Well, I've been promising new features here on the blog, and here we go with a little game I'm calling Rescue the Cliffhanger! This is going to be something of an experiment at first. I don't know if it's been done before; it almost definitely has, but maybe not in this format? I also don't know if any of you writers or writing hobbyists out there will take me up on this challenge, but I sincerely hope you do, because I think it could be a lot of fun, and if nothing else, a little brain exercise to break up the day.
Here's the gist: Rescue the Cliffhanger is like a writing prompt, and then some. Below, you'll find a piece of text which ends--surprise, surprise--in a cliffhanger. My challenge to you, dear reader, is to pick things up where the cliffhanger leaves off, then continue the story on your own blog, tumblr, facebook, whatever. It doesn't have to be long (continue it on twitter if you'd like!) It definitely doesn't have to be perfect. It just had to come from your brain. Think of it as a quick writing exercise to stretch those creative muscles. Scary, funny, insightful, poetic--there are no restrictions as to where you take the story next, but if you decide to take me up on this challenge, I only ask that you do the following:
- Before you dive into your continuation, please leave a quick note explaining that it's part of a writing game called Rescue the Cliffhanger, with a link back to this post so people will know where the story started, and can read the beginning if they'd like.
- Please come back here yourself and leave a link to your continuation in the comments so that I, and any other readers, can read what you've written. If you post it on Facebook, please make sure the privacy settings for that specific post are set to 'public' so anyone can read it.
- Finally, not mandatory, but if you'd like to, please go ahead and end your piece of writing with another cliffhanger, inviting others to continue the story, with the goal of this growing into something of a choose-your-adventure-style story.
Again, this is an experiment. I have no idea if anybody will respond, or if it'll be a big flop, but I'm putting it out there, and hope we can have some fun with it. If anyone is on board, we'll do it again sometime for sure--I'd love to make it a regular feature here on the blog.
So for now, I present to you, the first--and hopefully not last--edition of Rescue the Cliffhanger:
I don't know how long I've been here. Surely hours, not days. At least, I think so. How many? I'm not sure. When I came to, I was lying on the hard, planked floor I sit on now, my head pounding.
I've been listening, waiting. I thought I heard murmuring outside the door at one point, but I couldn't make out any words. The only other sound has been my own ragged breath, punctuated by whimpers and gasps of stale air. At one point, I thought I felt the room sway, like a boat meandering feebly over clement waves. But my head is spinning, and the darkness makes me imagine things that aren't really there.
I managed to find my way to a wall, to rest against, to hold me up, to keep me from feeling tetherless in this inky, black void. I don't know who brought me here, or why, but I'm too scared to crawl around. I don't know how big this room is; I'm afraid of what I'll find. There's a pinhole in the wall above that permits a minute ray of what might be daylight, but it's not enough to illuminate a thing.
What was that?
Another murmur. I could swear it this time. A shuffle. Maybe even a hand on the door. Somebody's out there.