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Saturday, October 29, 2022

Should Authors Write Cliffhangers in a Series?

    I learned over the years that writing cliffhangers in a series can be risky, and it’s especially risky if an author’s series is more than three books. Readers want closure, and authors must wrap things up in three books or less when incorporating a cliffhanger to a story in my opinion. Ideally, each book in a series should be able to stand on its own―meaning that the plot should have some sort of resolution in the end, and each book could be read out of sequence and still make sense to the average reader.

    If a particular book is well-written, the author will be able to get away with the first book of the series being a cliffhanger. My most popular series, The Chronicles of Brock Lane, is a three-part tale about the trials and tribulations of a professional basketball player, and the first two installments leave the reader hanging. I was able to keep the bulk of the readers in suspense without pissing them off to the point that they refused to buy the next book in the series. Sure, I received some bad reviews from a few angry customers, but in spite of that, the majority of my audience still enjoyed reading this story. I’ve learned over the years that it’s better to resolve conflict in one novel and move on to the next plot in future series that I plan on writing.

    In closing, writing cliffhangers in a series can be successful if the author is able the captivate his or her audience from the beginning to the end of the story. However, if an author plans on writing a series of more than three books, each installment must be a stand-alone novel within the series. If this feat isn’t accomplished, the author will run the risk of losing the audience for good.

Related Posts:

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Five Mistakes Authors Make That Cause Readers to Lose Interest in a Book 

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