1. Gothic Vampire Queen
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    Gothic Vampire Queen Member

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    What are your views on the use of cliffhangers?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Gothic Vampire Queen, Jul 9, 2011.

    So, I am wondering how you people view the useage of cliffhangers at the end of every chapter?

    I want to discuss a GOOD cliffhanger in this thread, please.

    So, discuss, darlings :)
     
  2. Jonp
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    Jonp Senior Member

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    You want to know my views on cliffhangers? I'll tell you my views on cliffhangers... next time.
     
  3. Jonp
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    Jonp Senior Member

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    Previously, on Writingforums:
    And now, the conclusion.

    I like them. The end of a chapter provides a good place for a person to put a book down. A good cliffhanger will either make them want to continue reading right away or at least make them want to come back to the book later.

    Of course, you shouldn't shoehorn in a cliffhanger if you don't have one. Making one up when it doesn't fit in with the story for the soul purpose of having a cliffhanger is not a good idea IMO.
     
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  4. MRD
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    MRD Senior Member

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    I hate them, personally.

    Unless cliffhangers have something specifically to do with the story, then avoid them I say.

    People (that is to say, I) continue reading books, chapter to chapter, because of the story. Not some half-baked cliffhanger. If anything, I'd find constant cliffhangers extremely annoying.

    Then again, I'm just one person, others may disagree with me.
     
  5. NSR
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    NSR New Member

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    I understand where you're coming from here.

    Personally when I'm reading a book I like to stop at the end of a chapter, it makes it easier to find my place again (bookmarks have never been my thing). Whilst the cliffhanger is doing as it's supposed to, making me read on, sometimes it does get a little bit tedious when I want a suitable place to stop reading. I know, just suck it up and invest in a bookmark.

    But I definitely think that it's the story-line that drives my want to continue reading more than the cliffhangers left at the end of the chapter.
     
  6. Gothic Vampire Queen
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    Gothic Vampire Queen Member

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    I mean, I am not talking about in EACH and EVERY chapter, but like once in a while, where it should be intended?
     
  7. Shadz91
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    Shadz91 New Member

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    A cliff hanger should only be used once in a while. Most beginners think they have to spam cliff hangers at the start in the middle and at the end of the story to make it interesting. In this case quality over quantity every time.

    Of course that is only if they use it right. If you use it to just screw with your readers and not for the plot or characters it's a fail right away.
     
  8. Gothic Vampire Queen
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    Gothic Vampire Queen Member

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    ^ I agree. If that's the case, why not write a movie script?

    *shakes head*
     
  9. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    I liker cliffhangers, and after every chapter would suit me just fine. If I want to stop reading, I'll stop reading. If I feel I 'have' to keep reading to find out what happens next, how can that possibly be a bad thing?
     
  10. Florent150
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    Florent150 Member

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    Within a story I don't mind. What gets me is ones at the absolute end of a story, mainly if they're major ones. Little question marks I don't mind, or cliffhangers that set up for sequels. But I think if a story's going to end permanently it should wrap itself up almost completely (again, I don't mind one or two little question marks, but cliffhangers like "does the main character live or die... seriously?)

    Within a book, at the end of chapters it can create suspense and a page-turning effect, especially if it's a quality cliffhanger. So I guess I don't mind them, but it depends on how and where they're used.
     
  11. ibage
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    ibage New Member

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    I personally hate them. Many of the TV shows I get into have amazing writing but they end up cancelled and leave the season open ended with the intention of having another season. Same goes for books. I'll get enthralled in something never to have a sequel see the light of day. I like closure and cliffhangers don't carry that
     
  12. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Haha, seen Supernatural? Right from the start it was only supposed to be five seasons. Naturally, the fifth seasn ended with a nice conclusion of the entire series with a (somewhat) happy ending and all. And... a cliffhanger, for no better reason than the fans wanted more. The result? A full season full of interesting stories going nowhere, making us sit wondering what the f*** the point of the season was in the first place. :p
     
  13. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Cliffhangers at the end of every chapter are to me an obvious sign of Kitsch. I don't mind one at the end of a book somewhat, because sometimes a writer still needs a job.
     
  14. BobLobLaw
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    BobLobLaw Member

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    They're an amazing tool to use, but when overused it can get tiring and repetitive.
     
  15. ibage
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    ibage New Member

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    Ya but at least at the end of season 5, the cliffhanger was somewhat minor. The main arc was wrapped up.

    Conversely, the only other show I watched faithfully on the CW was Reaper. It ended at season 2 with a large amount of questions left to be answered and a major cliffhanger.
     
  16. MJLowson
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    MJLowson Member

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    Like a few others I think that cliffhangers when used in the right places and not as a filler can be a really effective tool. There's been a few times where I've readied myself to stop reading yet a cliffhanger draws me into the next chapter.

    At the end of a story, I don't like it, - I hate stories which dont 'complete' - as in leaves something untold, a mystery to be carried over. One of the reasons why HP was so successful was that it covered everything in each book, though you knew that there were more books in the series.
     

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