Who likes a cliffhanger ending?
Well, I thought I did!
I thought it was one of those things you simply expected, whether you’re reading a book or watching a tv show. I’ve seen enough episodes of Game of Thrones or Supernatural to know that I should expect to be left perching on the edge of a cliff come the end of the season, wondering what’s going to happen next and feeling frustrated that I have to wait sooooooo long to find out.
But then I was getting myself ready to go and see Avengers: Infinity War and thought… hmmm, maybe I’m not as keen on a cliffhanger as I thought. My toe-tapping excitement slowly morphed into nervous fingernail biting. I realised that when you’ve formed an attachment to characters over the years, you want a little comfort or certainty about their fate. The idea that your favourites are in limbo, or seemingly dead does not leave you with an uplifting feeling; more of a creeping dread. Knowing that the Infinity War movie was just part one of two made me a little trepidatious. I still went (sneaking a spoiler first, I confess!), but now I’m in a state of simmering anxiety, wondering how will it all end up. That’s not something I can maintain for a full year I’m sure!
So, that’s me with my audience member’s hat on, crossing my fingers that my favourites are going to make it through the next movie. But as a writer? Well, I’m on the other side of things, where my mission is to thrill and excite and leave you all guessing what will happen next. The Burning Sea hung all the way over the cliff, clinging on by just a fingernail, but happily the next book (Night of the Shadow Moon) is out in just under a month, so you won’t have to wait much longer to find out what happens!!!
Now that I’ve had a taste of my own medicine, will I see things differently as a writer? Yes, I think so. For me, it’s revealing to realise the depth of feeling you can develop for characters. It’s a bond you forge over time. You go on their adventures with them. They become as much your imaginary friend as they are the writers, and ultimately you just want to know that they’re going to be OK. Unfortunately, not every character can always survive, and in a world of magic and battles and kingdoms, it would be unrealistic if they did.
I can’t promise that no more heads will roll in my coming books, but I can promise you that before I pull out my knife, I’ll put on my reader’s hat and take any decision I make very seriously indeed!
And on that morbid note…
Have a super week!