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Why I read serialized novels only after the last part has been released

I guess it has happened to everyone at least once. Reading a fantastic, absorbing book or watching a great movie that ends with a "to be continued". But the next installment isn't available yet. So you have to wait. Impatiently. For an increasingly frustrating long time. For me, it's like starting to count the days until christmas 6 months in advance. That's why I shy away from serialized stories if I know they are not completed yet. When Robert Jordan died and the mourning faded away I took a sad look at my 13 or so books of his "Wheel of Time" series I already owned. I hadn't started to read them yet, because I knew the story (which was initially promised to be spread over just 12 books) hadn't been finished - and now it seemed the story would never become so. What a relief I hadn't started to read them. Later it turned out a Brandon Sanderson (whom I had never heard of, shame over me) took the responsibility to write the last chapters. So this story about my "Wheel of Time" book collection will have a happy ending. But it was a close call. I won't bother you with recollections of some truly-never-finished-but-started-to-read stories in my past. I just want to point out what I am talking about.

I mention it because our Sims story section has the same problem, albeit to a much lesser degree, since the stories are shorter and usually all chapters are released over a few weeks or months time. Reading them doesn't take a lot of time, too, so I read most of the stories without any concerns regarding their state of being unfinished yet. BTW I am currently way behind with reading, because I don't read many stories at all these days (due to short-term job reasons), but that's a different topic.

Still, there are some excellent writers at TSR that do write long stories. And usually I "take the risk" and start to read them immediately (except at the moment), because I trust them to complete the story and I like their way of writing so much. Plus I think they know about their responsibility as authors to finish their stories, even if this is an unfair deal (because their counterpart, the reader, doesn't have a similar responsibility and much much less work than the writer creating the story).

So I know about the pain of a reader waiting for a continuation and about the responsibility of a storywriter. Nonetheless I took a try myself at writing a very long serialized novel. And here we are at my feeling of guiltyness: My Sparklewood story is still uncompleted for some months now. Unfortunately, I haven't found the time to finish it - yet. The outline of the story is done, but the stage bulding, picture shooting and dialogue writing is far from being completed. This blog entry is my way to say sorry for the waiting. Sparklewood is still in the making and I have still all intentions to finish it. But sometimes life's priorities prevent us from doing the fun things. So please bear with me. Or start reading Sparklewood only after I have published the last part :)


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#1spladoumApr 14, 2011

You raise an interesting point.  Does an author bear some obligation to the audience to continue a story?  To a point, I believe that they do, but there's also the matter of essentially forcing an artist to create, which a lot of times results in poorer quality overall.  For example, I had two very different stories at Fanfiction.Net that went into hiatus for quite some time.  When I finished one, a lot of people expressed satisfaction, but a few astutely pointed out that the ending seemed rushed.  And it was, because I was forcing myself to finish for their sakes.  The other story remains unfinished for three years, despite pleas to continue and numerous "favorite story/favorite author" incentives.  Why?  I honestly just can't finish it.  I know the ending.  The groundwork's all laid out.  But I can't write it anymore.  It was written several years when I existed in a different frame of mind, and now that I'm older, I'm ashamed of it.  And as sorry as I may be to let so many people down, I don't know if I'll ever be able to finish it.  I will say, though, that when an author repeatedly abandons work, I usually stop reading anything else they write so that I don't have to deal with the inevitable letdown.

#2Ben72006Apr 26, 2011

I do both. I try and make a few chapters at a time or at least get a chapter up and start another. Doing to stories is hard. I try and do once chapter for each one for I do not want the screenshots to get mixed up. I need to work on the next Chapter of The Martinez Legacy - The Martinez Story. For A Day In the Life of A FireFighter series I have a total of 8 Chapter up. So I am really am trying to do this. I just have been tried, or having Family gathering as well as having my dog being put down 2 weeks ago. I know I been busy as well. I am working to get some chapter up at a time. I also may do a chapter or 2 of the same family and then uplaod those chapters and then play with my other family and upload that one and then submit all the chapters and that way people have a few more to read.

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