Re: Authors are disappearing left and right.

#61
I am brand new to Royal Road and so far I am loving it.

I came across this post and just wanted to add another perspective to the thread.

My reply will reveal why I am brand new to Royal Road, and why I did not arrive much sooner. I don’t know when this site started, but my own story started about six years ago.

After returning from Asia, I committed to a writing career. I have many stories and wanted to share them with the world. However, no sooner had I returned than my parents began an accelerated decline: one in mental health, the other in physical health.

From that time until now, I feel like I have lived someone else’s life. All the things I loved were put on hold, including writing—I just had no idea how long they would be on hold.

All my friends, associates, vendors, contractors, and clients noticed my slow withdrawal from, well, everything. I just faded away.

Many things I began just sat there, languishing in various phases of development, because I no longer had any time for them.

In the end, I became the full-time, live-in caregiver to my parents. I will go into it no more than this, but as I close I wanted to remind everyone that sometimes tragedy strikes and strikes deep, and all the outer things must necessarily cease when more meaningful commitments require your hand.

Re: Authors are disappearing left and right.

#63
I'm not convinced that author's are leaving all that much... relative to comparable sites/etc. Authors, in general, are absolutely terrible at finishing books/series/etc. 

Those that have taken a creative writing course in school - how many there actually published something?  1/10? 1/30?  It is very low.

What about professionals? GRRM? Robert Jordan? Patrick Rothfuss (give me @#$% Name of the Wind 3, eh?) The ones you remember are the ones that 'stayed'. A lot of authors do not, and those that do are often contracted, and then threatened and cajoled into writing, with every word a tear they shed. They'd have quit if they could. And often do, once they aren't legally bound to suffer.

What about Scribblehub? Wattpad? Ao3? FFN? You could throw darts at stories at any site and the darts would wear out before you hit something 'finished'.

So, yes, people leave because the public/audience is the best reason to lose hope in humanity, and because real life is more important than imaginary lives, and for a dozen other reasons. But it's not here, or there, in my opinion. It's the nature of writing. A low barrier of entry, no requisite skill, a tough learning curve, a hostile environment, superstar rewards for a minority, theft of work... Oops, not to discourage anyone. Says me, the person who won't post anything I write because hell no. Much respect to anyone who does.

Re: Authors are disappearing left and right.

#64
ptgatsby Wrote: I'm not convinced that author's are leaving all that much... relative to comparable sites/etc. Authors, in general, are absolutely terrible at finishing books/series/etc. 

Those that have taken a creative writing course in school - how many there actually published something?  1/10? 1/30?  It is very low.

What about professionals? GRRM? Robert Jordan? Patrick Rothfuss (give me @#$% Name of the Wind 3, eh?) The ones you remember are the ones that 'stayed'. A lot of authors do not, and those that do are often contracted, and then threatened and cajoled into writing, with every word a tear they shed. They'd have quit if they could. And often do, once they aren't legally bound to suffer.

What about Scribblehub? Wattpad? Ao3? FFN? You could throw darts at stories at any site and the darts would wear out before you hit something 'finished'.

So, yes, people leave because the public/audience is the best reason to lose hope in humanity, and because real life is more important than imaginary lives, and for a dozen other reasons. But it's not here, or there, in my opinion. It's the nature of writing. A low barrier of entry, no requisite skill, a tough learning curve, a hostile environment, superstar rewards for a minority, theft of work... Oops, not to discourage anyone. Says me, the person who won't post anything I write because hell no. Much respect to anyone who does.
Man that's depressing to read. A part of me wants to disbelieve it and I will. 

Re: Authors are disappearing left and right.

#65
Beverlyy Wrote:
ptgatsby Wrote: I'm not convinced that author's are leaving all that much... relative to comparable sites/etc. Authors, in general, are absolutely terrible at finishing books/series/etc. 

Those that have taken a creative writing course in school - how many there actually published something?  1/10? 1/30?  It is very low.

What about professionals? GRRM? Robert Jordan? Patrick Rothfuss (give me @#$% Name of the Wind 3, eh?) The ones you remember are the ones that 'stayed'. A lot of authors do not, and those that do are often contracted, and then threatened and cajoled into writing, with every word a tear they shed. They'd have quit if they could. And often do, once they aren't legally bound to suffer.

What about Scribblehub? Wattpad? Ao3? FFN? You could throw darts at stories at any site and the darts would wear out before you hit something 'finished'.

So, yes, people leave because the public/audience is the best reason to lose hope in humanity, and because real life is more important than imaginary lives, and for a dozen other reasons. But it's not here, or there, in my opinion. It's the nature of writing. A low barrier of entry, no requisite skill, a tough learning curve, a hostile environment, superstar rewards for a minority, theft of work... Oops, not to discourage anyone. Says me, the person who won't post anything I write because hell no. Much respect to anyone who does.
Man that's depressing to read. A part of me wants to disbelieve it and I will.
The real answer?

I don't think it's people being horrible to one another or writing being a terrible hobby. I think it's just people naturally realizing that these activities aren't for them, and that's entirely and 100% valid. I'd rather have authors quitting cuz they've lost enjoyment than having them force themselves to work on something they have no passion for.

Writing is hard and doing it consistently is even harder. People struggle to balance personal life and their hobby so they burn themselves out. Royal Road has dozens of threads of people not discussing writing but how to share their writing and when to share to get the most views. I feel like, at least here, numbers are part of the reason why people lose focus and don't finish their work.

But that circles right back to "if you don't enjoy doing a thing, why even do it?"

Everyone wants to be a writer, and everyone can be a writer, but not everyone's cut out to do it in front of thousands of people. Authors aren't disappearing at some alarming rate, that's just what happens online a lot. Think of the thousands of abandoned YouTube channels or art accounts online. People try to do a thing, realize they don't want to, then move on. It's like those people who do those New Years Resolutions where they say they'll go to the gym every day failing after a week or two.

Re: Authors are disappearing left and right.

#66
TheKingofKirby Wrote: Why should authors keep posting here if the vast majority of the audience doesn't appreciate what they write?
They're too accustomed to getting what they want and spoon-fed wish-fulfilment that anything that goes against their very-narrow preferences gets shunted. Trying to be different, unique and original will only hurt you in the long run.

Not to mention people keep pushing this myth that any kind of fiction can get traction here.

The audience here does have a few immutable traits:

* Generally loves or loved video games in the past. Growing up during the golden age of video games with zero actual video game media in books and movies left a giant unfilled demand in people.

* ADHD. Every chapter has to be entertaining and fulfilling on its own. In return for paying attention and waiting, they need to feel rewarded if they're going to read every word of a serial immediately. Every sentence and paragraph should serve a purpose, please.

* They don't like being sad. If they wanted to feel sad, they would log off and look at Real Life and think about stuff like their dead parents. Be gentle with them if you actually care about how they feel; they seek escapism for a reason.

* They're overwhelmingly male and therefore have male sexual preferences. This is why most female protagonists here are either asexual, or a lesbian, like in The Calamitous Bob.

* Monsters and robots are cool.

* There are various niches of other nerdy interests not served in the mainstream. A popular sub genre of the dungeon management genre are kids who just got into engineering, and are excited about how you could use physics to build a murder dungeon. This trick of merging a hobby you like, with one that's more general and mainstream, is a classic technique. Like if you uh, wanted to talk about cricket you could glue it into a Dungeon Core story or whatever. Then you have a unique Dungeon Core story that people can actually differentiate from the other Dungeon Core stories: "Oh, this is the one where they have to play cricket against goblins and ogres!" It doesn't matter if it's cricket, board games, your political beliefs, whatever! Trick the nerds into learning math or loving anarchism with monster girls, or whatever.

*Cough*

It's better to look at the person for what they are and what they want, and not malign them for what they could have been. There's hundreds of people who try, but only seven trending slots at a time. Almost everyone is going to fail. There's nothing to be ashamed of or be bitter from that. Being a failed author is something to aspire to and be proud of. Write even 20,000 words of a story, and you're very cool in my books.

Re: Authors are disappearing left and right.

#69
Zinc Wrote: * ADHD. Every chapter has to be entertaining and fulfilling on its own. In return for paying attention and waiting, they need to feel rewarded if they're going to read every word of a serial immediately. Every sentence and paragraph should serve a purpose, please.
This isn't an ADHD thing. This is a "good writing" thing. Writing with a purpose is literally taught in writing 101 classes. It's not limited to writing, either. Every scene in a show or a movie should also serve at least one purpose. A lot of older shows have great examples of scenes with no purpose except to pad out the runtime. If they weren't required to hit x minutes per show, removing those scenes would do nothing but improve the final product.

If someone is deliberately keeping purposeless paragraphs in their writing or shoving similar scenes into a show or movie, that's bad storytelling.

Re: Authors are disappearing left and right.

#70
I'm one such author that disappeared once for a long time and even changed my account name, I had two stories that I've deleted as of this moment that blew up massively. I personally struggle a little bit with mental health and those two do not combine well. 

The added pressure to keep consistent updates and quality updates while I missed most meals is massively tough, especially when the spotlight gets shun onto you. I mostly write and upload for fun now rather than constantly chasing the tail end of being a popular author.

Re: Authors are disappearing left and right.

#71
Just to add my two cents, I deleted my original account a long time ago (think about 6 years maybe) after a successful first story. The reason is rather funny. I was embarrassed about what I wrote. It was my first attempt at writing and it definitely didn't stand up to time. Still, I definitely regret just deleting everything as an answer. It's not always about outside influences affecting your decision to write. Sometimes it's internal ones.

Re: Authors are disappearing left and right.

#72
Ziggy Wrote:
Zinc Wrote: * ADHD. Every chapter has to be entertaining and fulfilling on its own. In return for paying attention and waiting, they need to feel rewarded if they're going to read every word of a serial immediately. Every sentence and paragraph should serve a purpose, please.
This isn't an ADHD thing. This is a "good writing" thing. Writing with a purpose is literally taught in writing 101 classes. It's not limited to writing, either. Every scene in a show or a movie should also serve at least one purpose. A lot of older shows have great examples of scenes with no purpose except to pad out the runtime. If they weren't required to hit x minutes per show, removing those scenes would do nothing but improve the final product.

If someone is deliberately keeping purposeless paragraphs in their writing or shoving similar scenes into a show or movie, that's bad storytelling.
I see the general idea of what you mean, but I think this mindset can also be detrimental to both readers and authors. It heavily discourages any kind of foreshadowing or environmental/ambiance descriptions. Yes, it's important to get to the point and not r3ad four chapters about our MC brushing their hair or putting on a jacket. But, most authors here are more experienced than you might think, so when they describe somehtif that doesn't directly link to the plot, it's for a reason.

Re: Authors are disappearing left and right.

#73
Evieleyn Wrote:
Ziggy Wrote:
Zinc Wrote: * ADHD. Every chapter has to be entertaining and fulfilling on its own. In return for paying attention and waiting, they need to feel rewarded if they're going to read every word of a serial immediately. Every sentence and paragraph should serve a purpose, please.
This isn't an ADHD thing. This is a "good writing" thing. Writing with a purpose is literally taught in writing 101 classes. It's not limited to writing, either. Every scene in a show or a movie should also serve at least one purpose. A lot of older shows have great examples of scenes with no purpose except to pad out the runtime. If they weren't required to hit x minutes per show, removing those scenes would do nothing but improve the final product.

If someone is deliberately keeping purposeless paragraphs in their writing or shoving similar scenes into a show or movie, that's bad storytelling.
I see the general idea of what you mean, but I think this mindset can also be detrimental to both readers and authors. It heavily discourages any kind of foreshadowing or environmental/ambiance descriptions. Yes, it's important to get to the point and not r3ad four chapters about our MC brushing their hair or putting on a jacket. But, most authors here are more experienced than you might think, so when they describe somehtif that doesn't directly link to the plot, it's for a reason.
But those are purposes. A sentence there for forshadowing is there for the purpose of forshadowing. A landscape description is there for the purpose of painting a setting. 

I think there's a detail missing from this discussion and that is the type of fiction being written. In a short story, every sentence doesn't just need to serve a purpose - most sentences need to serve multiple purposes, because short stories need to be concise and deliver a lot of information to the reader in the shortest amount of words possible. We're on a site for serial fiction, though, much of which spans for long periods of time and whose purpose might just be to deliver a feeling of "hey, this fight is really cool, I like this". One of the paragraphs I remember the most from a long-running serial is one where, after a full story of angst and fighting and barely getting a breather, the MC just finds a peaceful spot, takes a break, and reads the books in her inventory for a year. It was shortened down with a time skip, but it was just there to change the tone for a little. It led to nothing else. It was just nice, because it was a contrast. 

Sure, many longer books aim to be as concise as a short story has to be, and most of my favorites are among them. But we're also talking about RR here, where many people read just for relaxing a bit and who don't have high expectations of (or even, necessarily, WANT) a high paced story with a lot of information in it. We don't need every sentence to have multiple purposes, because we're not constricted to the same rules short stories are. 

Re: Authors are disappearing left and right.

#74
Evieleyn Wrote:
Ziggy Wrote:
Zinc Wrote: * ADHD. Every chapter has to be entertaining and fulfilling on its own. In return for paying attention and waiting, they need to feel rewarded if they're going to read every word of a serial immediately. Every sentence and paragraph should serve a purpose, please.
This isn't an ADHD thing. This is a "good writing" thing. Writing with a purpose is literally taught in writing 101 classes. It's not limited to writing, either. Every scene in a show or a movie should also serve at least one purpose. A lot of older shows have great examples of scenes with no purpose except to pad out the runtime. If they weren't required to hit x minutes per show, removing those scenes would do nothing but improve the final product.

If someone is deliberately keeping purposeless paragraphs in their writing or shoving similar scenes into a show or movie, that's bad storytelling.
I see the general idea of what you mean, but I think this mindset can also be detrimental to both readers and authors. It heavily discourages any kind of foreshadowing or environmental/ambiance descriptions. Yes, it's important to get to the point and not r3ad four chapters about our MC brushing their hair or putting on a jacket. But, most authors here are more experienced than you might think, so when they describe somehtif that doesn't directly link to the plot, it's for a reason.
I've read a lot of fiction. On this site especially, this crops up a lot. I've lost track how often I'll read a chapter and find it has no purpose at all besides increasing the page count. Nothing happens, I learn nothing new, I wasn't entertained, the plot doesn't move forward, zilch.

And it's not detrimental as long as you keep in mind that "purpose" is not just a singular thing. Exposition, entertainment, plot development, world building, all are totally valid reasons for a scene. If someone throws in a really funny scene that adds nothing to the plot, the purpose of entertaining the reader still counts. Purposeful foreshadowing like you mention is, by definition, a purpose and is not what I'm referring to.

It's extremely rare for me to read anything where the author has taken this to the nth degree and it's ruining the story. It's extremely common for me to read chapters completely or mostly lacking in purpose.

To make sure you understand, Beware of Chicken is a story that often has very little actually happening. Most chapters are still packed to the gills with purpose. It's just that the purpose is usually to invoke emotions from the audience with the slice of life, character development, and personal relationships. And, personally, I think it's just great.