Wondering Wall: Cliff-Hangers

October 16, 2013 Wondering Wall 6 Comments

Wondering Wall: Cliff-Hangers

I’ve read quite a few books lately that have absolute doozies of cliff-hangers. They are the supersized, Big Mac version of cliff-hangers, da Ali G of cliff-hangers, Texas-sized cliff-hangers, the Bluefin Tuna of cliff-hangers…you get the idea. What I’m wondering about is why authors would knowingly put themselves and their readers through something so traumatic. Today’s Wondering Wall is:

Cliff Hangers


1. Is it a matter of building hype? Do they or the publishers think that if they leave an audience hanging people will definitely buy the next book. Sure they might grumble a bit a lot but it’ll pay off in the long run. Funnily enough, the longer the wait between books, the more I’m likely to give a series the flick.

2. Are the authors just evil? I can picture an author sitting at a typewriter (work with me here) twirling their moustache (some female authors have moustaches so I’m not being sexist) and wondering how to mess with their reader’s minds. Evil laugh and a fluffy or hairless cat are mandatory so is a cheesy accent. These three things are not negotiable but the secret lair is.

3. Do the authors genuinely not know what will happen next? I know there is a writing strategy which says to always stop in the middle of a sentence so that you are guaranteed to have something to write the next day. Maybe it’s the same with cliff-hangers.

What do you think? Are there any other reasons?


6 responses to “Wondering Wall: Cliff-Hangers

    • I often tend to just walk away because if they have done it once, they will probably do it again. You are far more patient than me 🙂

  1. I feel like it while it may be some authors enjoy cutting their story off before resolution then reveling in readers’ frustration, it’s primarily a marketing strategy that makes it more likely a reader will continue with a series. I’ve notice this trend most often occurs in the second book of a series or trilogy.

    Imo, it’s rare an author will write and publish a cliffhanger without knowing how it will be resolved.
    Jaime recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday : Waiting on.. No One Else Can Have YouMy Profile

    • I hadn’t noticed the 2/3 book trend but now I think of it, Suzanne Collins did that for Catching Fire.

      I was actually thinking of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote Reichenbach Falls as a way of getting rid of Sherlock Holmes but then had to find a believable way of bringing him back when the public protested too much.

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