Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#1
Hello there!
I abandoned this site and just start to post again. I overwrote the earlier chapters and reupload the edited ones due to not realizing I actually have those in my draft, but as it already happened I just go with it.

Then there is it, my story got a 2.5-star rating as its first and only rating.
It's too high to be a troll rating, so I assume the giver was serious. Yes, I admit my writing is horrendous, and I don't even speak English in the first place.

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The thing that pissed me of the most is the rating giver did not even specify for what reason, in particular, they give it. They only gave overall score without filling out the details. Is this common practice?

So, getting your first rating being abysmal is everyone's nightmare and nobody wants to read a story with a low rating, it will stay that way. The question is as the rating stay and I have nothing to tell on how should I improve it, should I delete my story and reupload it as it is doomed now? It's still five chapters and have chapters queued up to eleventh. Will the staff accept reuploaded story?

Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#3
You have tree followers man, that’s three people that want to read you work, and only one that doesn’t. In the end it is up to you but I say keep pushing, you can only get better as you write more, and those three followers are more important than one rating. 

Remember this is the internet and most people have no idea how much work it is to write a story, and so they have no respect for it.

The first rating I got was a .5 on SOH homecoming, and it took a month to get up to a respectable rating, but now I have a 4.42 and almost 80 ratings, most of which are 4 star and up, so it is possible to come back from a bad initial rating.

TLDR: keep writing, and don’t bother with the ratings, if someone is reading and enjoying it then that is good enough.

Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#5
Step 1 take a deep breath
Step 2 relax the breath and tell us clearly your main language, its unlikely I know it but someone here might.
Having friends will help you enjoy the site more ... so post that tid bit of information
hopefully someone here might want to private chat a lot in you language about writing.

Finally remember one thing "You write for more then just one reason and it usually is nothing to do with ratings."
If writing is only about the ratings for you then take the time to reply so and I will apologize for assumptions.

Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#6
In my experience, your first story is gonna be rough. The best way to get better is to finish what you started, studying up on writing techniques/ storytelling, and then write again. For me, I've spent the last few months reading books on writing, analyzing my favorite professional works, and rebuilding my world and story from the ground up. I severely dislike my original work which is why I am rewriting it, to prove to myself and all my previous readers that I can do better. Sometimes you just gotta do things wrong before you can recognize for yourself where you need to improve. 

Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#7
First things first: in re-uploading those chapters, you neglected to re-order them to the proper reading order (Parts 4 and 5 are currently coming before the rest).  You'd have been better served just copy-pasting over the previous text, but what's done is done; just go in your chapter list and fix up the ordering of the chapters so that's no longer a problem.

Speaking of copy-paste, Parts 1 and 4 seem to have an issue with too many hard returns spacing the paragraphs out.  All the rest look okay, so you'll want to fix those and keep an eye out on future stuff to ensure when you port it over that it doesn't do that, as that can be a readability problem.

I mention those little petty details upfront here because those are the kinds of things that make a difference between someone trying out your work and someone thinking that since you're not taking it seriously, they shouldn't either.  Attention to detail, funnily enough, gets noticed in turn.

I can't speak to the given rating because -- by my personal standard -- there's not enough there to rate yet.  Something you should probably learn if you're going to continue in spaces like this is that the important ratings are the ones that come with reviews that inform you on what you can improve; if somebody isn't willing to put their name to a rating and include feedback, it's just not that valuable.  Luckily, with how the discoverability algorithms work around here, what's important for you right now is getting any ratings at all, and that'll only come one way: by continuing to write and publish.  Being at 2.5 stars isn't necessarily a bad thing there either; people get curious about stuff having that sort of rating and will check it out, and every reader is a possibility for more ratings and feedback.

Keep at it.  You haven't even gotten to the really fun part: seeing a drive-by .5 star rating tank your rank and wondering what you did wrong when it's really just someone being a misanthropic jerk.  Take the feedback you receive, be mindful of how you can improve and proactively strive to do so, and keep thinking and pushing forward.  This isn't a game for instant gratification, so stop being caught up in the short term.

Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#8
I got another 2.5 ranking, again no feedback or any indication what I did wrong.
I guess that means 2/3 people who read it says it's bad and it's something. Yes thank you.

The problem is it's empty. I won't be happy if I got a 5 with no reason because: I won't know if it's just a pity, someone being courteous, someone expecting an exchange, or if they think it's actually good.

It's not petty because rating is an indicator of your work. Why I bother do something when I'm bad at it?

That's it, I'm abandoning it here. I will keep my focus and effort on another site where I have actual audience and  at least people bother to tell me what's wrong.

What is the purpose of writing something without someone reading and enjoying it? I would rather cease to exists than becoming that useless. It's not my first writing (has been remade three times behind the scene)  and I would rather take a century of edits and remakes to make my first writing passable, than finishing it only to regret having it later.

Thank you very much for everyone who reply and gives insight about how this site works. I really appreciate your support  (I don't know how to reply to each one personally or do mention, does "@" work here?)

Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#9
Forgotten Demiurge Wrote: First things first: in re-uploading those chapters, you neglected to re-order them to the proper reading order (Parts 4 and 5 are currently coming before the rest).  You'd have been better served just copy-pasting over the previous text, but what's done is done; just go in your chapter list and fix up the ordering of the chapters so that's no longer a problem.

Speaking of copy-paste, Parts 1 and 4 seem to have an issue with too many hard returns spacing the paragraphs out.  All the rest look okay, so you'll want to fix those and keep an eye out on future stuff to ensure when you port it over that it doesn't do that, as that can be a readability problem.

I mention those little petty details upfront here because those are the kinds of things that make a difference between someone trying out your work and someone thinking that since you're not taking it seriously, they shouldn't either.  Attention to detail, funnily enough, gets noticed in turn.

I can't speak to the given rating because -- by my personal standard -- there's not enough there to rate yet.  Something you should probably learn if you're going to continue in spaces like this is that the important ratings are the ones that come with reviews that inform you on what you can improve; if somebody isn't willing to put their name to a rating and include feedback, it's just not that valuable.  Luckily, with how the discoverability algorithms work around here, what's important for you right now is getting any ratings at all, and that'll only come one way: by continuing to write and publish.  Being at 2.5 stars isn't necessarily a bad thing there either; people get curious about stuff having that sort of rating and will check it out, and every reader is a possibility for more ratings and feedback.

Keep at it.  You haven't even gotten to the really fun part: seeing a drive-by .5 star rating tank your rank and wondering what you did wrong when it's really just someone being a misanthropic jerk.  Take the feedback you receive, be mindful of how you can improve and proactively strive to do so, and keep thinking and pushing forward.  This isn't a game for instant gratification, so stop being caught up in the short term.


Thank you! I have rearranged the chapters.
Didn't see that when uploading, oops

Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#10
Kainatarma Wrote: I got another 2.5 ranking, again no feedback or any indication what I did wrong.

and why does the 2.5 bother you?
2.5 means "average", no one called your story bad. If you had gotten a 0.5, that would have been an indication of a problem, but why would you have a problem with your story being called average? No one gets to master any craft on the first try....

Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#11
Andar Wrote:
Kainatarma Wrote: I got another 2.5 ranking, again no feedback or any indication what I did wrong.

and why does the 2.5 bother you?
2.5 means "average", no one called your story bad. If you had gotten a 0.5, that would have been an indication of a problem, but why would you have a problem with your story being called average? No one gets to master any craft on the first try....


Probably the American grading system combined with how Amazon values star ratings. Like, in the US, a C is considered to be a bad grade even though its average and a D is still passing.

Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#12
Andar Wrote:
Kainatarma Wrote: I got another 2.5 ranking, again no feedback or any indication what I did wrong.

and why does the 2.5 bother you?
2.5 means "average", no one called your story bad. If you had gotten a 0.5, that would have been an indication of a problem, but why would you have a problem with your story being called average? No one gets to master any craft on the first try....


It's bad. Average is bad.
Who wants to read average story?
If you have options to choose a 5 stars story and a 2.5 stars story, you'd choose the 5 stars. Thus it's bad. If you aren't at the top you ain't good.

A is average, B is good, C is close to death, D is death.

Why I even bother doing something I clearly I'm bad at doing even though I like it? If my first try is bad, that means I have no talent. Some people get it good at first try, why can't I be like them? Plus mind you this is a rewritten version and that means there is a worse version than this one. If my better is people's average, that says on how unskilled I am.

I think it needs to be improved although I honestly have no gist on how and what should I do. I'm thinking about shortening and combining the first five chapters into around 2 or 3 chapters because some says my opening is too dragged. What do you think?


 I honestly don't wanna stop writing, but until how long I have to keep churning bad writing? I am tired of trying to no avail, always fail, It's eating me up. My ideas don't deserve bad medium and bad writer, I want something better for them.

Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#13
Look. The point is to do it because you like it. If you don't like writing the story, just let it go and move on. As to the rating, the 2.5 is not that bad as a first one.

My first rating was 0.5, no comment, no nothing. And that was on the very first chapter. Did it bother me? Yes! Did it stop me from writing? No! Because I had a story I wanted to share. After a while, I got my first follower and some good ratings. That's just it. Someone liked it enough to follow it. I continued for him or her, because they shared my interest, even if they said nothing or did nothing. That one fallow was enough to keep me going.

And besides, it is not 2 out of 3 who gave you that rating. It is 2 out of a 100 or more.

Just give it some time. Put in a new chapter and see how it goes. 

As for you thinking that the 2.5 is the end of the world, that is all you being a perfectionist.  No one can help you with that.

Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#14
Kainatarma Wrote: A is average, B is good, C is close to death, D is death.

Why I even bother doing something I clearly I'm bad at doing even though I like it? If my first try is bad, that means I have no talent.

About every professional author on the NYT bestseller list will tell you that their first stories were abysmally bad and essentially nonpunishable.
Quote:that says on how unskilled I am.

And that's something that is fixed by... writing stories.

Sometimes, it's good to write the entire story and then read it in full to see what doesn't work. I wrote about three nearly full stories before I even started publishing my current one. There's one that's probably salvageable in there, one that's far too meandering and need to be completely redone from scratch and the first one should probably haven't been even tried. But I wrote them because I wanted to see what I could write. And then, you re-read them, and see what's missing.

Remember: If you finish a story, you're already better than 90% of the writers, no matter what rating you got.

Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#15
Kainatarma Wrote: A is average, B is good, C is close to death, D is death.

This means that your country/culture has a very screwed outlook on ratings.
Does that mean that you will never work in a company if you can't be the boss of the company?

And just as an example:
When I went to university (in one of the better universities in my country), the tests and their results were quite different.
Just one example of one such test (that focused on two years worth of materials to learn):
of 400 students there were ZERO A's, ONE B, and around a hundred C's, D's and failures each.
And that was not a special test - other test sometimes had more A or B (perhaps one or two dozen each), but the mass of the students always resulted in C and D.
And another thing? Even with a total of C you were guaranteed to get good work because everyone in the industry knew how difficult it was to even pass those tests.

Because there is a big problem that starts if schools are giving out A's (and the same goes here on RoyalRoad for giving out 5-stars):
You cannot difference between higher quality grades anymore. After all, if everything is A where is the difference in the quality?
A lot of the stories that get 5-stars here on royalroad would be rather 4-star if people would use a realistic scaling of quality - and several 0.5 would be 1 or 2 stars if they weren't using 0.5 incorrectly as well.

Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#16
Let's put it this way. Do you love your story? Do you daily think about it and think about what you want it to be? Do you love your main character? Do you daily have ideas about what he or she should do in the story? Perhaps some inappropriate thoughts about him or her?

Make the readers feel that way. Read more. Watch a movie for inspirations. Sometimes it's not about the story but the desires for that main character that drives the story. Make people ship him or her with some other guy or girl. If you want to be jaded about it.

People love that. That's why twilight sells. She sells shipping bait. Personality wise subjectively i say bella is thinner than a sheet of glaas.

Then there is neil gaiman. The author that i want to be.

Now his stories are weird. His weirdness sells. His characters sells. His beautiful prose sells.

What do you want to sell in your story?


Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#17
Ask yourself why you write and why you post here. Do you write for yourself? If so, do you care what anyone else thinks? Do you write because you want people to read your story? For their own enjoyment, or because you want feedback on how to improve? Do you write because you want to eventually become a professional author?

You said in your first post that you feel your writing is "horrendous" and that you don't speak English. If those things are true, do you feel the story is in the shape you want it to be in when other people first set their eyes on it?

Have you considered writing in your native language, since your comfort level will be higher?


I just glimpsed over the first couple chapters, so I haven't read the whole thing, but I can mention a couple specific items that stand out:

1. The vocabulary is unusual. Some of the words and structures are used differently than a native speaker is accustomed to. The wording is also a little flowery or elaborate. (That said, I don't think your English is as bad as you think it is, but like everything, it takes work.)

2. The story is written in the past tense, but sometimes a verb is mistakenly written in the present tense.


If you wish to continue writing in English, I recommend the following steps to keep getting better:

1. Continue improving your English.

2. Read as many professionally published novels from native English speakers as possible. Use them as good models of vocabulary, habits, and styles. (This does not include reading web fiction--read as little web fiction as you can, because the majority of web fiction includes a lot of mistakes, and you don't want to learn to make the same mistakes.)

3. Read grammar guides meant for English fiction, and make sure you understand what the guides are saying. Practice the rules and tips they provide, until you've internalized those rules and can use them in your own writing.

4. Keep writing! You have to write a lot to get good at it. If your goal in writing is to get feedback, then keep posting.

5. Even if you want to write in English, also practice writing in your native language. Maybe consider writing in your native language, then translating to English, and see if that's easier than writing in English.

I hope this helps.

Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#18
Okay, that's it. I'm deleting my work (all chapters are deleted, just submitted a ticket to make it final).

I apologize for those who decided to follow it, but there are probably tons of better works here so you certainly won't feel any loss.

Thank you for anyone who spare their time to look and criticize it, I took screenshot and save it.


IvyVeritas Wrote: Ask yourself why you write and why you post here. Do you write for yourself? If so, do you care what anyone else thinks? Do you write because you want people to read your story? For their own enjoyment, or because you want feedback on how to improve? Do you write because you want to eventually become a professional author?


I'm just bored and badly need interaction, I make something to pass time and incite human interaction by showing it and expecting feedback.

Of course I care, only other people can judge our work with minimal bias and I try to take their opinions more seriously than my own. I just want people to read it and know their opinions about it. 

I don't believe in "I only write for myself" bullshit, because if so I wouldn't write. What's a writing if it's not read? I would just imagine the scenes in my head for self-indulgence rather than putting myself through failures and dissastification to no end.

IvyVeritas Wrote: Have you considered writing in your native language, since your comfort level will be higher?


I used to write in my native language. I write in English just to know perspective of people from abroad regarding my story, not because that I feel capable of it. Plus, I expect international readers to be more open minded about certain things. Not to badmouth fellow countrymen, but sometimes I feel they're obsessed about certain values while can't open their mind to other.

IvyVeritas Wrote: 1. The vocabulary is unusual. Some of the words and structures are used differently than a native speaker is accustomed to. The wording is also a little flowery or elaborate. (That said, I don't think your English is as bad as you think it is, but like everything, it takes work.)

2. The story is written in the past tense, but sometimes a verb is mistakenly written in the present tense.


1. I tried my best to not use thesaurus (only to avoid repeats) and use common words in my head (my vocabulary is limited). I only use words that I know is not commonly understood to specify something (e.g. "Abugida" in part one) in a less wordy way. Is my description still too flowery? (It gets less flowery in recent parts) Because it used to be that multiplied by ten.

2. (This also to answer @DrunkMinstrel and @Mr.Aze) I tried. I tried to edit it using Grammarly, ProWritingAid, some even have been edited by real people. I heard you don't need to use past tense twice in the sentence, but I also heard it is not. This shit really gets on my nerve and I'm just extremely exhausted to hear it again and again no matter what I do that I don't care about it anymore.

To answer @DrunkMinstrel about the dialogue:
The main character is an alien from an isolated village, it sets in another planet with (currently) no native English speaker, but they speak it. I don't think they should talk with perfect standard conversational English as ours (hell, I don't even speak English). I'm sorry if it's bothering you

To answer @MrAze about the formatting:
It simply looks different from the editor (I'm on mobile). Should have been careful, but for now it's no use for me to edit. Sorry if it's bothering you.

From what all of you have said, I think my flaws overpower any merit (if any did exist) I have. I see that no one talking about the storyline or character aspect that it is simply forgettable and easily can be brushed away. That is mean I need to also make a stronger story and characters, while I still like the idea of this one perhaps I just need to change its delivery.

That aside, truth is I can't stand seeing my work as less than good. I would rather not create than creating something bad. I have scraped so many concepts, plots, stories, scenes, or anything. I will try to edit this one for the fourth time, and later take down the already-30-chapters version of this elsewhere. I don't know if the edit will be better than the current version, but I will try to ask for opinions.

Currently I am just tired and loss any motivation.

I never thought the seemingly inactive forum would be so helpful, thank you for your help. See you in the next life.

Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#19
Kainatarma Wrote: That aside, truth is I can't stand seeing my work as less than good. I would rather not create than creating something bad. I have scraped so many concepts, plots, stories, scenes, or anything. I will try to edit this one for the fourth time, and later take down the already-30-chapters version of this elsewhere. I don't know if the edit will be better than the current version, but I will try to ask for opinions.

Currently I am just tired and loss any motivation.

I never thought the seemingly inactive forum would be so helpful, thank you for your help. See you in the next life.

No one ever and in absolutely no area at all started as a master with master-class work.
Everyone had to start with a work of children quality at first, and had to learn how to make better things - that counts even for the biggest geniuses in any field.
And you can only learn from your mistakes if there is someone to point them out for you.

So if you don't publish your mediocre works (and as said above, 2.5 is mediocre and not bad) then you will never learn your mistakes and never get better.

Re: Is it beyond help? Should I delete my work?

#20
Kainatarma Wrote: I used to write in my native language. I write in English just to know perspective of people from abroad regarding my story, not because that I feel capable of it. Plus, I expect international readers to be more open minded about certain things. Not to badmouth fellow countrymen, but sometimes I feel they're obsessed about certain values while can't open their mind to other.


Based on your writing in English, I suspect your writing in your own language is quite good. I'm certainly not capable of writing in any other language. You shouldn't feel discouraged. You should feel encouraged that you're even able to do it. It's very difficult to write like a native speaker in a different language, and it will take time to become an expert.


Kainatarma Wrote: 1. I tried my best to not use thesaurus (only to avoid repeats) and use common words in my head (my vocabulary is limited). I only use words that I know is not commonly understood to specify something (e.g. "Abugida" in part one) in a less wordy way. Is my description still too flowery? (It gets less flowery in recent parts) Because it used to be that multiplied by ten.


I can't check your more recent chapters because you deleted them. If you'd like me to look over several paragraphs for a point-by-point breakdown, feel free to post them--but be warned that I tend to be blunt when I'm proofreading, which doesn't go over well with people who aren't used to having real critiques. I've mostly worked with professional writers (non-fiction), and they get used to being critiqued. New writers tend to get offended the first time someone tears their work to shreds.



Kainatarma Wrote: 2. (This also to answer @DrunkMinstrel and @Mr.Aze) I tried. I tried to edit it using Grammarly, ProWritingAid, some even have been edited by real people. I heard you don't need to use past tense twice in the sentence, but I also heard it is not. This shit really gets on my nerve and I'm just extremely exhausted to hear it again and again no matter what I do that I don't care about it anymore.


Grammar is hard. English grammar most of all (or so I've heard).

Whoever said "you don't need to use past tense twice in the sentence"...you should ignore anything that person says. I have no idea why anyone would say that, but if they're saying something like that, then you can't trust anything else they say. That said, there are rules about how to do it.

If the "real people" who have helped with editing have come from web fiction sites, you have to be careful. For one of my books, someone sent me some edits once, but most of the edits he sent were either wrong or unnecessary. If you find a good editor, hold on to that person.

Grammarly can be helpful in identifying certain mistakes, but it can also make a lot of mistakes of its own. That means it's difficult to use for someone who is still learning the language, because you won't have the experience to tell when Grammarly is making a mistake or fixing one. I'm not familiar with ProWritingAid.


I really don't think you should give up.