Ending With a Cliffhanger

Report
Ending With a Cliffhanger
How to Leave Your
Reader Wanting More
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Both an essay and a story need a good
conclusion.
•In an essay, the conclusion sums
up your main ideas
•In a story, it brings the tale to a
complete ending
A cliffhanger is an interesting way
to end either an essay or a story.
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A cliffhanger is used less often in an essay,
but it can still be an effective conclusion to
•make a challenge the reader
wants to act on
•leave an opening for more
developments in the future
•end with a question for the
reader to ponder or wonder
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In a story, there are several ways to create
the effect of a cliffhanger:
1. Using descriptive scenes
2. Using character dialogue
3. Using unanswered questions
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Descriptive Scenes

•Describe changes in the scene that readers will
know happened because of the story
•Describe the story's end in a way that leaves the
door open for future actions (maybe even a
sequel)
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Sample Descriptive Scene

"He had finally found her after
all these years of searching.
With shaky hands, he stood in
front of her door, and then he
knocked."
Just be sure the main story is
complete, so your readers don't feel
cheated out of a proper ending.
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Cliffhanger Dialogue

Use conversation to introduce the unexpected:
"But that was just a small deposit," she
informed them. "We haven't even found the
real gold mine yet."
OR
"Stop talking for a minute," he cautioned.
"Do you hear footsteps?"
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Questions as Cliffhangers

Sample questions to leave the reader 'hanging':
"Now that he had finished his quest, what
was he going to do with himself?"
OR
"She had finally gotten her wish. But had
it really made her happy?"
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The end.
More free WRITING BASICS resources:
starting with a grabber
prompting creative writing
painting a picture with words
developing typing skills
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Eight-week WRITING BASICS courses:
elementary school
middle school
high school
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