Discussion: Should We Hold Authors To A Certain Standard When it Comes To Updating?

Due to some hate I’ve seen floating around on IG, I won’t be talking about this specifically since it is not my right to say nor do I think the person sending hate should receive any validation, good or bad., I decided to bring this question since I’ve noticed it seems to be a huge part of our community.

There’s been this expectation that an author should be cranking out new episodes every week or two. The term, “When will you update?” is literally expected in every author’s fanmail. To be honest, even I have had those feelings of impatience. However, I think that with the rise of easily accessible media, we’ve become spoiled to entertainment when it’s needed. As a creator and author though, it’s not so easy creating work you’re proud of with all the energy and effort on a weekly basis. Hell, I find it hard to believe the stories that DO update this consistently always have the same effort. Writing and coding take up a lot of time, and if you type as slow as I do, you know it can take weeks/months to get done.

Anyways, what are your thoughts?

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I personally haven’t been motivated to write so that makes it harder to update anything. It does take a lot of time and energy and it’s frustrating when you have no idea, unless you’ve planned it out, what to write or what direction you should take.

I think a few factors play a role but I don’t think we should hold authors to a set standard of updating. They have lives outside of Episode. Do it when ever they feel it’s right.

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I mean, of course it’s sort of a bummer when you’re really invested in a story and it gets updated like twice a year, but it’s really not the end of the world. It seems bizarre to try to hold authors to some sort of standard time-wise when they’re mostly doing it because they like it and you’re getting entertainment for free.

I’d never complain about someone’s update schedule, or lack thereof, because we’re all entitled to living our own lives. If i ever became…uh, unlazy enough to publish any of the things I’ve been working on, I know for sure I wouldn’t be able to update with any regularity. I work 70 hours a week and have a household to take care of, just like a lot of authors have 5 million other things going on. Personally, I’d rather have updates that an author feels like they put their best foot forward on & when their motivation and excitement for the story is still there. You can always tell that and it makes for a much higher quality chapter, and both the writer and reader are more likely to stay engaged.

I always assume those “when will you update???” questions come from much younger readers, but of course that’s probably not universally true. So I can only hope they learn to be more patient in the future. But I’d say if you’re a writer, just do what you need to do & don’t feel bad about it. At the end of the day, you’re a human first and when you do publish or update, you’re putting something creative into the world whether people are ok with your update schedule or not.

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As a reader, I always get so anxious for the next episodes, but as a writer I understand just how time consuming it is and how long it can actually take. Especially when using lots of overlays and having multiple branches in your script. And that’s not even to mention what’s going on in your day to day life.
Authors should not be felt pressured to hurry up and rush their chapters or try and meet a ‘weekly’ deadline…and even though I understand being so excited for the next one, I don’t think it’s right to constantly hound them about when the next chapter will be out, especially after they’ve just published.

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That’s so true tbh. Like sometime when I want to write, I go on the script and then suddenly I’m like it’s too much work mainly because when I do Episode, I work all weekend then do it Saturdays. Same thing now.

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the case with people releasing not finish stuff is there is no timeline for when it updates. if you want a finish story go buy a book. tough series have been so popular nowadays so buying one book is properly not enough

people who read on episode need to remeber.
A. its very hard work

B. you don’t know the authors life or difficulties. I wish I could post a chapter just once a month. but that will never happen. because I have things in my life there does I can

C. most authors here are not been pay. this is not a job its a free time thing. we do it because we enjoy it

D. we usually work alone. doing everything ourself. that takes time. we need to code and most don’t just do basic. they do the advance stuff. you know the thing I see 5 people a day asking for help with. or someone to do it for them because they don’t wanna learn to do it themself. and yes I know it is hard to learn which is my point its not just something you just make in a half hour. it takes time.

E. fast updates often mean bad chapters. because the person don’t work as much on it. if I hold me to update once a week. chapters would be much short and the coding really bad. is that what people want?

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I’m sort of torn on this.
As an author, I understand wanting to spend time to make sure the content you’re producing is up to a certain standard and of course, you always want to be proud of what you publish.
As a reader, I do lose interest if something isn’t updated for months and I’d be more likely to just keep it in my favourites, but not read it until it’s complete. If I know a story is updated regularly, then I’ll continue to read it regularly.

I have a new story right now that I’m trying to update frequently, but before I even published I had 7 episodes complete so that helped lol. Now I’ve run out of those buffer episodes, but I’m still hoping to publish every 1-2 weeks. This particular story, however, doesn’t need complex directing. It works just fine with clean but mostly basic directing. In contrast, Agent Cinderella that I write with @mavis needs a lot more work because it’s a story that relies on fancy directing and mini games.

I think a lot of readers who demand faster updates don’t understand the time and effort that goes into writing and coding on Episode. Then there are authors who can double update every few days, but some of them actually do this full time and keep their episodes short. (Which then leads to these same readers complaining that the episodes are too short lol)

Can’t please everyone :rofl:

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From a readers point of view, I completely understand how waiting a month or even longer for an update can be annoying. Authors should prepare before hand by making more episodes than necessary when they first publish (such as 5 instead of 3) then publish the first 3 and keep working on other chapters so you never get behind. However that is a lot of work and not all authors do that.

From a writers point of view, I don’t want to disappoint my readers (what little readers I have :joy:) but I simply do not have the time. I go to school, I have homework that usually takes me a minimum of 3 hours to get halfway done, I own 2 horses I need to care for, I need to walk my dog, I still need to be able to eat and sleep. I just don’t have the time! Throughout the week when I get a chance, perhaps I don’t have homework, I’ll work on my story as much as I can. In the weekends I will also try at some point to work on my story but remember I still need time that isn’t dedicated to a particular thing, the pressure gets too much. I need time to just hang out with my friends or ride my horse or read my book. I should not have to sacrifice my mental health for the sake of an episode story. So to put it simply, I don’t have enough time and that’s why I don’t update as much as I should. Although now I know I should’ve written more episodes at the start (as talked about above) I didn’t know this when I first started my story, if I was to write another story I would definitely do so but there’s nothing I can do about it now.

I think writers do need to have some form of compassion and sympathy towards their readers, understand that they are invested in your story and just really want to read more. That’s why they’re asking for an update. I think readers need to keep in mind that episode isn’t a job, most writers aren’t getting paid, this is something they do in their free time. Writers have lives and we won’t always be able to update on a specific schedule.

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I have more thoughts on this (but work is soonish) but I was told I needed to be getting an episode out a day by someone (who’s now blocked) shortly after putting my other story on hold temporarily for revamps. :upside_down_face::upside_down_face::upside_down_face:

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That particular person has been trolling everyone and when I read the opening post, I wondered if that’s who they were referring to :rofl:

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Absolutely, not. First of all, coding let alone writing takes time and effort. My motto is quality over quantity. We are busy outside of episode, or sometimes we want to be lazy and avoid writing. Or hell, some authors legit do nothing, but it still doesn’t mean they are obligated to update.

People who rush authors and get all defensive when the author responds back in a tone they don’t like, are people who a) never written inside the portal or b) tried to write. but failed because they can’t write nor code. Harsh, but I’m being honest.

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I have a feeling I know who you’re talking about! Since I have also gotten comments from them :sweat_smile:

Before I ever started writing on episode, I definitely had no idea how time consuming just one episode can be. But man, as soon as you start writing your eyes are open to it. The particular comment I got was comparing my story updates to a popular author. Who may I add, their full time job is episode and mine is not. Add a very needy toddler into the mix, sometimes updating is not my top priority :woman_shrugging:t3: So I don’t think it’s fair to hold an author to an updating standard. We all lead different lives.

With that being said, as a reader I tend to look for stories that have 20+ episodes or say they’re completed. Don’t get me wrong, if you update slow I’ll still read your story. But I’ll wait until it’s done if I notice your updates happen every two months or so. My brain just can’t remember each storyline, and I want to enjoy the entire story.

I think what frustrates me as an author, is the fact that from Aug-Feb, I was updating weekly. And due to my wedding and a major block from putting all my energy into K&T I had to take a break. It hadn’t even been a month and I had readers harassing me about updates. And honestly getting those comments do NOT motivate me to write faster. In fact, they do pretty much the opposite. So I just wish readers understood how much work and time goes into a quality story. And if you aren’t getting paid… Most times it has to come second to everything else.

ETA: just want to clarify, when I say “harass” I don’t mean the typical “when will the next chapter be?” I don’t mind those. It’s the readers who can get really rude, demanding or pushy. There is definitely a difference!

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Well as I an author, my update schedule is strictly Saturdays only. Whether it’s every Saturday or every Saturday- I always aim to get each episode(s) out on a Saturday. So, I don’t really get asked the question “When will you update?” because my updates are consistent and are on a weekly basis. Many authors can’t say the same and don’t have a consistent update schedule due to them having jobs, kids and a family. I feel like authors are free and have the power to update when they can are able to. If they are not in the right state of mind or stressed, then they shouldn’t push themselves to update and follow their regular update schedule.

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This^^. If you are taking months to update, I don’t think it’s fair to get mad at a simple “When will the next chapter be?” They’re just excited. I have so many readers apologizing before they ask. Like they’re afraid to even mention next chapters. I always try to reassure them that I have no issues with it if they’re respectful and kind. It’s when they get mean and hateful, that’s when I get irritated.

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As an author, if you don’t inspired or motivated, then take a break. It’s not the end of the world if writers don’t update frequently. We have a real life too. Some of us have a family, a job, go to the university or school. not everything is about Episode.

I really despise people who annoys author with questions like “When will you update? You’re a lazy piece of garbage! Update faster! You dissapoint your readers. You’re selfish b*tch. etc.” Mostly, I ignore/block these people.

And that’s why authors shouldn’t feel forced to update. Faster updates mostly means half-arsed chapters and I don’t think that’s what readers want. Readers want an engaging plot with flawless directing and yes, it takes time but it’s worth it. Of course, it’s frustating when you have to wait for a chapter of your (favourite) story but instead of annoying the writer, you could read something else while you’re waiting for a new chapter. I don’t see the problem. We have so many incredible stories on Episode. :slight_smile:

In my story, for example, I need for one chapter 3-5 weeks (depending on what I plan for a chapter). I make backgrounds and overlays on my own, I write and plan a chapter (+ point system and choices), I use advanced directing, I wait for approvals and then when a chapter is almost ready someone needs to proofread (English isn’t my first language). So yes, it takes time but it’s worth it to wait. And if some people are impatient then the should read something else. I write my stories for myself and not for someone else. I write when I have time and feel inspired and don’t want to feel forced.

Agree! When someone pressures me then I become demotivated and I will not continue writing for a period of time because I don’t want to feel pressured. Episode is just my hobby. My escape from reality. :slight_smile:

I don’t want to sound rude with this comment. It’s just the harsh truth.

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Authors don’t owe us anything. They make what they want to make, you enjoy it for free, transaction over, fans have no right to demand content or try to pressure writers through fan mail. If you’re unhappy with how long it’s taking an author to update read something else, it’s that simple. Pestering an author through fan mail, posting rants or leaving nasty comments on insta is entitled and childish and counter productive to getting new content. I can’t imagine what it does to person to be bombarded with that shit everyday, I can’t imagine wanting to create with that kind of hostility and pressure on your back, and I can’t imagine why anyone would think doing that to an author is acceptable.

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See, personally I don’t think this is a crazy expectation. Of course I’m lucky in the sense I can code fairly quickly and I compact my work hours into 3 nights so I have more days to simply write. I also prefer episodes that are 6-12 minutes so this also helps.

It’s actually a goal of mine to try and get at least one episode out a week. Of course that’s not always possible. For example I didn’t get an update out this week due to spending some time with family and just feeling under the weather for a day or two. Not to mention I just wasn’t feeling motivated. :woozy_face:

But to really answer the question, I have mixed feelings. I don’t think harassment is ever a good thing, especially if the authors are doing their best to provide content to you for free, but I’d be lying if I said I’ve never gotten frustrated with authors for taking ages to update. However, I do think my stance on this has changed a bit since I’ve started writing on episode seriously. You really do realize that it does take time and effort and more than just 2-3 hours per episode as I was told yesterday. :wink:

Exactly. To me there’s a big difference between not updating for months and not updating for a week or two. This actually reminds me of this author I used to like who would do the “I’m updating on x day” and then wonder why people got upset with her when it was weeks and weeks past said date she’d set. Things like that I don’t really have patience for. :woozy_face::woozy_face:

I actually addressed this on my instagram stories yesterday. People really can’t have it both ways. :joy::joy:

And it’s sad readers feel this way. I agree though, if you’re taking months and months please don’t get irritated if people start questioning. But if you’re a reader be conscientious of the fact an author might have already answered the question a dozen times.

To Give a Real Life Example:

I was watching a live on instagram by a “popular author” who due to working on a contest entry and just life being a bit crazy hasn’t been able to update one of her stories as much as anyone would like. I swear though like every 2 minutes someone was asking her a question about the story, if she was going to update it, and generally just being rude all along. :grimacing::grimacing: I felt so bad for her, especially since it wasn’t like she was avoiding the questions, people just kept asking them.

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Should we? No. This platform is not dependable on having every author update regularly. Whether someone updates often or whether they discontinue a story, Episode will still thrive. It’s not like we’re writing books/novels that are going to print, nor is it like we’re creating a TV series. So expecting someone to publish a new episode each week as if it is a TV show is quite unrealistic.

I think it’s easy for readers to look at a story and assume that we should though, and tbh, I don’t blame them for thinking that way either. Certain authors and even Episode themselves have kinda made it seem like it should be easy to do. And how are readers to know how much time and planning goes into those particular stories? I know when I first started writing here, I thought I’d be able to update at least weekly, if not more. In fact, I still try to convince myself that I’m capable of updating consistently. Lol.

To share some of my own experience, I used to be a very consistent batch updater. I would update 3 or 4 episodes at one time, then I wouldn’t publish anything for 1-2 months. However, the when-will-you-update-? questions did start to put a lot of pressure on me. I still wanted to do batch updates, but external events were making it that I would now be taking 3-4 months to do a batch update, and it was hard for me because so many people were asking me every day and I just… I didn’t have an answer to give them. Even saying things like “I’m hoping to update sometime this month” was dangerous, because they would take that as bible. But saying “I don’t know” was just as bad because then the same people would come back a few days later asking “do you know now when you will update?” So then I did switch to updating one episode at the time. And that was also kind of difficult for me because of ~rEaSoNS~ which are irrelevant here so I won’t go into it. But honestly, it did mostly satisfy my readers doing it that way.

The problem (well, for me anyway) is that things will happen that you never expected to happen. Like, I did not anticipate that I would still be writing the same story I started two years ago :flushed: Yet here I am, working on the final episodes just now. When I look back on it and try to figure out why I has taken me so long, it really does come down to a lot of external factors that I could not have prepared for when I started writing it in 2018. So there were things in my personal life that got in the way of writing, but then there were also things in my episode life that also got in the way too. Like contests. Stupid, tempting contests :roll_eyes: And the updated guidelines, which required me to change a lot, and that was pretty time consuming too.

Now, in saying all of this, I keep telling myself that next time, I’m going to work out an updating schedule or next time, I’m going to write the whole story in its entirety first before I publish it and that way I know I’ll be able to stick to weekly updates no matter what life throws at me. I’m sure there’s a lot of other authors who are in my position - who never anticipated how big their audience would come to be - that also think this way too. It’s like the ultimate episode goal for some of us. But like… on the other hand, I look at what I said in my first paragraph here: It’s not like we’re writing books/novels that are going to print, nor is it like we’re creating a TV series, so we shouldn’t have to feel like we have to have an update schedule either :thinking: And also for me, there’s times where I think… what if I got platform banned tomorrow? Like I have two episodes that are ready to publish, but I’m holding them off until I finish the next one… So if I got banned, like, sheeeeit… I’d regret not publishing those episodes, you know?

I feel like I’ve rambled on enough now and I’m not sure what point I was trying to make here, lol :upside_down_face:

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I know. I’m still just annoyed and also partly baffled I got comments from them. :joy::joy:

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Well…

I’m reading a story (which I don’t know if I’m allowed to say which…)
And they haven’t updated in 5 months. I understand how hard coding a story is but

  1. 5 MONTHS???
    2.And their coding wasn’t even advanced!

They never said if they were even going to continue the story or not… but idk their story has always taken 2-3 months to upload.

But 5 MONTHS!! They really need to tell us whats going on.

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