My husband and I just watched the season finale of Castle. As is often the case any more, the season ended on a cliffhanger. Without giving away any spoilers, the last scene left us at a pivotal moment that will change the course of the show, but we the viewers must wait the entire summer to see how it’s resolved.
I have a love/hate relationship with cliffhangers. I hate getting to the end of a story and having ends not tied in a pretty bow, having issues unresolved, having new plotlines opened up and having to wait until I get the next book (or, worse, until the next book comes out!) to find out what happens.
At the same time, I love when a story is so intriguing it can’t be contained in one volume. I love getting so wrapped up I can’t put it down and being so eager to find out what’s going on that I wait on tiptoes for the next one to come out.
But I really hate when I’ve invested an entire book’s worth of reading into a storyline and I get to the end and have no closure about anything that has happened.
And yet, my book has an open ending. Not a cliffhanger, exactly. I tie up the major plotlines and give closure to the overall arc of the story, but I do have a few things I leave unresolved and a few loose ends to draw the reader to the next story in the series.
Another series I started, though, has a horrible cliffhanger ending. Absolutely nothing is resolved, and won’t be until the last book. My friend who beta-read the first one was angry at me and refused to read any more until I finish writing the series.
My stand-alone novels, though, all have happy, tied-in-a-bow endings. Well, maybe not happy, but at least there’s closure. The story ends, instead of trailing off into unfinished ribbons.
So what about you? What do you think of cliffhangers? Do you enjoy waiting on the edge of your seat for the next installment, or do you prefer each story be tied up in a nice bow?