book was so good, not because I want to find out what happens!

Cliffhangers are great in their place (when not gimmicky!) but I agree, so annoying if a story feels incomplete :)

Tricky to get right, but fun to try!

Carla said...

Grillyfish, I love the idea of trying to write a cliffhanger...especially chapter cliffhangers. I really like a story to feel complete when I finish a book--I love how you said you want to read the next one because the first one was so good! That's what I'm talkin' about!


Dawn M. Hamsher said...

I agree with you. I like my cliffhangers at the end of a chapter, so that it keeps me reaching for the book. I don't like them at the end of the book. I want each book to stand alone (to an extent).

The Write Soil

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