To Cliffhang or Not To Cliffhang

First of all, this is of course mainly about stories with overarching plots instead of the episodic "conflict of the week" type.

How to decide whether to end a chapter with a cliffhanger or not? On one side I don't deny that it's a valid tactic to keep readers hooked, but I personally gets very annoyed whenever a story I read always ends its chapter with cliffhangers that it began to seem like a cheap tactic.
How often should a story end a chapter with a cliffhanger? What are the factors to consider in making the decision?
A Star Falls Upon Estrea

Fantasy Meets Technology
A bored Royal Archmage and his Guildmaster old friend had the chance to welcome unexpected visitors from the stars. This is a story taking place in a relatively peaceful era where the monster population was significantly less than how it used to be. Slice of life with occasional intense battle, if you will.

Re: To Cliffhang or Not To Cliffhang

I don't think every chapter should end in a cliffhanger per se, but it helps a serial if a chapter can always end with some kind of draw for the reader. 

Whether it's a tense situation left unresolved, some hint of a mystery, the introduction of a new character or a power being unveiled, including something to hype up the next chapter isn't really something you can overindulge in IMO.

The only big mistake is using the same trick every time. Like, if every chapter is a battle and the chapters always end a split second before the killing blow, that's going to get old fast. Making your end-of-chapter hooks unique and varied counters that

Re: To Cliffhang or Not To Cliffhang

I love reading and writing cliffhangers! I agree and think it's best to have the crazy twist or life-or-death ones spread out with merely intriguing ones between.

...But I find writing with cliffhangers at the ends of chapters helps me be more productive as a writer because I want to jump right back into the action just as the reader wants to...which, of course, helps with the reader not having to wait as long between breaks. 😜🙂

...I only have 1 book with 2 chapters up here, but I'm brand new to RR (literally just a few days in - hi to everyone 👋😁). I've written a lot on Kindle Vella tho and love writing serial fiction because it has such a similar feel to TV show episodes (where cliffhangers are abundant, I might add 😁).


Re: To Cliffhang or Not To Cliffhang

Always cliffhang until the last chapter because nothing is settled, and nothing is complete until that last chapter. Until then, whether or not the immediate stakes are matters of life or death, there is stll the unknown and the unknowable until that sense of completeness is reached.

IOW, non cliff hanger endings are cheap epistemological lies: rewards given, before they are deserved.
Until then, there is no rationale to give the characters the sense of satisfaction that comes with victory except through a false premise of hope based upon immediate gratification. Non cliff hanger endings are just a false setup where characters are being deluded before they actually achieve a real and deservéd victory. 

If you respect your audience as adults in a non-deterministic world, you will always have your characters dangle on the precipice of a meaningful versus non-meaningful existence. 

No satisfaction to be given until it is deserved.

Tasìa del Alma-Gris
Book One: The Gray Soul
Book Two: The Premie Harvest
Book Three: The Ascendent City
Science Fiction Mystery
A thief in a post-apocalyptic
South America struggles
to survive and thrive.

Quote:Through my reading, I was engrossed
An tale of interest, you may boast
A real page turner, I stayed up late
Hooked, I read several chapters straight