Cliffhangers in Series books!


Active Member
Apr 20, 2014
Still when a writer leave any threads unfinished they leave themselves open to someone being disgusted with them for leaving them hanging.

Yet I've read a few novels where it's just the one novel and the author decided to leave it up to the reader to imagine what's going to happen next.

I don't think I'd be disgusted with an author for not tying up every single thread completely and leaving no room for speculation. Indeed, leaving some things open to the audience is actually better in a lot of ways- and on top of that, it does make it easier to continue the story later. There should still be at least some closure, though. In a sense, it's a difference between "what happens" vs "what happens next".

End of Time

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2014
This might be one of the reasons why I have always been reluctant to start a new Fantasy series.

If I know going in that there are seven or more books following the first one, I tend to get discouraged. There seems a futility locked in such a situation. I know that the first books isn't going to solve the main problem, because modern fantasy isn't structured around solving the plot in one volume, it's about dragging it out over three or more books.

The first book is an introduction, the last book is the climax, everything inbetween is just shuffling the characters around from point A to B for the climax to take place.

It's the only thing about A Song of Ice and Fire that I've grown to hate, you end up with a bunch of characters who are just getting moved around from one point to the next, waiting for everything to be in place to actually cut some knots.

Cliffhangers, especially the small ones related to characters, bother me if there is more than one book following the first. It feels like a cheap way of stretching things out and not giving the readers a complete story, stringing them along for a lengthy lucractive ride. Fiona McIntosh springs to mind, Chronicles of Valisar, from the first book to the last book, you know nothing is going to get a resolution, and you know that you're getting cliffhangers at the end of the first and second book.


Writer Extraordinaire!
Apr 29, 2014
I think it would depend on the story. A cliffhanger is always good for leaving people wanting more, which is probably why it is done so much in tv series. They want you to invest time in watching it. Most of those sort of tv shows will go for an hour, and an hour isn't that long. For a book it's probably a bit different since it takes a lot longer to read it, and if there are more books then people will be more likely to read them anyway.

When I finished my two I sort of followed those people who tied up some things but left others hanging. The whole story goes over more books, so it can't all be done in one, but you do want a certain amount of conclusion after eachone.


Elf in Space
Apr 20, 2012
I despise that as a cheap shot to trick you into buying the next book, and a confession by the author that writing and story aren't good enough to accomplish that. Naturally, when you have a series with an encompassing story arc, there have to be certain questions unresolved, but that's what I consider a cliffhanger. A cliffhanger is when the plot elements that are important in the lives the characters are unresolved. I'm working on #5 of a series, and I go to great lengths to make sure each plot is finished by the time I get to the end, and if the reader chooses to never read the next one, that's fine. He should be happy with what he read. Well, hopefully.


New Member
Jun 11, 2014
Absolutely,Cassandra Clare does that in her series the mortal instruments,which drove me crazy.
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
V Book Search 6
Flaviosky Writing Discussion 4
KGeo777 General TV Discussion 12
The Storyteller Writing Discussion 17
Jo Zebedee Writing Discussion 19

Similar threads