Going back to a story after a hiatus

#1
So I put my story on hold for around 2 or so months, the average chap views were around 200 something and it had around 60 followers, i just released a chapter today, and i can only say that it will probably take a little time and a decent amount of consistent uploads to regain my former glory? I'm guessing this is pretty normal?

I'm guessing just go back to consistent uploads? 

Re: Going back to a story after a hiatus

#4
As someone whose gone into hiatus multiple times due to real-life circumstances (hiatusii?), I've always found that the true fans of my writing has always been there to welcome me back and that the average reads per chapter creeps back to normal after a fair bit. The traction gained from people stumbling into your fiction going "oh what's this?" might take a time to rack back up, but if you have some loyal followers, you'll see the comment section of your new chapter begin to fill up pretty quickly.

Re: Going back to a story after a hiatus

#5
Mithradates Wrote: As someone whose gone into hiatus multiple times due to real-life circumstances (hiatusii?), I've always found that the true fans of my writing has always been there to welcome me back and that the average reads per chapter creeps back to normal after a fair bit. The traction gained from people stumbling into your fiction going "oh what's this?" might take a time to rack back up, but if you have some loyal followers, you'll see the comment section of your new chapter begin to fill up pretty quickly.
That's very true. And your true fans will not force you to push out more stuff if you have more important stuff going on. 

Re: Going back to a story after a hiatus

#6
One thing you may want to do is to post aggressively in the forums and market your story until the momentum picks up. For all intents and purposes, you are starting a new story and advertising it to a market that doesn't know it exists. Obviously that's not entirely the case, but the difference is less a fundamental one and more of scope and scale. You're writing a story, people don't know you're writing a story, and you have to get it out there that you're writing a story. 

Re: Going back to a story after a hiatus

#7
I lost some on return from hiatus, but I expected that. Sometimes you forget you were kind of over a story until it starts updating again, it happens.
Did feel like an extra kick in the teeth that it happened like I upload a chapter, I lose a couple followers, I upload a chapter, I lose some more, rinse and repeat a few more times. New ones were trickling in too, so no real loss in the end, but man...

I haven't gotten much better at being consistent due to ✨life✨ but the people who mind that just leave, the ones who don't are still hanging on and I appreciate them oh so very much more for it.

Re: Going back to a story after a hiatus

#9
TienSwitch Wrote: One thing you may want to do is to post aggressively in the forums and market your story until the momentum picks up. For all intents and purposes, you are starting a new story and advertising it to a market that doesn't know it exists. Obviously that's not entirely the case, but the difference is less a fundamental one and more of scope and scale. You're writing a story, people don't know you're writing a story, and you have to get it out there that you're writing a story.

Maybe I should put this in a new thread, but could you talk more about "posting aggressively in the forums"? What kind of posting do you mean? I feel like jumping in with nothing but "hey, read my story!" type posts is not a good idea; it sure doesn't work on social media. Do you mean just regularly getting into the forums and adding to conversations and letting readers find you organically? Thanks!

Re: Going back to a story after a hiatus

#10
Some suggestions from the point of view of a reader:

If you restart make sure make your writing web serial style. While it is always important with anything in a serial format to remind readers about who those characters and settings are, it is especially important when there is such a long time since the last chapter. Never assume people know what that character is just because you mention their name. Always add at least some more hints if not outright repeating earlier descriptions.

It might also be a good idea to not overwhelm readers. If I as reader have to decide whether to read those 5 chapters suddenly appearing of some story I followed but don't remember that much about, I'll think twice whether I should really do this or rather unfollow it.

Also don't become frustrated by readers unfollowing when you come back. It's quite normal to lose readers over time and few readers unfollow old stories, but mostly only fictions on their "Follow List" i.e. those that had some update recently. So most of the readers you lost since you last published a chapter will likely unfollow shortly after you release a new chapter. Any new readers you might gain for being active again usually take quite a couple of days more to increase follows again than those unfollowing.

And as a writer (though not of fiction), I'd also advice to make sure to care for yourself. Restarting a old work you had not recently time to look again gives you a new perspective, which gives some chances but also the danger of frustration. Nothing is perfect. Some people loved it anyway. Don't let the potential perfect be the enemy of the actual existing good and focus on getting forward instead of lamenting the past.

Re: Going back to a story after a hiatus

#12
tomleveen Wrote:
TienSwitch Wrote: One thing you may want to do is to post aggressively in the forums and market your story until the momentum picks up. For all intents and purposes, you are starting a new story and advertising it to a market that doesn't know it exists. Obviously that's not entirely the case, but the difference is less a fundamental one and more of scope and scale. You're writing a story, people don't know you're writing a story, and you have to get it out there that you're writing a story.

Maybe I should put this in a new thread, but could you talk more about "posting aggressively in the forums"? What kind of posting do you mean? I feel like jumping in with nothing but "hey, read my story!" type posts is not a good idea; it sure doesn't work on social media. Do you mean just regularly getting into the forums and adding to conversations and letting readers find you organically? Thanks!

The latter is what I meant, yes.

I post pretty often in the forums. Sometimes they're jokey one-liners. Other times, they're my opinion on a topic. Still others, advice. I make sure to advertise my story in the marketing section. Occasionally, I'll make a thread about something superhero-related, either in and of itself or in an attempt to boost superhero authors on this platform as a whole (I'm a superhero author, if you can't tell from the character in my signature). I make sure my presence is seen and well known on these forums. All that is on top of introducing myself to other authors in the genre, reading and reviewing and commenting on other people's stories, and all-in-all engaging with the community at large.

The result? My story, The Adventures of BLUE EAGLE, was marked Completed only eight days after first being posted. This was back in October 2021. It's completely episodic (could even be read out of order if you wanted) and has none of the LitRPG elements that people here love so much. By right, it should have gone unnoticed and died in obscurity. Instead, it has 24 Followers, over 3,100 views, more than a dozen reviews (all varying degrees of positive), and was in the Top 2,000 fictions not even a month ago. All without getting onto any lists, as far as I'm aware of. 

Is that incredible? No. Did I beat any records? Not even close. But again, it's a story which, by every conceivable metric, should have gone unread, unreviewed, uncommented, and disappeared in obscurity. And it didn't. Because I engaged with the community as hard as I possibly could. Through forums and PMs and reviews and comments. When someone posts something in the Recommendations section asking for superhero stories, mine is usually one of the first to be brought up.

It's just an anecdote, but I remember one time early this year that someone mentioned that they'd been meaning to check out my story for a while because they keep seeing my forum signature. That just goes to show that you don't get eyeballs on your fiction by staying quiet. You've got to be loud.