We've all come across them. Stories that suck you in and keep you up way too late at night because you simply can't stop reading. You need to know what happens and you can't rest until you do. Then, you get this sickening feeling deep down in your gut when you reach the final chapter and find things unresolved, only to realize in horror that the story hasn't been updated in five years and the author has been missing for almost just as long. Sometimes there is an excuse listed and sometimes the story is simply abandoned without reason. You've just been duped into reading an unfinished fanfic.
This is one of my biggest pet peeves. One of my pet peeves is also even using the term pet peeves, but it really does apply here. If you are going to post a story, finish it! Now, admittedly there are some unfinished stories out there that I don't really care weren't finished because they weren't that good. But there are some that while incomplete, are so great that I'd read them again even knowing in advance I'm going to be left hanging. I also will hold onto some shred of hope that maybe, somehow the author will come back and finish it for us to finally give us the closure we've been waiting for for years.
Here are a few examples off the top of my head: "While You Were Gone" by Stonedrose. I might even say that this is the most tragic of the tragically unfinished. If you haven't read it, the idea is that they didn't find Han when he was frozen in carbonite. At least not until seven years later when I think it was Lando who finally found him and thawed him out and he has no idea what's been happening or that he was gone for so long. If you haven't read it, I am going to cautiously recommend it because you already know it's not finished, but what is there is just so, so good. So if you plan on reading, skip some of this because here are some spoilers: Han finds out Leia has a son and she's with this other guy named Simon. Han eventually finds out that the boy is his and Leia has been trying to move on but of course it's difficult. Simon turns out to be not such a great guy and he wants to take Han out and Han is stabbed and left bleeding to death... and that is where we are left. This story has been abandoned since something like 2004. It is painful that it hasn't been finished. The author apparently is still around though either not writing fanfic or is off in another genre. The excuse is that the computer died and the files were destroyed and she lost the motivation to finish it. It is, as I said, tragic. Seriously, even just tell someone what you were going to do with it and let someone else write it, but please finish this story!
"The Not Quite Love Letters" by limelight. This is just such a fun story to read. It is mostly told through messages sent between Han and Leia starting from very early on in their relationship up until they are together. Think of it like reading e-mails or instant messages. It's great. And it is unfinished. This one isn't quite as painful to see unfinished only because honestly when I first started reading it I wasn't really under the impression that there was ever supposed to be an "end" of the story, but written just as glimpses of what they might say to each other. And given the timeframe, we already kind of know the end of the story. But it still isn't any fun when someone just leaves a story untouched for a good five years! The author has said once or twice that she will someday finish it, but it's getting a little tough to believe. Regardless of its status, if you haven't read it, please go do so.
"In Name Only" by ladypadme. This one I think you can only read on theforce.net message boards. It starts with a not uncommon scenario where Han and Leia have to pose as a married couple. I think in this case they even have to be legally married. Things progress as you might imagine they would but it is definitely a story that sucks you in and makes you want to know what happened. And then it just stops. The author said something about how she had submitted it to some archive on the forum there and it was turned down and that made her not really feel like finishing it. That's just cruel and spiteful. Seriously, write the story for yourself and don't let anyone stop you from finishing it. Don't string people along and then not finish.
These are just three examples of stories that have been seemingly abandoned indefinitely. I can't stand it when stories are left unfinished. And I always hold out this naive hope that someday the person might come back but I don't think that's actually going to happen. I know there are others out there. What other stories have you read and then just felt your heart fall into your stomach when you realized you weren't going to get to find out how it ended?