Why Dropping Novels Is Okay and Even Cool

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by Wujigege, Apr 4, 2021.

  1. Wujigege

    Wujigege *Christian*SIMP*Feminist*Comedian

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    People think because they started something then they must finish it but that it is not true.
    It is the Sunk Cost Fallacy
    Sunk Cost Fallacy: "Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it".
     
  2. otaku31

    otaku31 Well-Known Member

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    Ofc, it's fine. I don't need read some economic theory to know I shouldn't continue wasting my precious leisure on something I no longer enjoy. :blobhero:

    But I wish I had been able to make my father understand this back when he was pumping money into his failing venture, cut his losses short. :blobpensive:
    Tho I srsly doubt he'd have listened.
     
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  3. mmsupreme

    mmsupreme How do I change my custom title?

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    I generally don't finish a lot of novels because they get to a point where it seems like the story is going to cop out of a decent ending and sometimes there might be a sequel so skipping the ending will make the sequel that much better since you don't know what happens and it makes the story have a mystery vibe. The only endings I don't skip is from those whose reviews say the ending is actually good or if there are good secrets being hidden and discussed. For example im not going to skip cultivation chat groups ending
     
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  4. aintg

    aintg Active Member

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    This attacks my completionist heart. Lol.
     
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  5. xean

    xean Member

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    That's why I usually go for LN. There's a volume where you can pause or take a break. Or dropped it altogether
     
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  6. asriu

    asriu Well-Known Member

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    when it become boring or unbearable why even bother?
     
  7. Bachingchung

    Bachingchung Well-Known Member

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    Jokes on you, the TLs/Authors were the one dropping their novel first, before I have the chance.
     
  8. Nimroth

    Nimroth Someone

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    I don't really like the idea of using the "sunk cost fallacy" for things outside of economics.
    Yes there is a lot of overlap, but if I'm halfway through a story and isn't really enjoying it, most of the time if I decide to continue it isn't going to be just because I already sunk all that time into reading it, but rather because I still see a possibility of me enjoying the rest of the story.
    That makes it just as much a matter of me gambling with prospective cost as it is about sunk cost.

    I still agree though that there is nothing wrong with dropping what you don't enjoy, regardless of what point you are at in the story.
     
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  9. MidstNost

    MidstNost 【Boss Lan's Simp】

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    That's the main thing why I like reading novels. You can stop it whenever you want; if you think it's too overwhelming or if a book gets bad, you have the ability to read something different. It's kind of the opposite of real life, since you can't actually stop living (at least temporarily and without any consequence) and you can't live anyone else's life but yours.
    If I had to complete a novel regardless of how bad it gets, then I'd probably hate books by now.
     
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  10. flowingcloud

    flowingcloud Well-Known Member

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    For once, I actually agree with Wuji (well not for the same reason though). I am probably the GOD of dropping novels. I drop novels left and right. I love picking up series, but honestly, after translating a series for a period of time, you either grow to love it or hate it. In the end, fk those who complain when they reading for free. Those who complain are the ones who have adblock on.
     
  11. Nightangle

    Nightangle Active Member

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    My reason for completing novels which were not really good was always the curosity about how the novel would end, as i use to enjoy the basic plot of the novel rather than enjoying each and every chapter of it. I would just read the whole novel in one sitting and end it there and then, only the plot mattered so even if the novel was shitty the curosity regarding how the plot may develop and end would keep me from leaving the novel.
    I used to not even look at novels that were not completed as even if i am doing something else my mind would be on how the plot would develop next. but as the number of completed novels became less and less, i started reading the incomplete ones too and my patience started growing leading to the current me who will drop the novels at the drop of a hat reason being the writing being not good, the mc being too OP, stupid startegies, the characters around mc being too annoying.. uhh the never ending list.
     
  12. Wujigege

    Wujigege *Christian*SIMP*Feminist*Comedian

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    Friend, Chingu, dosti, pengyo (Googles Japanese word for friend), Tomodachi, this is just a convoluted way of saying you are masochist.
    But aren't we all?
    [​IMG]

    Haha I don't really care if you agree with me since you are on my ignore list but have a nice year
     
  13. Fluffums

    Fluffums 【R-18 Researcher】【Seeker of Moe】

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    Were you talking about reading a novel, or translating? Either is fine, but.

    If a translator/author drops a novel or goes on hiatus or even has to start updating more slowly/irregularly, it would be extremely nice if they could put up a status update post somewhere people can see. Most readers would be understanding/supportive even if the reason is "I just don't have the motivation right now".

    Don't misunderstand me; it's not like I really wanted to read the next chapter or anything. I just wanted to be sure you didn't die in a ditch somewhere. Baka.
     
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  14. ToastedRossi

    ToastedRossi Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there's anything wrong with applying the sunk cost fallacy to other topics, so I can see the point. However I don't know how well it works for reading in general and especially not for web novels.

    Speaking specifically for myself, I used to almost always finish books I picked up but these were paper books and they tended to be 300 pages or fewer (usually 100-150K words). Shorter books like this don't take very much effort to finish so it's less a matter of looking at how much effort I've expended to that point, and more a question of how much effort is still left to expend on the story. If the book was 500+ pages (in the 250K word range) then the amount of effort is much greater, and I'd be way more likely to drop it.

    Switch this to long running web novels and the effort situation changes. The former is more like sitting through a bad film - we've all done it before, but hey, it's just an hour or two. The latter is more like coming back to bad TV show week after week. I'm sure that we've done this before as well, but the reasons for doing so are different - it's usually a combination of missing the old show we used to like, and out of habit. In fact, sunk cost fallacy would actually work better for talking about going to the theater for a bad film; after all you've already spent the money and expended the effort of going. But make that film 5-6 hours long and the effort equation changes, and a lot more people will be walking out on it.
     
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  15. AliceShiki

    AliceShiki 『Ms. Tree』『Alice is Friend, Not Food』

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    Well, personally speaking, I can totally relate to sunk cost fallacy in regards to reading.

    Like uhn... Naruto and Fairy Tail both had garbage-tier final arcs that lasted 200+ chapters and that had 0 engagement from me... Yet I kept reading them all the way until the end, mainly because I wanted to see how it ended.
    ... But seriously, I wasn't enjoying them in the slightest. I loved the mangas up until the final arc, but the final arcs were just horrible and not worth reading at all. Yet I read them anyways, week after week for 4ish years.

    Granted, I read it for free online, so I didn't spend a single cent (I would have totally dropped it if I was spending money on them), but I still sunk a huge amount of time in the story even though I wasn't enjoying it in the slightest and didn't really have any hopes of it getting better... I just wanted to see how it ended.

    So, to me, the sunk cost fallacy applies pretty well for stuff like reading novels...
     
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  16. Jojo775

    Jojo775 Well-Known Member

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    In my case I would endure so I would have all the facts and rant how disappointing the story is in a review. Not that I do that, but if I were instead of just dropping...
    I think there are novels so bad or so far from expectations that even completitionists will drop them if they aren't too deep right?
    This must suck for translators, if they translate for fun and pocket change. They picked it up because they enjoyed it and then they hit the downhill most commonly found around chapter 100, but now they have readers looking forward to more.
     
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  17. ToastedRossi

    ToastedRossi Well-Known Member

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    For translators I think it's super important to read the whole book before tackling a project. That way you wouldn't have to guess if it's going to be worth doing. If not then them's the risk.
     
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  18. Nimroth

    Nimroth Someone

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    Well, I might have worded my post slightly wrong, it isn't using the sunk cost fallacy in itself I have an issue with, it is whenever someone tries to reduce it only to that which I find problematic, since it is usually only a part of the problem.
    It does help to explain a lot when used with more nuance and there is certainly cases where I can relate to it myself, such as not dropping I Shall Seal the Heavens until like 700 chapters after I stopped enjoying it.
     
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  19. yserieh

    yserieh Well-Known Member

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    I agree, either is absolutely fine. Reading and non-paid translating are hobbies and something to be enjoyed. If people are being paid to translate, so long as they don't break a written contract (unless they can afford the plenty fees), they're free to drop projects. I've had a few TLers I support on Patreon drop projects, some I agree with and some I don't, but they don't really owe it to anyone to keep going. That's how burn out happens, even shoddy work. Most TLers are not bound by a contract and people can cancel their pledge if they disagree with the choice (for those on sites and support through Patreon, Ko-fi, etc).

    But I do agree with the opinion, they should probably read the entire novel first before jumping into translating it. I get some people don't like to re-read stories, but I feel like if the story is great, you shouldn't mind reading it a second time. It honestly helps with transcribing as you translate it, too.

    I've done my fair share of hate reading. Sometimes I do wish I would have moved on when I get to some of the endings. "Lady to Queen" being one of them. :sushi_sigh: Also, some of those novels have like 1000 chapters, but only 300 chapters of actual plot and rest is just some sort of coin/money grab (looking at you, Webnovel).
     
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  20. AliceShiki

    AliceShiki 『Ms. Tree』『Alice is Friend, Not Food』

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    Well... That only applies to finished novels, and translators often times work on ongoing novels, so... There's that.

    Not to mention the people that work with edited MTL, who are actually unable to read the raws directly, so they usually just edit the chapter for themselves, and then publish it online so that other people can read it.

    So uhn... I understand your point, but expecting the fantranslator to be proficient at the language and only translate completed novels is... A bit unrealistic I'd say.

    Granted, if you are good at the language and you do want to translate a novel that is already completed, I totally agree that you should read it all the way until the end before translating it. I just don't think this situation is that frequent.
     
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