Re: Authors vanishing without a trace

During my relatively short time here I’ve followed many a book only for the author to suddenly and unexpectedly vanish without a trace. And I’m sure most of you reading this have too. Extremely early they come back apologize for vanishing stat why and continue the book and everything goes back to normal but that almost never happens. 

The main thing I’m asking here is why does this happen so often? 
Why do they leave without so much as a word? 

I understand that they may be facing some issue in their life and have to take an extremely prolonged break from wiring that could last years and if that’s the case can’t they just say so? They don’t even have to tell us the specifics. 

At this point I feel like I’d be happy with them just saying something like “I’m stopping writing for IRL issues. unlikely to return.” Just to know that the story is over and to give up hope instead of just watch the story drift off into limbo never to return. 

I’ve even seen some with patterns just all of a sudden go silent. Not even a word to the people sending them money on some specified schedule. 

Is it an issue with the anxiety of letting down the fans of the story? Some other issue? All I’m asking is why not at least say goodbye?

Re: Authors vanishing without a trace

I reached a point after months of writing, finally sharing my work (not easy) and editing daily, where I just couldn't look at it anymore. After taking a break, something I should have done sooner and for longer, I found writing the sequel much more enjoyable than editing and sharing.

To be clear I finished what I started, all 190,000 words, I just got tired of editing 

Re: Authors vanishing without a trace

As said, there's the idea that a lot of writers/creators don't mean to disappear. I admit I've done it myself, back when I was creating what was intended to be a long-running webcomic. As it turns out, I don't like making webcomics as much as I thought I did and had a bunch of issues with what I was creating, not the least of which being that, over the course of around a year, I was only two chapters into what a 20+ chapter story. So eventually, when I was moving, I made an author's note saying I was going to be on a brief hiatus while sorting out things in my new home, but at the time I genuinely expected to be back on schedule in a couple weeks. But I was so burnt out that those couple weeks turned into a month or two, which stretched out even longer, and then I basically just never touched the comic again. By the time I came to realize I was never going back to it, it'd basically been a year already, so it just felt uncomfortable to go back and make a new post for any readers I had left just to tell them the story wasn't coming back.

So the guilt is probably another factor to it, either creators feel awful looking back at their abandoned creations or don't want to excite their followers with a new notification only for them to realize it's a cancellation notice, or any other logic the human brain comes up with. But, aside from that, it could also be a lack of prioritization for some creators as well. Typically, real life comes as first priority for a lot of people, especially if whatever they're creating on the internet isn't their main source of livelihood, so it just may not occur to them to announce it online if an issue comes up for them. Granted, if they've got a Patreon going or are otherwise making money from people, then I feel they should still be making a notice about it for sure.

Re: Authors vanishing without a trace

I'll admit to doing this for a while on my own stories.  It's still the case for two of them, although I do have plans to finish them once I wrap up Thomas.

Personally a large part of this was that, well, I deliberately chose stories I didn't care too much about, and then failed at not caring about them; What Was Lost Outside Time is set in the distant pre-history of a world that has some stories I do care about, but it is fundamentally just a self-contained story.  The problem, of course, is that as soon as I started writing it, I did start caring about it, and the faults in the writing got painful.  I'm moderately-okayishly-happy with the first arc; the second arc was an immediate and complete disaster, which I've taken down, and started tinkering with to see what I can do.

Basically, I didn't have the writing skill to do what I set out to do in a way that is satisfactory to me, and I cared too much to want to write something I wasn't satisfied with.

Also, real life got busy, and stayed busy for a while.

I'm determined to finish the Thomas story; it's been good practice, and I still have fun writing it.  (What Was Lost Outside Time, by comparison, is just plain work to write, and has been since the beginning; granted that the work I put into WWLOT, as opposed to Thomas, shows in the difference in ratings, so I think the writing is better for it.)  I'm learning some things in writing it which hopefully will let me be happier with WWLOT, which is next on my list.

The Ingress Estate is in a weird position, by comparison; mostly I just feel kind of apathetic about it, which is a shame, because I actually really like the story there, and the two protagonists are both some of my favorite characters.  But even so, there's another little story I'm toying around with which I might write before I return to The Ingress Estate.  (Okay, I have a dozen little stories I don't care too much about that I could write, but one in particular appeals to me as something I could pull off right now)

I'll probably disappear again; real life happens, and tends to happen at length.

Re: Authors vanishing without a trace


Runeificent Wrote: Sometimes if the book is to good to be true its a promotional marketing the authors  drops 3//4ths of their book and then starts saying near the end if you like it buy it! Its not vanishing for some but others more then likely

I've honestly never seen this happen. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I've never seen it happen. I've seen a ton of authors just ghost, so I don't think what you're saying happens that often.

Re: Authors vanishing without a trace

I think one of the biggest issues with webnovels is that the majority of the authors aren't professional authors, or even trained writers. A lot of them are young, still going to school, and like the idea of writing a novel, but really don't have the time necessary to dedicate to writing. They try it out thinking they're going to write something wonderful that everyone will love. Then they find out it's actually hard and takes a ton of work. They also find out that people on the internet are huge dicks. Now of course, on some level they already knew that, but when it's directed at something that a person put their sweat and tears into a lot of people just can't take it.

A lot of people that want to take up writing don't realize that their first book or two are almost guaranteed to be garbage. Even if they have a good story idea they just don't have any experience and aren't prepared for the work that needs to go into making a decent novel.

Re: Authors vanishing without a trace

Was guilty of this recently! I thought I'd left a note somewhere about my hiatus, but coming back now I see that I... forgot! DrakanFascinating 

In my case, I left for a while because of my studies, but now that I'm done with that, I'm hoping to keep updating my story on a weekly basis again.
I think other authors sometimes leave if they face major writer's block/burnout like was already mentioned, or if they have other things happening in their personal/professional lives, and also if they just don't get enough engagement and decide to simply move elsewhere/discontinue the story. Then again, writing a full story chapter by chapter does take a lot of discipline, and it's hard to keep up with something once the initial excitement of doing that thing has passed, I think. That might also play a role?

I'm sure there are other reasons as well! A lot of the responses cover a good deal of it already.

Re: Authors vanishing without a trace

I kinda did this. 

Basically, I grew tired of the story I was working on after realizing it was terrible and that I couldn’t fix it without a major rewrite. I tried to force myself to continue, but that didn’t really work out. 

So, I went on Hiatus and said I’d be back with a new story soonish. But even soonish didn’t pan out when i ended up trashing several new stories. I’m finally working on a story I think I’ll end up posting, but suffice to say, my ability to estimate what will work and when I’ll have something ready are terrible. 

TLDR: if they’re like me, they tend to overestimate their ability to meet deadlines and the Webnovel format can encourage you to write yourself into a dead end with the regular releases. I figure a lot of people get demoralized when they fail to meet expectations and would rather just kinda fade than try to make a late come back.