Monday, July 09, 2012
Monday Mystery -Cliff-Hanger
A cliff-hanger is a writing device that's used to keep the suspense going in a scene.
Television uses cliff-hangers all the time, in soap operas and television shows. The drama/cop shows have cliff hangers before commercials and always leave you wanting more at the season finale of most shows.
The best cliff-hangers leave the character in peril or on the edge of a decision that should they make the wrong choice could put them in danger or harm a relationship.
Types of Cliff-hangers
1) Leaving off in the middle of a scene creates a cliff-hanger.
Rocks clattered and rumbled.She glanced over her shoulder. Wade tumbled down the cliff behind her.
LOL this example actually has a cliff in it. ;0)
2) A not so effectual cliff-hanger is an unanswered question either by a character or, in a novel, by the narrator.
He had overlooked her being a Nimiipuu but could he understand her being a spirit?
3) The next best cliff-hanger is the brooding character.
He had to talk to the soldiers. Between them they had to stop the killing.
The best cliff-hanger is leaving your characters in peril.And to make a reader keep reading and not stop when they come to the end of a chapter, always use a cliff-hanger at the end of every chapter whether it's a mystery or any novel. But don't use the same method on every chapter. Mix it up and keep the reader reading.
*Examples are from my book Spirit of the Sky.