Wednesday, April 3, 2019

#IWSG - April - Let's talk about cliffhangers!!!

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Our Twitter is @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG.
Optional Question...
April 3 question: If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be? (examples: fight scene / first kiss scene / death scene / chase scene / first chapter / middle chapter / end chapter, etc.)
My awesome co-hosts for the April 3 posting of the IWSG are J.H. Moncrieff, Natalie Aguirre, Patsy Collins, and Chemist Ken! 
Hello blog Peeps! How's it hanging?
Today, I'd like to talk about book cliffhangers. Why do readers get so upset about cliffhangers? I've read numerous reviews where readers are incensed that the book was a cliffhanger and they refuse to read the rest of the books and won't read from the author ever again!
Okay, I was probably pissed off a few times by author's who purposely ended their books to make sure you had to read the next one. Is this the same thing? In my opinion, not exactly.
If it's a full length book, and the story is epic enough to carry it to a second or even third book, and .... very important part here .... the author gives the reader a clue in the blurb of the first book that this is just the beginning, then a cliffhanger is a great idea.

I guess readers feel tricked when they get to the end of a book and its not the actual end. I know I have when its poorly done. When an author has a 300 page story and breaks it into pieces. That's just rude.
But, I think cliffhangers can be a fun tool for writers and an exciting journey for readers.
What say you, blog friends??


We're announcing the genre and opening date for the next IWSG anthology!

Our genre is Middle grade historical: adventure/fantasy and the opening date is May 1. The best brains are on the theme, and that will be announced on the opening date. So this is just to whet your appetite - you could use that time to brush up your knowledge of the genre if it's not your usual bag, for example. We're looking forward to more great entries!

Don't forget the Masquerade anthology is hitting the shelves on April 30!

Masquerade: Oddly Suited

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Find love at the ball…

Can a fake dating game show lead to love? Will a missing key free a clock-bound prince? Can a softball pitcher and a baseball catcher work together? Is there a vampire living in Paradise, Newfoundland? What’s more important—a virtual Traveler or a virtual date to the ball?

Ten authors explore young love in all its facets, from heartbreak to budding passion. Featuring the talents of L.G. Keltner, Jennifer Lane, C.D. Gallant-King, Elizabeth Mueller, Angela Brown, Myles Christensen, Deborah Solice, Carrie-Anne Brownian, Anstice Brown, and Chelsea Marie Ballard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will mystify and surprise even as they touch your heart. Don your mask and join the party…

Website - IWSG Anthologies

Young Adult Fiction: Romance - General/Paranormal/Contemporary

Print ISBN 9781939844644

eBook ISBN 9781939844651

Print and eBook:

Special note:
We are partnering with DIY MFA this spring to bring you a great program for writers.

Before we announce details, we’ll be sharing several of their learning videos.

Here's the very funny Episode 236 with Jeff Somers on Writing Without Rules (or Pants).

Check it out and come back later this month for details about the program.

OK, now it's time to check out more IWSGers at the sign-up page. What part of your WIP would you wish for help with? Excited about the theme for the next anthology? Or for grabbing a copy of Masquerade? Interested to learn more about DIY MFA?


  1. A slight cliffhanger is all right, as long as the main plot point has a conclusion.

  2. I don't mind cliffhangers one bit, if I loved the book.

  3. There's one author I loved to read who started to use cliffhangers. It was incredibly frustrating, because the quality of her books had gone downhill, and it was like she knew the only way she could keep people reading was to not finish the story, thus forcing her readers to purchase another book.

    To my way of thinking, in order to do cliffhangers well, at least one main story of each book needs to be resolved. Then you can tease something else and leave that one hanging for the next book. But if nothing is resolved, and readers get to the end just to find out the entire book was a long prologue for the next one, they're gonna be pissed.

  4. I don't mind a small cliffhanger with an overall story arc, but the story contained in that book has to come to a satisfactory conclusion.

  5. There can be one plot arc throughout a series, but each book is better if it has its own storyline that concludes at the end.

  6. I like to have the book wrapped up, but a teaser is good. I'm likely to read the next one if the first one is good and leads me to the second.

  7. Cliffhangers drive me nuts, but ONLY when the next book is like months or a year away from being published. LOL

  8. I echo what most have said - every book needs to wrap up satisfactorily even if part of a series. Maybe a cliffhanger per se isn't essential, but a sense that there is more to do, or more to resolve, is good for leading readers on.

  9. You know, it's for that reason why I refuse to break up my book. There's no point where the story is complete until the end, and I'd be left with a poorly structured story if I tried. Besides, for my genre, long book lengths are common. Just look at the masters like George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan, and Brandon Sanderson.

  10. I agree with Alex. A cliffhanger is ok, but if it feels like the story has just been broken into pieces just to get you to buy the next book, then how can the first book be called complete?

  11. I don't mind cliffhangers unless it feels like that obvious ploy to get me to buy the next book. But I believe it is possible to do them well, and when that happens, then I can and do enjoy them.

  12. For me cliffhangers are all about how long I have to wait. Is the next book (with the resolution) coming out in a couple months or will I have to wait a year? Makes a difference.

  13. I agree with you about cliffhangers. If I know in advance a book is part of a series, I'm fine. If that information isn't forthcoming, I do feel tricked.


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