Etiquette with starting/finishing multi-part stories

Hi everyone!

New writer, long-time lurker (since NCMC.)

I’ve been writing ‘An End To Global Warming’ and dashed off ‘The Word Game’ in a… well, a spurt (lol) of inspiration as a fun diversion while working out plot/structure points for part 3 of Global Warming in my head. Turned out ‘The Word Game’ wound up being super popular and I really appreciated that, so thanks!

I originally intended Global Warming to be a story in 2, maybe 3 parts, but I really fell in love (maybe love is the wrong term, but in interest) with the world and it’s possibilities, so the scope just mushroomed. It’s a complicated structure and difficult to get right (I hope I’m succeeding, but you never know) and I think it’s going to be a while before it’s done at this point.

My question is, is there anyone who has ever started and finished another multi-part story while letting the first one sort of bubble on low heat? I have another idea that I started thinking on long before Global Warming that I think is pretty great and would like to see out there. It’s going to be a good bit easier (and sexier) to consume than GW. Should be really hot, actually. Just wondering if folks have experience with this sort of thing, and how readers tend to take the perception of a delay in a piece in favor of writing something else for a while. Thanks! Love the site!

It’s totally up to the author how they write their series. You can start multiple series, finish them out of order or even let them unfinished.

It’s not like we’re forcing any author to finish their series … :slight_smile:

Of course, people appreciate if you do!

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There is no rule that dictates you must finish one series before starting another. You can most certainly be working on more than one series at the same time…I’m one of them for example. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

It all comes down to what ideas pop up in your mind and which one you have more inspiration to work on at the moment. I could be inspired to work on one for a few chapters in a row, but then ideas dry out, so I put it aside. Work a bit on another one, and maybe come back for some more, vice versa. There’s no pressure or rule to it, just go with your mind, the key is write it all down when the ideas come up, go with the flow.

You’ve pretty much described me. I have multiple stories that I’m proud of and that ppl constantly ask me to finish. I do want to, but the drive has gotta be there to dive back into stories I haven’t really focused on in years.

That’s why, for me personally, I focus a bit more on one-offs or make sure I have a multi-part story completely finished so I don’t leave people hanging with unfinished story lines.

That said, however, I don’t think it’s a crime to leave behind an incomplete story you’ve lost your passion for on a website in which you’re providing your skills for free and you want your stories to be as amazing as they can be. Great stories tend to come from great interest from the author. If you find yourself phasing out of interest, I think it’s better to leave the story in good standing with the fans yet incomplete than to have it peter out due to a desire to finish it rather than a desire to finish it well.


I also have a lot of multi-part stories that I haven’t ended yet. I try to alternate between new stories and finishing series, but I’m not always successful in terms of drive. That really what it boils down to: drive. It takes a lot of time and energy to write even one chapter, and you need fuel. Some comes from the comments the people post, some comes from your own motivation and interest for certain stories. In my case, even my new stories are often not new, they started off as fragments written in the last 25+ years. Like my current one, The Hampton Field, incorporates old fragments, including some as old as from 2000.