Friday, November 25, 2016

Just Leaving It Hanging

A fellow writer had brought up the subject of using cliffhangers for novel endings. 

My response was to use cliffhangers if you are going to answer the question in the next book of a series, but if you only write one book, then make sure to resolve everything by the end. 

My stories are not long as a full length novel. I write shorter novels, but not less complex ones. 

I make sure there are subplots and character developments. In the end the stories are completed and the reader feels they have taken a journey with my protagonists. Yet, to spur on interest for the next book, I give a little taste of what is to come... with a cliffhanger in some, but not all cases. 

Someone reacted indignant to this use of cliffhangers as disrespect to readers and to yourself as a writer. I do not agree. If you have everything pretty much sewn up and there is a last minute act or realization, then the reader can decide if the next book will be for them or not. 

I am upfront that I am writing a book series, not a stand along book. So the reader has to expect something to cross over into the next story line. Or why would it be a book series? 

So In the Name of Blood had the main character, Riley Austen, have an epiphany at the end of the book... to be carried on in Book II. Will this series go to Book III? I am letting the characters decide. Many times the characters also decide the end of the novel. Riley sure did. That ending even surprised me!

With Nocturnal Redemption, I can go either way: a clear cut ending or a cliffhanger... 

As writers, should we not tease our readers a bit? 

Have a great and wonderful day!