Welcome to my answer to this week’s author (& aspiring writer) blog hop!
TODAY’S QUESTION: Writing scenes (Part two): Define a cliffhanger in your own words and tell what it means to your writing? Question provided by affiliate author L. P Robinson
Great question! I define cliffhangers as a writer’s tool to get the reader to turn the page at the end of a chapter, instead of taking a break, which at the end of a chapter is quite natural. I mean, who doesn’t say, ‘I’ll just finish this chapter and then get on with’… insert any job you don’t really want to do here! 😉
I know I can’t speak for everyone, but I’d guess pretty much MOST authors fear that if a reader puts the book down there is a chance they will not pick it back up again, as writing is a very competitive market and there are so many other books to choose from. Oh, it makes you wonder how authors survive! Well, my favourite survival tool is to try to use lots of ingenious ways to keep the reader hooked enough to continue reading. Kind of makes sense, yeah? Cliffhangers and other various ways to tease you into reading more are a writer’s best friend, as long as you, the writer, don’t find yourself dangling off one – that is.
New discoveries are made right at the end of the chapter. These could quite possibly be the answer to everything you as a reader are waiting for… but you will not know until you read on.
New information, which could turn the story around, like a secret or an earth shattering event could be revealed. ‘I’m pregnant’ or ‘The earth is going to blow up tomorrow at 9.00am!’ *Scream*
A haunting, atmospheric image to set the next scene and leave you wondering what is going to happen there. One fitting the tone of the book, and in my book Black Ice a cliffhanger like this would imply doom and gloom building. No way out.
A mysterious line of dialogue. I used this one, too. I had someone overhear a conversation, which they didn’t understand, but made her and the reader curious.
Emotional turmoil. ‘Who’s going to love me with only one leg?’ (Okay, bit of a jokey one… but in the right book…)
My favourite one: A question left hanging in the air. ‘Who the fuck are you?’
Plus we are doing the reader a favour, helping them avoid things like washing up & cleaning cars. That must get us a few good girl points!
What’s your view on this great topic? Join in here!