Downton Abbey Writing Lesson #3 – Cliffhangers!
So the last episode of the season aired last week and I was taken aback when I saw the familiar red page flipping over, indicating the end of the show. “Surely there’s more,” I thought. “Did they make a mistake?” I sat through the ads for Viking Cruises, Ralph Lauren, and all “proud sponsors” but still, no more scenes, nada.
Where was the hook? Where was the upset? Where was the Big Question, hanging in the air, which would have me counting the days until the next season? Um, nowhere. Not like last season where the last thing we saw was Matthew flying out of his car and landing in a ditch, leaving us wondering if he was dead or alive. I literally GASPED.
So the lesson for the day? At the end of each chapter, leave at least a question, if not a full-out cliffhanger. Your readers will love you for it.