On cliffhangers

Cliffhangers are like Marmite – people either love them or loathe them.

Yet, cliffhangers don’t have to just be at the end of a novel. A good book should be full of hooks to keep the reader reading. One way to do that is by ending a chapter in the air, or on a bombshell. Something that could be followed by the Eastenders close-out.

For example, the first chapter of the space opera I’m currently working on ends thusly:

At sub-lightspeed, the stars seem to pass the ship at a quick pace. Off the stern, he can just make out the glittering colours of the Ribbon Nebula. He raises his glass to the swirling cosmic dust.
“Thanks for not being problematic.”
As he drains the alcohol, the Dauntless shudders, and the lights in the refectory go off.
Then the soft hum of the ship’s engines falls silent.

I’m hoping that readers will find this shift from routine to problematic intriguing, and want to read on.

And I think that’s what cliffhangers are great for.

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