It's a fair bet that most of us have come across cliffhangers at one point or the other. A cliffhanger is when the story ends but the scene at hand does not, and is left to be continued in the upcoming book. The purpose? Suspense, which is a part of good storytelling. The results? Angry growls, excited cries, and extreme capslocking of fans.
I've always reacted strongly to cliffhangers. If it's a book I like, I would talk about how I'm oh, so grief-stricken and how I absolutely cannot wait for the next installment. If it's a book I hate, I would talk about how I totally did not fall for the suspense at all.
I hate when sometimes it feels like the cliffhanger's only motive is to make the readers continue the series and not actually make the plot progress along the way. I get more annoyed than excited. Let's say, the action is going on full blast and suddenly the main character falls off a cliff. And there you go, a lovely ending to a lovely novel.
And then the thing more appalling than a cliffhanger happens. Which is when the next book starts and we find out the character actually did not fall. A bird saved them from the fall. They're living happily ever after. The plot is carried on. How convenient. I feel cheated on.
Other times, I don't mind cliffhangers at all. I think that is when I know I would continue the series no matter what happens, or when I wasn't interested in anything to begin with. Or when it is so well done that I am left amazed.
But that's just me.
Let's talk about you. How do you feel about cliffhangers? Share your precious thoughts!
Image background: http://melemel.deviantart.com/art/Crumpled-white-paper-texture-85259388