Created By: Hadashi on October 27, 2011 Last Edited By: ArcadesSabboth on January 3, 2015
Troped

Extremely Lengthy Creation

A list of works that took decades to create.

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Main
Page Type:
Trope
A work's size, of course, rarely hints at the lengths an author went to to write, compile, and pass the trial-by-fire that is publication.

As a general rule this trope covers anything that took more than ten years to write or make, or that involved some truly labyrinthine process, or simply because of Development Hell. While a publicised work is trapped in an Extremely Lengthy Creation it is often comes to be considered Vapor Ware. Occasionally this can be a very good thing as having a long time to think about your creation can result in a worthy Magnum Opus, however spending too long on something can result in a work that is completely overwrought and filled with flaws that you don't notice because you have spent so long looking at whatever it is that you become blind to your own mistakes and used to your Purple Prose and alliterative grammar.

This trope is divided into three categories:

  • In-Universe Examples: These examples occur within a work; if the book is about Sue's decade-long fight to finish her Magnum Opus, it goes here.

  • Normal Examples: This category is for examples of works that took a long time to complete relative to the medium used. For example, if it is a book up to five years is relatively average for a first novel and one-two years for anything after that. As a general rule, anything over six years for a novel and ten years for a door-stopper should be listed. If the book was planned in advance to, say, document a long period of time, it doesn't count unless it over-runs significantly.

  • Delayed Creation: This is for works where the creator had their initial idea years before, but didn't start working on it properly for a long time. This can be because they lacked the technology, the money, the time, or the motivation, or they needed some sort of epiphany to get the creation started. Note: Beware of adding examples that are really Vapour Ware.

A series that is just incredibly long-running is a Long Runner.


[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:In-Universe Examples]]

Film

Literature
  • In Middlemarch by George Eliot, Rev. Casaubon's life's work, an unfinished book The Key to All Mythologies, is intended as a monument to the tradition of Christian syncretism. It turns out that this life's work is useless as he is behind on current studies (he doesn't read German, so his scholarship is incomplete). We also learn he is aware of this but has put too much time into his research to admit it to anyone else.
  • "Leaf by Niggle" by J. R. R. Tolkien: The title character Niggle starts to paint a forest, and after many years, dies and leaves a painting of a leaf. (One wonders if it expressed JRRT's experience of writing The Silmarillion.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Normal Examples]]

Anime and Manga
  • Phoenix by Osamu Tezuka took decades.
  • Hunter × Hunter As of 2011, Yoshihiro Togashi has been drawing it for 10 years and is still not finished. It is not a particularly lengthy series compared to its Shonen Jump brethren, but rather, Togashi took so many long breaks, one of which was 15 months, that it has taken this long to make it.

Comics
  • Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk. First issue dated February 2006, second issue April 2006 ... third issue May 2009. Three years. Apparently, after the intial delays, they decided they might as well hold onto it until the remaining issues were complete.
  • Planetary: A 27-issue, supposedly bi-monthly comic that somehow took over a decade to complete, the longest gap being between the final two issues (dated Dec 2006 and Dec 2009).

Fan Films
  • The Doctor Who Fan Film "Devious" has been in production since before 1996. (They got Jon Pertwee to reprise his role as the 3rd Doctor, in what was possibly his last filmed performance.)

Film -- Animated

Literature
  • The Bible took millennia -- though it is, in actual fact, far more than one book.
  • Dictionaries; they are always a work in progress. Examples get updated, new ones are added, old ones are removed, and it can go on for centuries. In fact, the only thing that really stops the process is when a publisher decides not to release any new editions or goes out of business.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien:
    • Wrote The Lord of the Rings between 1937 and 1949. Didn't finish the appendices and final edits until 1955.
    • Started work on what would become The Silmarillion in 1914. After his death in 1973 it still wasn't finished, so his son Christopher Tolkien continued working on it and it was finally published in 1977.
  • It took Stephen King decades to finish The Dark Tower series.
  • Charles Darwin left his book On The Origin Of Species in a drawer for almost 20 years before finally publishing it out of concern for how it would be received (which, as history has proven, was very much justified). Indeed he intended for it to be published posthumously until Alfred Wallace had a similar theory and Darwin had to publish it or lose credit for his life's work.
  • Witness of Gor, the 26th novel in the Gor series was stuck in Development Hell for 13 years.
  • The Shelters of Stone, book 5 of the Earth's Children series too 12 years. Jane Auel really likes to do the research.
  • Orson Scott Card, in general, starts up a book series, and then gets sidetracked and starts writing side stories, new series, or something else entirely.
    • Children of the Mind came out in 1996, and despite fans wanting to know what happens next, Card wrote a ton of prequels.
    • It took seven years to make the fifth book of the Shadow prequel series.
    • He co-wrote Lovelock with Kathryn H. Kidd in 1994. It's supposed to be part one of The Mayflower Trilogy, and the second book still isn't out.
    • The Crystal City, sixth book of the Alvin Maker series, came out in 2003. Book seven, Master Alvin, is still in the works.
  • 3001: The Final Odyssey took Arthur C. Clarke ten years to write.
  • Gordon Dickson's Childe Cycle had a great scope: a book series that spanned humanity's development, that would have included not only several sci-fi novels, but historical and contemporary works as well. However, Dickson focused more on the Science Fiction novels, and died before he even got a chance to finish his work.
  • Robert A. Heinlein started working on a novel in the style of his juveniles and set his notes aside. Years after his death, those notes were passed on to Spider Robinson, who turned them into the book, Variable Star.
  • House of Leaves took ten years to write.
  • James Joyce spent seventeen years writing Finnegans Wake.
  • Harry Potter took seven years of planning and organizing before Jo Rowling published the first book.
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell took a decade to write. Author Susanna Clarke has spoken about ideas for a sequel, but it's been in Development Hell since then.

Music

  • Brian Wilson's album SMiLE: Production started in 1966 while Wilson was with the Beach Boys, the album was finally released in 2004.

Music
  • Guns N' Roses, Chinese Democracy: Production began in 1994, and the actual album was released in 2008.
[[/folder]]

Theatre and Opera [[/folder]]

Video Games
  • Duke Nukem Forever took 13 years to develop. The answer to whether its quality after those years was worth the wait varies.
  • Team Fortress 2 took Valve nine years to make and were damn close to spending ten on it. The devs were working on Team Fortress 2 after they made Team Fortress Classic. Then they became part of Valve and started working on a Goldsource version, then constantly changed everything around until they released it in 2007.

[[folder:Delayed Creation]]

Film
  • Inception was in Christopher Nolan's mind for years before he finally made the film.
  • James Cameron started to work on the film that would eventually become Avatar almost right after Titanic was finished in 1997. Unfortunately, because he kept waiting for the technology to catch up to his vision, people started to place it on lists of "movies that will never be made."

Literature
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: C. S. Lewis first pictured the faun from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when he was sixteen. He finished the book when he was fifty.
  • The sequel to the first Indiana Jones trilogy had been planned for over a decade, but it had to wait for a plot that all the major players (Spielberg, Harrison Ford, etc.) felt was worthy of the title character.
  • Elie Wiesel waited ten years before writing about his experiences during the holocaust, as he felt he was was too close to it emotionally 'to see clearly'. The first manuscript for what would become Night was more than 850 pages. He spent the next few years whittling it down to just a lean 116 pages for the American publication.
  • The Sholan Alliance by Lisanne Norman: The first book was published in 1993, the 7th in 2003. The eighth book wasn't published until 2010. Some of the delays can be traced to the author moving from England to the Eastern U.S.A., then to the Pacific Coast.
[[/folder]]


Community Feedback Replies: 104
  • October 27, 2011
    Hadashi
    Been reading Narnia and recalled that it took Lewis decades from his initial idea. Dunno if either trope is troppable though.
  • October 27, 2011
    DRCEQ
    You might want to:

    • A: Change the title to reflect that this trope is only about literature,
    • B: Allow for other media examples,
    • C: Mention Development Hell, Vapor Ware, and any other trope that covers other forms of media that takes years to develop
    • D: Any combonation of the above.
  • October 27, 2011
    Shnakepup
  • October 27, 2011
    TechUnadept
  • October 28, 2011
    randomsurfer
    The Doctor Who Fan Film "Devious" has been in production since before 1996. The might finish it by the end of 2011.
  • October 28, 2011
    Tuomas
    If this is launched, it should be in the Trivia section, as the length of producing a work is not a "trope".
  • October 28, 2011
    Arivne
    I don't understand why this should only be about literature. Why not include films, TV shows and so on that took a long time to create?

    Literature
  • October 28, 2011
    Hadashi
    I'm also more than a bit confused as to why he thinks this is a 'literature only' trope. I did write the trope out using literary terms, but that sort of thing is rather common on here. After all, Trapped In TV Land isn't just about TV examples, is it?

    However, mentioning Development Hell and Vapor Ware is a good idea.
  • October 28, 2011
    peccantis
    Are insanely long series ok?
  • October 28, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    How about in-universe examples? I think there's a general idea that some people work for years and years on some magnum opus; in the US this is often called "the Great American Novel".

    Specifically, in George Eliot's Middlemarch, Rev. Casaubon's life's work, an unfinished book The Key to All Mythologies, is intended as a monument to the tradition of Christian syncretism. It turns out that this life's work is useless as he is behind on current studies (he doesn't read German, so his scholarship is incomplete). We also learn he is aware of this but has put too much time into his research to admit it to anyone else.
  • October 28, 2011
    Hadashi
    "Are insanely long series ok?"

    Ah, I think we've come to a snag. I think we should make that a separate trope or we'll risk massive Trope Decay. However, I see no reason why we cannot have one list for in-universe examples, one for regular examples, and make the series thing another trope. I think Nearly Endless Sequels would be a good name.

    Unless everyone is happy to have a Super Trope with three sub-categories?

    There are some programs that have numbers of episodes that are truly insane, as well as one or two like Doctor Who that have been around for so long that the latest actors grew up watching it.
  • October 28, 2011
    Bisected8
    See Vapourware for when such a work has yet to be published.

    • Charles Darwin left his book On The Origin Of Species in a draw for almost 20 years before finally publishing it out of concern for how it would be received (which, as history has proven, was very much justified). Indeed he intended for it to be published posthumously until someone else had a similar idea and he had to publish it or lose credit for his life's work.
  • October 28, 2011
    Frank75
    Might be related to Magnum Opus.
  • October 28, 2011
    randomsurfer
    • In Universe, the eponymous Mr Hollands Opus. Mr. Holland takes a temp job teaching music appreciation in a high shool to support himself while working on his opus - and it still isn't done 30 years later when his position is terminated, but that doesn't stop his former students from coming together to perform it at his retirement party.
    • Witness of Gor, the 26th novel in the Gor series. Stuck in Development Hell for 13 years.
    • The Shelters of Stone, book 5 of the Earths Children series. 12 years. Author Auel really likes to do the reserch.
  • October 28, 2011
    Hadashi
    Added, thanks.
  • October 28, 2011
    Duncan
    A long series is just one of the Long Runners
  • October 28, 2011
    Hadashi
    Thanks for that, you've saved quite a bit of work. :)
  • October 28, 2011
    arromdee
    Osamu Tezuka's Phoenix took decades.
  • October 28, 2011
    peccantis
    Well it's one thing if it's a multi-creator series, but there are stuff like one author writing a 20-part series as well.
  • October 28, 2011
    nman
    • Team Fortress 2 took Valve nine years to make. It's not 10 years, but damn is it close.
    • Orson Scott Card, in general, starts up a book series, and then gets sidetracked and starts writing side stories, new series, or something else entirely.
      • Children of the Mind came out in 1996, and despite fans wanting to know what happens next, Card wrote a ton of prequels.
        • If that isn't bad enough, it took seven years to make the fifth book of the "Shadow" prequel series.
      • He co-wrote Lovelock with Kathryn H. Kidd in 1994. It's supposed to be part one of "The Mayflower Trilogy", and the second book still isn't out.
      • The sixth book of the Alvin Maker series, The Crystal City, came out in 2003. Book seven, Master Alvin, is still in the works.
    • 3001: The Final Odyssey took ten years for Arthur C Clarke to write.
  • October 28, 2011
    dotchan
    We currently have the videogame sub-variant as Saved From Development Hell, I believe.
  • October 28, 2011
    ThreeferFAQMinorityChick
    The Thief And The Cobbler should go on this page. It started off as Richard Williams's intended magnum opus and spent about 30 years in Development Hell before Miramax took over, kicked Richard Williams off the problems, and remade it into a musical.
  • October 28, 2011
    DorianMode
    An architecture example is Barcelona's Sagrada FamĂ­lia Cathedral: begun in 1882, scheduled for completion in 2026, on the hundredth anniversary of the architect, Antonio GaudĂ­, 's Death. So far, it looks pretty neat. Would kinda suck if they put the last brick in place and then everyone decides it sucks.
  • October 28, 2011
    CharacterInWhite
    Didn't Inception stay at the screenplay stage for a decade or so? I know Theres No Such Thing As Notability but I feel like I need another source to confirm that rumour. I might've read it somewhere or I might be crazy.
  • October 28, 2011
    peccantis
    Not to be confused with Development Hell.
  • October 28, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Mr Holland's Opus is Film, not Literature. Also I updated my reply re Devious - it's been in production since before 1996. (They got Jon Pertwee to reprise his role as the 3rd Doctor, in what was possibly his last filmed performance.)
  • October 29, 2011
    NetMonster
    Inception was in Nolan's mind for years before he finally made the film.
  • October 29, 2011
    Omeganian
    The Master And Margarita opera took Alexander Gradsky 30 years
  • October 29, 2011
    IsaacSapphire
    The name needs work, as the current one seems to be more about the length of the work than the length of time it took to make it.
  • October 30, 2011
    DisasterFrog
    Miyazaki took 16 years to fully develop the characters and plot of Princess Mononoke.
  • October 30, 2011
    Hadashi
    "* Team Fortress 2 took Valve nine years to make. It's not 10 years, but damn is it close."

    Do you mean it took nine years to code or nine years before they released a sequel?

    "The name needs work, as the current one seems to be more about the length of the work than the length of time it took to make it."

    I'm not really sure how. If you were very pedantic, maybe.
  • October 30, 2011
    GreenMachine
  • October 30, 2011
    Hadashi
    Many Years In The Making is the best so far, but I think it is a little too vague.
  • October 30, 2011
    Premonition45
    The Thief And The Cobbler is a tragic example.
  • October 30, 2011
    Gatomon41
    • Gordon Dickson's Childe Cycle had a great scope: a book series that spanned humanity'd development, that would have included not only several sf novels, but historical and contemporary works as well. However, Dickson focused more on the Science Fiction novels, and died before he even got a chance to finish his work.
  • October 30, 2011
    Hadashi
    This is really going well, thanks everyone!
  • October 30, 2011
    nman
    Yeah, Hidashi, the devs were working on Team Fortress 2 after they made Team Fortress Classic. Then they became part of Valve and started working on a Goldsource version, then constantly changed everything around until they released it in 2007.
  • October 31, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    I was looking over "Extremely Delayed Creation", and trying to figure out where to put this one: Robert Graves' 1934 book I Claudius wasn't adapted to a visual medium (television) until the mid 1970s, though producer Alexander Korda began a film version starring Charles Laughton and Merle Oberon in 1937. The film was abandoned after Oberon was injured in a car accident.
  • November 1, 2011
    peccantis
  • November 1, 2011
    Tuomas
    Inception was in Nolan's mind for years before he finally made the film.

    I think this is a bad example. With any given artist, it's quite likely that they have many different ideas in their mind that they might toy with for years, before they actually realize them. It's the way creative process works. This article should be about works that the artists were actively working on (writing/directing/producing/composing/etc) for years, otherwise you could add a kazillion different examples to the list.
  • November 1, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Avatar. Written in 1994, came out in 2009. Director James Cameron had to wait for FX technology to catch up to his vision.
  • November 1, 2011
    MarkKB
    I think the summary should be rephrased to de-emphasise a specific length of time and emphasise that the time it took to make should be long relative to the expectations for that type of work. (For example, most Fan Fic that, ahem, actually get finished don't usually take more than a year to complete, so fanfic examples should be generally be exceedingly longer than that, but not necessarily ten years worth.)

    ^^Inception should probably be moved to the Extremely Delayed Creation section, in that case.
  • November 2, 2011
    Hadashi
    "and trying to figure out where to put this one: Robert graves' 1934 book I Claudius"

    If they had released it, that would be under film. The medium they are trying to create it in is the medium it is listed under. However, since it was never released it is Vapourware. Sorry.

    "I think this is a bad example."

    Ooops, sorry, it's in the wrong section. Fixed.

    "I think the summary should be rephrased to de-emphasise a specific length of time and emphasise that the time it took to make should be long relative to the expectations for that type of work."

    Ok, I'll fix it.

    EDIT

    I've started adding folder tags, but I won't turn the titles into folders until launch as it doesn't work in YKTTW, just for the sake of making it easier for me to read.
  • November 2, 2011
    LeeM
    • Lin Carter spent several years proclaiming that his epic novel Khymyrium (sp?) was going to be a masterpiece. Then he died, after only a few novella-sized extracts had been published.

    • Troper Works: This troper's Ketrin, which he began writing in 1999. Something like 300,000 words and 12 years later it's still not finished, and when it is he'll still have to edit it properly for continuity.
  • November 2, 2011
    bulmabriefs144
    Ugh, the game I'm working on now... But don't add that.
  • November 2, 2011
    randomsurfer
    ^I just lost.
  • November 3, 2011
    surgoshan
    • Robert Heinlein started working on a novel in the style of his juveniles and set his notes aside. Years after his death, those notes were passed on to Spider Robinson, who turned them into the book, Variable Star.
  • November 3, 2011
    NateTheGreat
    I think this is really three different tropes:
    • A. It really does take a long LONG time to make. People were working on it full-time. There weren't any gaps due to creator changes or running out of money like the next categories.
    • B. It was a pet project for the creator. Something they can tinker with in between more prominent projects.
    • C. Work stopped for years over and over due to budgetary concerns, the creator dying and they need to find someone to assume the reigns, etc.
  • November 3, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Film:
    • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - not sure if this counts, but apparently a sequel to the first India Jones trilogy had been planned for over a decade, but it had to wait for a plot that all the major players (Spielberg, Harrison Ford, etc.) felt was worthy of the title character.

    Literature:
  • November 3, 2011
    ZombieAladdin
    Anime And Manga: As of 2011, Yoshihiro Togashi has been drawing Hunter X Hunter for 10 years and is still not finished. It is not a particularly lengthy series compared to its Shonen Jump brethren, but rather, Togashi took so many long breaks, one of which was 15 months, that it has taken this long to make it.
  • November 3, 2011
    sliz225
    Way of the Kings
  • November 3, 2011
    ChimbleySweep
    Elie Wiesel waited ten years before writing about his experiences during the holocaust, as he felt he was was too close to it emotionally 'to see clearly'. The first manuscript for what would become Night was more than 850 pages. He spent the next few years whittling it down to just a lean 116 pages for the American publication.
  • November 3, 2011
    MorganWick
    Nate's C would need to be distinguished from Development Hell, if it can be.
  • November 4, 2011
    NateTheGreat
    Probably it can't, but my main point was that we're getting examples of start-and-stop development times and "it's not right yet, it needs more work" projects.
  • November 4, 2011
    ArtFever
    Guns N Roses' Chinese Democracy - production began in 1994, the actual album was released in 2008.
  • November 5, 2011
    DaibhidC
    Two Comic Book examples, which I think are both Category B in Nate's classifications (possibly edging into C):
    • Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk. First issue dated February 2006, second issue April 2006 ... third issue May 2009. Three years. Apparently, after the intial delays, they decided they might as well hold onto it until the remaining issues were complete.
    • Planetary ... dear lord, Planetary. A 27-issue, supposedly bi-monthly comic that somehow took over a decade to complete, the longest gap being between the final two issues (dated Dec 2006 and Dec 2009).
  • November 5, 2011
    Hadashi
    "
    • Lin Carter spent several years proclaiming that his epic novel Khymyrium (sp?) was going to be a masterpiece. Then he died, after only a few novella-sized extracts had been published.
    • Troper Works: This troper's Ketrin, which he began writing in 1999. Something like 300,000 words and 12 years later it's still not finished, and when it is he'll still have to edit it properly for continuity.
    "

    I'm sorry about this, but anything promised but unpublished is Vapour Ware....

    "Way of the Kings"

    Can you elaborate a bit? :)

    "Nate's classifications"

    Nate, I'm loath to subdivide this any more, at the moment we are looking at one super-trope or three regular tropes. There still seems to be some confusion over what examples fit here and I'm not sure how complicated your system would make this. I think the types may also need some work, even if they remain in-trope, especially since the period of time that is actually needed to create something, and how long a creator actually spent on it, are already a highly subjective things.

  • November 6, 2011
    NateTheGreat
    I didn't intend to make it complicated, it just seemed to me that we're getting multiple tropes lumped together without adequate reason.

  • November 7, 2011
    Folamh3
  • November 7, 2011
    Hadashi
    Fair enough, Nate, when I launch I'll split it into three tropes and you can try out your system on them as major categories. How's that?
  • November 7, 2011
    TBeholder
    @ Tuomas

    Yeah, not a trope.
  • November 8, 2011
    NateTheGreat
    Oh no, I've caused too much trouble as it is. Besides, my categories are Sister Tropes, not "so close only a soft split is necessary." I wash my hands of it.
  • November 8, 2011
    spikebrennan
    Music: Brian Wilson's album "S Mi LE" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smile_(Brian_Wilson_album)). Production started in 1966 while Wilson was with the Beach Boys, the album was finally released in 2004.

  • November 8, 2011
    Hadashi
    Beholder: I'm going to leave it for the moment as I think we may be able to quantify an limit it, any suggestions?
  • November 9, 2011
    Hadashi
    Anyone have any suggestions as to how to organise this trope now?
  • November 10, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    In re adapting I Claudius: "I'm sorry about this, but anything promised but unpublished is Vapour Ware...." See, the thing is, it did get adapted into a visual medium (i.e. television); a miniseries drawn from both it and its sequel Claudius the God was done circa 1976. Besides, TV wasn't a widespread viable medium in the 1930s. Aside from length and the means for displaying the moving images, how different is it? Can't some projects get caught up in changing technology, much as Cameron had to await sufficient tech development to make Avatar?
  • November 10, 2011
    crazysamaritan
    This looks more like trivia than trope. Yes, it happens, but people also sit on couches.
  • November 10, 2011
    OmarKarindu
    And no one's mentioned Marcel Proust yet?
  • November 12, 2011
    Hadashi
    Who's that?

    69Bookworm, this is one of the reasons I didn't want to split this trope, I have no idea where to put that....
  • November 13, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    Yeah, I don't think it should be split either. You could have a folder for multiple media or simply called "Other" in Extremely Delayed Creation.
  • November 14, 2011
    nitrokitty
    How has A Song Of Ice And Fire not been mentioned yet?
  • November 17, 2011
    DeusExBiotica
    Are the soft splits needed? The first type has very few example, and might need a folder at most. And the third type seems to be Development Hell, full stop.

    The middle type, however, is noteworthy in and of itself.
  • March 3, 2012
    pokedude10
    It's been Four months since this draft was active, and drafts are considered Up For Grabs after two months.

    I'm going to go ahead and get this ready for launch.
  • March 3, 2012
    nman
    Wow, this is a weird case of Deja Vu for me, because I completely thought this was already launched, it's so strange to see this pop up again.
  • March 3, 2012
    Alvin
    Since Tolkien has been mentioned how about in Literature an In-Universe example (probably trope and not trivia) 'Leaf by Niggle' a Tolkien story about a guy taking a long time to finish a painting. Another in-universe one might be 'Tristam Shandy', whicch I've never gotten around to reading but which I've heard presents itself as an autobioraphy whose author can't finish.
  • March 3, 2012
    pokedude10
    ^ Can you phrase that in the form of an example?
  • March 3, 2012
    Alvin
    ^ Is this better? Literature: In-Universe: 'Leaf by Niggle' by J. R. R. Tolkien: The title character Niggle starts to paint a painting of a forest, and after many years, dies and leaves a painting of a leaf. 'The Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy' by Laurence Sterne: The title character finds his autobiography is taking a lot of time to write. 'The Oxford Companion to the English Language' says that the Sterne work was published in four volumes in 1759, 1761, 1765, and 1767; so maybe it counts the other way, too.

  • March 3, 2012
    pokedude10
    ^ Thank you.
  • March 3, 2012
    KevinKlawitter
    James Cameron started to work on the film that would eventually become Avatar almost right after Titanic was finished in 1997. It was in Development Hell for so long some people placed it on lists of "movies that will never be made".

    Note: linked image could possibly be used as the page image.
  • March 3, 2012
    Koveras
    @pokedude10: Nice Job Breaking It Hero: This could have been a Self Demonstrating Article if you hadn't bumped it for a few more months...
  • March 4, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    Axl Rose's Chinese Democracy album. For a long time "Chinese Democracy" was used as a euphemism for a work no one expected to ever be completed.
  • March 4, 2012
    Jordan
    Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell took a decade to write. Several years back, the author had spoken about ideas for a sequel, but I believe because of the author's ill health, it's been in Development Hell since then.
  • March 4, 2012
    pokedude10
    @Koveras: Well.... Since the average time for a good Ykttw draft is 1-2 weeks, this might still count.
  • March 4, 2012
    Kayube
    How is this different from Development Hell exactly? Is it just that this one specifies a specific length of time, and so is sort of similar to Long Runners? Is it that Development Hell works are given an initial release date relatively soon after the announcement and then repeatedly delayed, while this describes works where it's never sure when it'll come out? Or is it that Development Hell works spend most of their development time after being announced, whereas this describes works that spend a lot of time in the preliminary stages, then finally get announced to actually be coming out at which point they're released in a reasonable length of time afterwards?
  • March 4, 2012
    nman
    ^I think this is closest to Saved From Development Hell.
  • March 4, 2012
    TomWalpertac2
    Delayed creation: Literature
    • The Sholan Alliance by Lisanne Norman: The first book was published in 1993, the 7th in 2003. The eighth book wasn't published until 2010. Some of the delays can be traced to the author moving from England to the Eastern US, then to the Pacific Coast.
  • January 20, 2013
    SoItBegins
    I recommend fusing this into Saved From Development Hell, renaming that page to this.
  • January 20, 2013
    ArcadesSabboth
    Hm, this is an odd one. In-universe, it's clearly a trope. Yet all the out-of-universe examples are Trivia, not a trope.
  • June 13, 2013
    YeOldeLuke
    I like the irony in how dang long it's taken us to launch this YMMV.
  • June 14, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    I haven't caught up in the launching discussion, but I would like to point out something for one of the examples: Tezuka's Phoenix not only ran long in development, but is an unfinished work due to Author Existence Failure.
  • June 14, 2013
    ArcadesSabboth
    This isn't YMMV. It's Trivia.

    See also: Development Hell (I know it's mentioned in the discussion but you could list it as a related trope at the end too.)

    But other than that, it looks ready to launch.
  • June 15, 2013
    Laukku
    So, how exactly does this differ from Saved From Development Hell?
  • June 25, 2013
    Shakuran13
    Would Naruto or One Piece count as these, since they've been running for so long?
  • June 25, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Those are just examples of Long Runners.
  • June 25, 2013
    Prfnoff
    The Ring Of The Nibelung had its full premiere in 1876, 28 years after Richard Wagner began to develop Siegfrieds Tod (Siegfried's Death), which spawned prequels long before it was finished as Götterdämmerung.
  • July 6, 2013
    rcmerod52
    • Troper Tales: This troper's Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Crossover Fan Fic had the entirety of case 2 fully written, but it was never released. It was eventually lost when switching laptops. Right now, even with the fanfic under creation, it is still hard to rewrite what was lost years ago. Example of Delayed Creation.
  • July 7, 2013
    NESBoy
    Here's an in-universe example:

    • Mario And Luigi Superstar Saga features a crazy old man named Bubbles, who had been telling jokes to his legendary Chuckola Reserve soda for 1,000 years.
  • August 11, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    Bump. This seems launchready; any reason not to proceed?
  • August 12, 2013
    Arivne
    One problem is that as written, it includes both In Universe examples (which are a trope) and Real Life examples, which are Trivia and not a trope. It should be one or the other.
  • August 12, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    I would classify this as Trivia. There is no real difference between Out of Universe examples and In Universe ones.
  • August 12, 2013
    DAN004
    Uh, this has much overlap with Development Hell (and Saved From Development Hell), AFAICS. So can someone explain to me how this isn't a duplicate trope?

    A.k.a We Have This I Swear
  • August 12, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    Development Hell is caused by a troublesome production. This one doesn't have to be, but checking the examples for overlap is necessary.
  • January 2, 2015
    pokedude10
    Alright... it's been almost two years since this was active, and ironically, this still isn't launched. I'm starting to wonder if this is a Self Demonstrating Article intentionally. This is Up For Grabs... again, so I'll pick it up and get rolling... again

    But anyways I'm going to try to launch this... again. I think the debate between this and Development Hell is settled. They are similar, but separate. I'm going to to a quick example check to make sure there's no major overlap.

    Hats are good, and I don't see any real problems. Septimus Heap classified it as Trivia, and I agree. I'll start the launch process and make the page. Do Not press the launch button.

    I'm waiting until tomorrow to completely launch and crosswick it. Just in case of any last minute comments/issues.

    Edit: Page is up

  • January 3, 2015
    pokedude10
    Launching in 3...2...1
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=dq64syn8lsx3chwsrpq09gmf