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Hanging from Cliffs

posted Aug 4, 2014, 6:19 AM by Ben Kreucher
I'm not really a fan of writing cliffhanger chapters.  Don't get me wrong, they're a great way to keep the reader turning the page and ultimately, that's the goal of every writer.  I guess I just feel that they're a trick.  I prefer to let the story engage the reader and keep them interested rather than using a gimmick.

But, perhaps that's what separates the bestselling page-turners that you can't put down from the excellent books buried in the bargain book bin.

They definitely have a purpose.  They perform it admirably.  And are used by writers of every skill level.  However, there are degrees of successful integration.  And, I believe, a cliffhanger chapter ending won't save a bad plot.  No matter how devastating the cliffhanger...then again, I could be wrong.

Some people love them, some hate them.  They do seem to be inundating the market at the moment, though.  Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  In today's fast-paced, on-demand society, perhaps that's what's needed to keep readers, create new readers, and build a new generation of bookworms.

Or perhaps, it will just degrade the fabric of writing style completely.  Only time will tell.  ...Until we get holonovels and robot butlers.
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