This week, Alida, Kathryn, and Robert discuss cliffhangers. What are they? How do they differ from end hooks? Should you use them? Can you do them well? What risks do you face when you present your readers with a cliffhanger?

VIDEO

 

AUDIO

 

SHOW NOTES

 

What is the difference between a cliffhanger, an end hook, and an ambiguous ending? And what about cliffhangers within books versus at the end? How can you avoid cliffhangers within a series? And what does the reader actually want at the end of the book, story, or part in a serial?

What we talked about:

What is the difference between a cliffhanger, end hooks, and ambiguous endings? (0:35)

Cliffhangers within the book versus cliffhangers at the end of your book. (3:38)

Are cliffhangers okay if you know in advance that they are coming? (5:46)

What are the cons to writing cliffhangers? (7:15)

What about longer series with overall arcs? (8:19)

How do you avoid leaving a cliffhanger between books within a series? (10:07)

How do we feel personally about cliffhangers? (14:22)

Even within formats where cliffhangers are expected, make sure you are paying something off! (15:53)

How do you craft a compelling ending hook? (18:23)

LINKS

 

Things we mentioned:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowling
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
The Fellowship of the Ring
Sherlock Holmes 
Star Wars Episode IV

 Want more about these topics? Check out: 

Are Cliffhangers Evil?
SWRT 7: Endings 
SWRT 33: How to End Your Story

Have thoughts, questions, other examples? Join the conversation at the Story Works Writers Facebook group

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