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Playing With: Author Existence Failure
Basic Trope: A primary creator of a work dies or abandons the work before it's completed.
  • Straight: After working for many years on his Cash Cow Franchise series Long Runner, Bob suffers a heart attack and dies.
  • Exaggerated: Bob's fatal heart attack happened while Long Runner was still in Development Hell, so it was never even produced/published/broadcast.
  • Downplayed: Bob is still alive and well, but he suffered a Writer's Block (or other Creator Breakdown) and stopped working on Long Runner, leaving the story on a cliffhanger ending.
  • Justified:
    • Reality Ensues; creators of works (famous and otherwise) are mortal, and subject to any number of cruel and unusual deaths, illnesses, family problems, etc.
    • Bob wants to move on and do something different.
    • Or he regards that work as something of an Old Shame.
  • Inverted: Bob was presumed dead after a ship-wreck. After his series got wrapped up once he made it back to civilization years later he restarted his series, retconning the end to Just A Dream. He includes a thanks to the well-meaning author who finished he series in the dedication.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob is diagnosed with cancer, and his prognosis is very poor. He immediately sets to work finding a way to finish Long Runner or have someone finish it for him.
    • Or he puts the series on hiatus, just in case he does survive.
    • Or he does die before finishing his work, but lives long enough to write a conclusion for an adaptation of the same work.
    • Bob dies quite suddenly and out of the blue, but he has an ending and conclusion prepared for Long Runner just in case anything should happen to him.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Something about the Re Tool (the rushed way the plot is suddenly moving, a new writer's...interesting spin on things, etc.) leads to the series Jumping the Shark and being canceled prematurely.
    • Bob survives months (or even years) of aggressive chemo and radiation therapy, surgery, etc. and has decided that continuing the work is no longer of importance to him, or that his energy levels are still too low to work effectively, or that there's no point in picking up where he left off.
    • Bob was hoping he'd pull through and be able to pick up where he left off, but he tragically did not survive.
  • Parodied: Bob is spending a year dead for tax reasons
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: Bob is alive and well, and continuing his work on Long Runner.
  • Enforced: Real Life Writes the Plot
  • Lampshaded: "This series could not be finished due to Bob's death."
  • Invoked: Bob is diagnosed with cancer, and his prognosis is very poor. Meanwhile, Long Runner is still the most popular show on TV.
  • Exploited: Bob was getting tired of Long Runner anyway. The cancer diagnosis is an opportunity to intentionally make the series suck, in hopes that it will lose Ratings and get cancelled so he doesn't have to deal with it anymore.
  • Defied:
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: "So, I heard the creator of Long Runner passed away. I wonder what will become of the show?" "Maybe the series will continue, or maybe it will die with him. It's been going on a little too long for its own good anyway."
  • Implied: We know little about the author's life and have only a few fragments of his oldest work. Whether he died or it was complete but partially lost is unknown.
  • Played For Laughs: A Gainax Ending ends up resulting from the Cosmic Deadline.
  • Played For Drama: The son of the author continues a partially finished work. Grief stricken and feeling that he can't match his style he writes 'Unraveling as a semi-official conclusion. It is a dark tale about the collapse of reality after the death of god. Gaps in the story are left in, multiple considered outcomes are put back to back. The gaps and unresolved plot-holes receive an acknowledgement as characters are downright terrified at the implications. The whole thing ends in a Time Crash.

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