A cliffhanger is a plot device that leaves one or more characters facing either a dangerous situation or a shocking revelation. Times have changed, and so have traditional cliffhangers. Episodic TV writers used to call cliff-hangers “schmuck bait,” a term describing a forced moment of drama at the end of an act that was easily resolved after the commercial. An exclamation point, in descriptions of action and even in most dialogue, underscores an insecure storyteller. Human beings tend to avoid change, but change is unavoidable and the one constant in life. For decades, traditional “act breaks” usually offered mini-cliffh angers that invariably foreshadowed negative consequences after the commercial interruption. A good rule of thumb is that a strong, viable cliffh anger should grow out of character jeopardy, risk, or fear. A bad cliffh anger is just a plot point that comes out of nowhere solely for shock value.