There is nothing more exciting than a good cliffhanger. Your deep into a story and an major event is coming up but all of a sudden… the episode ends and you want to scream!!
What do you guys look for in a cliffhanger? What is a good cliffhanger and what is a bad cliffhanger?
What makes a good cliffhanger?
Firstly it’s got to fit the plot at least. There is no point in writing a cliffhanger if it doesn’t serve a purpose. For example let’s say this is the story.
A young police detective is investigating a string of murders all closely linked together. They know that whoever is responsible is still at large.
The cliffhanger could be that the MC lives alone but in this particular scene is being followed by an unknown figure. The reader sees that the figure is watching the MC and then cutting back to the MC there is a knock at the door and the MC goes to answer it. Then as the door opens the episode finishes.
If your story is gripping enough that would be enough for your readers to wonder “what the heck is going on!!!” “Are they safe?” “Is it the murder?” Ect
What makes a bad cliffhanger?
In my opinion a bad cliffhanger is when a story isn’t gripping enough to warrent a cliffhanger (it just doesn’t work) or the cliffhanger has nothing to do with the story… this usually causes confusion more than anything.
What do I hate?
When something ends completely on a cliffhanger. I remember watching an episode of
Law and order SVU
All through the episode you were thinking will he get away with it? Will they arrest him? We know it’s him but is there enough evidence? Ect
So where did it end??
The bad guy goes to court and they find him… thats it you don’t actually find out if he got away with it or not!!! Seriously it was so annoying because the episode was so gripping and then you never got closure.
What would you say you like in cliffhangers
I agree with what you said. I don’t have much to add.
Like you said, a good cliffhanger needs to actually do what a cliffhanger does: It should make a reader what to keep reading.
I try to end my stories on a suspenseful or incomplete way (but not abruptly) to either create a cliffhanger or just make the reader ask themselves what will happen next. That’s what I see other stories do that are good at cliffhangers, so I just try to do what they do to learn.
Now THAT is a good cliffhanger.
Good luck on writing your story! I’d love to read it once it’s out. Are you planning on publishing it after you finish 3 episodes, or are you going to wait longer to publish it? (I’m just curious.)
That’s a good plan. Updating is up to you though. Don’t let readers pressure you into publishing when you’re not ready.
Aw, writer’s block sucks. I hope you find a new burst of inspiration soon!
True I just don’t want people to forget about it. I have read a story that I was totally gripped by by once I’d read the chapters they had they didn’t update for like a year. By then I had forgotten a lot of what happened so need to re-read it but I fear that if I do that then I’ll just get stuck waiting for another update. I’m sure I’ll find a writing speed at some point tho ;p
I remember reading College of Eternity when it had around a few thousand reads. And it was incomplete and stil publishing. Now that it has many more chapter (I don’t know if it’s complete yet), it has waayyyy more reads (a million, I think).
Of course, that’s hard to do. Your story may start at a few reads while you’re still updating. But once it’s complete, readers might find it (and you can continue promoting it), and they’ll keep reading since it’s already complete. Then you’ll get a lot more reads.
Very true I never thought about it like that I’m actually coming to the end of reading a completed episode. Have you got any stories out at the moment or can suggest a story? I’m hoping reading some stories might help my writers block
Nice! I’m reading more INK stories, since I haven’t read much INK the last year (since I’ve been so caught up in LL).
I’m rereading I Despise You, and I’m currently reading Infamous for the first time. Both of those stories are in INK.
If you like romance, I recommend Cursed Evil Love and Craving For More. They’re both in LL.
If you like fantasy, I recommend Dragon Bride (LL).
Thanks I’ll give them a look. If you’re into ink stories give “the secret of rain a go” I believe that that was the first episode story I read and it’s one of my favourites.
I feel like cliffhangers are a good way to torture your readers, but only if that cliffhanger is resolved in a satisfying way. I remember I was watching this action show once and it ended with a cliffhanger where a character was about to get into a long awaited fight, but in the next episode they didn’t even show the fight, they just skipped to right after!
actually now that I think about it I don’t think I’ve seen a good cliffhanger yet ;-;
I read that about 4 years ago. I loved it!
I’ve seen a couple of good one mainly from tv shows. I agree they have to be resolved otherwise they are just annoying
@Amphia no problem it is one of my favourites and I think I’ve read it twice now
read dirty sassy teenagers
I love cliffhangers as long as their not cringe
I agree so much! Cliffhangers with a twist are even better. You think you’re expecting something then BAM! WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?