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How can a story go without an update for two years and still be in process?


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18 minutes ago, Dodger said:

What I want to know is how long is it before a story that is supposedly 'in process' can be considered 'on hold' or even 'completed' and can the status be changed without the authors consent? For example if he/she has passed away. To me, a story that hasn't been updated within the last six-months is not really in process. Some may give it a year but 2011? Really? That's a long time to be waiting for the next chapter. I just hope it's not a cliffhanger.

There is one for Authors who have passed away. I forget what it actually says, but that has to be set by staff, or someone that has access to their account.

 

Yeah, there's a couple of stories, I've read that haven't been touched since 2011 who still show as "in process," and the Author hasn't been seen in about the same length of time. I think it would take Staff to go in and swap it out, and flipping it to "on hold" would be the best.

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It's the author's decision when the story is complete. Something could have happened to the author and they are unable to change the status of their story. I know there are a couple of authors who died while their story was in process. 

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3 hours ago, Myr said:

This has been a topic of much discussion, actually. 

The staff does go in and update story statuses, sometimes without the author's input, because the author has disappeared (or died).  We do not edit a story status on stories where the author is still active.  (Unless there is a discussion about it.)

Now, there are software specifications in place for future development that would automatically contact authors to alert them to an "In Process" story that hasn't had an update in X timeframe.  6 months? along with an automatic switch on status.

 

The other issue is changing the status isn't that straightforward.  We are working on a way to add a tag/genre/status change right from the table of contents page.  But that is further down the road.

 

Oh, and stories should never be marked complete that have not been completed.  We change the status there or make the author do so, when we are aware of it.

 

For those that don't want to run the risk of episodic posting, only read "Complete".  Though, you'll miss out on things like @Comicality since he writes stories that never end. :)

 

This story is 20 years old and still going... lol. Way different era... early chapters are very 90's Nifty ;)

 

Comsi is so different though. He might not update a specific story for months, but you know it will come. He doesn’t go long without updating at least one story. ☺️

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The problem with changing a story status might also be that it can generate a notification, so followers might think there is activity. This can create a stir for some long-gone authors. We saw it happen when the admin changed the rating to Mature for a bunch of old stories. :lol: 

 

I would say one year of not updating is too soon for a story to be put On Hold by GA admin, unless they specifically know the author is gone forever. Five years plus no activity (as in the person not logging in) might be a place to start. And there should always be a message to the author first.

 

But do we really want to burden Myr, Cia or other staff members with this job ?

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I can see myself getting the, "You've not updated this story in so and so months," notification. 😇 I generally put stories on hold as soon as I stop writing for that story at a regular rate and I know there isn't going to be an update for any amount of time. I want people to know that they don't have to sit and wait for something that I'm working on. I did that with SIS and I am currently doing that with TBY. I never really stopped writing for either story (although TBY has been really slow lately), I just want to make sure that 1. People understand not to expect anything. 2. On Hold also means that I've not outright abandoned the story, that I acknowledge there is going to be a waiting period, but I am still working. I'd be more afraid to start a new story that isn't put on hold and has a seemingly absent author. 

 

I think it would be better if Authors put stories on hold that they're not generally working on for posting in the near future. I think two years, or even a year, would be qualifying factors for site admins to maybe pursue changing a status w/out author input. With so much new content coming through pretty much daily, the, "in process, but unknown status," stories tend to fall to the wayside and into a bit of obscurity as it is. So a software option might make it... cleaner for readers to know what is really in process or what is really on hold. 

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I agree, Comsie. I know of a writer who had several short stories providing background on some of his characters, but he died during a cancer treatment operation before he could publish the main story. (Non-GA) I joined GA in 2016, and in that time, I've seen at least three stories go without ONE SINGLE UPDATE, though the authors are still active on the website. With one story, it may have been abandoned because it was loosely based on the writer's childhood, and y'know, "triggers"....

J.R.R. Tolkien spent TEN YEARS writing LotR, and it's still one of the most complex, richly detailed stories I've ever read. I keep an eye on the apparently "abandoned" stories, though, because a part of me sees the promise they still hold, and I hope that the authors might someday fire up the hard drive again and put data to memory storage once more. :lol:

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On 5/18/2018 at 11:00 PM, JayT said:

It's the author's decision when the story is complete. Something could have happened to the author and they are unable to change the status of their story. I know there are a couple of authors who died while their story was in process. 

Nicholas Almand wrote several short stories (non-GA), providing background on some superpowered teens. It was clear that he was gearing up to create something with a bigger picture, but the last entry on his blog (from 2015) is just before he was admitted to surgery for cancer treatment. His profile on Deviant Art states that he was "called home to God." :(

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Time is not always a gauge to determine if a story has been abandoned. There's one very good story at Nifty that someone directed me to earlier this year that has been a little slow with the updates. That is, 8 chapters in 12 years, with one gap of five years between chapters. The quality is excellent, but the time between chapters is painful...

 

Having said that, I waited ten years between books in Jean Auel's Earth Children series, so sometimes I can have patience :) 

Edited by Graeme
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  • 2 weeks later...

My brain is a work in process... so I'd say everything I write should have a tag that reads "She's not dead. Give her between two days and a year....possibly two."

I wouldn't mind if they changed mine to "On Hold" I'd say after six months "Yeah that's a fair call, that part of my brain has been asleep for six months that's definitely a hold" 

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I think your suggestion is fair @Dodger.

 

As someone who had a story sit 'in progress' for probably 6 plus months without an update, I wouldn't have been offended if my story's progress changed automatically to 'on hold' when I left it untouched for so long... 

 

My question is, should I completely remove my 'on hold' story from the site if I have no intentions of going back to finish it? 

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On 6/6/2018 at 7:09 PM, mastershakeme said:

My question is, should I completely remove my 'on hold' story from the site if I have no intentions of going back to finish it? 

This is a sticky subject.  We don't like it when stories are removed due to the hassle it causes the staff.  If you are planning to abandon a story, it is best to not post it.  Or when you post it, make it clear that it is an experiment and may not complete.  You never know when a reader might inspire you to cmplete a story.

 

 

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