Hooking Readers with Amazing Cliffhangers: SPP #120

Released On: August 20, 2014

This week the guys talked about using cliffhangers to make a series or serials addictive for readers. They talked about both good and bad examples of cliffhangers, and there are some spoilers, so BEWARE!

First, Johnny opened up a mini-topic: dating your work. Should you include dates, technology, or cultural references in your work? Will that turn readers off in just a few years? Is there a way to date your work without losing future readers? They talked about how Stephen King dated his work all the time, to both good and bad effect.

But there is a danger here, and you can give your book a very short shelf life if you’re not careful. Even though the guys spent only a few minutes on the topic, it did include some interesting food for thought.

On to the main topic. The guys talked about cliffhangers: Why you use them, when you should or shouldn’t use them, and to what effect.

They included some examples of good cliffhangers. So possible spoiler warnings for Dexter and Battlestar Galactica. A few other shows that have handled cliffhangers well are Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones, though they didn’t mention any specifics for those series.

Cliffhangers can also be done poorly or at the wrong time. They showed some examples of ways to enrage your readers, which probably isn’t a good thing.

Finally, the show ended in a cliffhanger, so you’ll have to tune in next week to find out what happens to…

Here’s the video version:

Join the Conversation!