Cliffhanger endings have been delighting and frustrating readers ever since the 1800s.
The term “cliffhanger” was coined when Victorian author Thomas Hardy serialized the chapters of one of his novels in a newspaper.
One chapter ended in suspense with the hero hanging desperately from a cliff. Would he plunge to his death or not?
The Victorian ladies and gentlemen were probably quite flustered during their games of whist as they traded fan theories and waited impatiently to find out what was going to happen in the next chapter.
I’m sure you can probably relate to their plight. Cliffhanger endings have become a staple of TV show episodes and sometimes even appear in movies.
This year, you might have been one of the Marvel fans who flocked to see Avengers: Endgame. The previous film Avengers: Infinity War ended with a cliffhanger — the seeming victory of the film’s villain, Thanos.
Fans were left in suspense, wondering how the superheroes would manage to defeat the villain and undo all of the destruction he had caused. People were so eager to find out what was going to happen in Endgame that it became the second highest grossing movie of all time. (Shhh–no spoilers in the comments. I haven’t seen it yet.)
Something similar happened back in 2003 when Return of the King was released in theaters. The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers had both ended on (you guessed it) cliffhangers, and fans rushed to see the final installment in the fantasy trilogy.
Funnily enough, back then Return of the King became the second highest grossing film of all time too.
That’s the power of a cliffhanger ending. It makes people become so invested in your work that they wait with bated breath for your next creation.
In today’s post, let’s look at how you can use the power of cliffhangers to make your writing and marketing captivate your audience too. [Read more…]