How to Write a Cliffhanger: 14 Tips for Writing Page-Turning Cliffhangers With Dan Brown and R.L. Stine

Written by the MasterClass staff

Last updated: Sep 3, 2021 • 2 min read

A cliffhanger is a plot device in which a component of a story ends unresolved, usually in a suspenseful or shocking way, in order to compel audiences to turn the page or return to the story in the next installment. A cliffhanger can end a chapter of a novel, a television episode, a scene in a film, or a serialized story (book or movie).

Cliffhanger endings usually fall into two categories:

  1. 1. The main character comes face-to-face with a dangerous or possibly life-threatening situation.
  2. 2. A shocking revelation comes to light, threatening to alter the course of the narrative.

Practice your cliffhanger endings with the following tips from Dan Brown and R.L. Stine.