At 12:01 on New Year's Day, I glanced at my father-in-law, raised my glass of sparkling red grape juice and said, "Well, guess we fell off the cliff!"
Little did I know that 2 hours later we'd kinda, sorta in a sloppy, ouchy way, jump back up the cliff.
Anywho, this isn't a political blog.
But the fiscal cliff crud got the wheels of my brain turning.
It's kinda like the climax of a book, ey?
Our books should all have a literary cliff. We should bring our characters, and thus our readers, so close to a cliff that they actually feel like they are falling, then at the last minute (or maybe even two hours late) drag them back up.
Some of the best books do this.
The Bible even does it. Abraham is raising his weapon and is seconds from sacrificing his only son when God intervenes. Wow. I'm sure He was sweating, and I suck in a breath ever time I read it.
I had all these fabulous examples of "cliffs" authors dangle us over in their books, but then I realized... listing those examples may give super important stuff about a book away, and well, I'm not one to spoil your fun!
I'm a SUPER big fan of dangling cliffs in my books, both in "end of chapter" ones and "climax" ones.
Now, please note.
This isn't where you bring your readers to the cliff, show them how far down it would be to fall, then say, "Yup, never mind, we aren't going there."
That's ultra boring.
I'm talking some dangling by clutched fists, free falling until a rope catches you, or even falling down onto an unknown ledge that allows time for a rescuer to heave you up, but lets you fall enough to break a leg or arm.
Don't be wimpy about your cliff.
Wait until 2am on New Year's Day to resolve it for your characters/readers.
Make them sweat, people!
**Discussion:** What are some good books that have AMAZING cliffs in them? No need to detail the cliff... because we don't want to ruin it for anyone!
How are you at writing cliffs into your books? Are you extreme sports worthy, or are you a bit wimpy and tend to need to kick your characters a little harder?
Krista is a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mother, and a contemporary romance author. She recognizes that life can be frustrating and just plain not fun sometimes, but believes that laughter and smiles can make the not-so-fun a little better! She blogs about the amazing things God has been doing and her journey as a busy momma of 4 and caregiver to a daughter with a rare congenital heart defect at http://www.kristaphillips.com. She is represented by the fab agent, Rachelle Gardner, and her debut novel, Sandwich, With a Side of Romance, released September 2012.