Re: Why are people so angry all the time?

#1
Now that my novel got in trending, I got a good influx of new people reading my novel.
But, why are so many of them always angry? They criticize and think they know it all. They say that my characters have flaws and that it's bad that they do, even though that's the way I want them to be. They say that things do not make sense even though I already said in the comments that it all build up to a plot point later on, where it will all be clear.
And, most of all, they do not read the comments. I get the same question many times, and it's always the same answer you know? 
People trying to teach me how to write, with an arrogance that's almost ridiculous, especially given that they criticize my main character for being too arrogant. I mean, really?
And in a broken English, too.
Why? Why does this happen? And then, when the author quits out of desperation, they are all sad and distraught. Is it that hard to say a couple nice words and encourage the author?
Let's not speak about the 1.5 or 0.5 reviews made by people who barely read 5 chapters.
Does the same happen to everyone else on this website?

Re: Why are people so angry all the time?

#2
pretty much, yes, though some have it worse than others

I haven't had much comments on my English, except for the first chapters where I announce in pre- and post-chapter comments that I'm doing it on purpose and so on. Really, I tell people 'the writing is this way because the mc is very simple, it will get better every chapter as he learns'. Error 404, comment not found, does not compute, please reboot brain.

There will always be people who'll know better than you, or so they think. The tricky bit is to sort through the useless feedback to find the ones you need. "The scene was too abrupt" or "I couldn't make sense of what happened" for example.

Stay strong and keep going

Re: Why are people so angry all the time?

#3
A famous author from my country once said: "We write to be read, not understood". People have different tastes but I can somewhat relate if someone thinks that a part is illogical (not meaning anything from your work but as a general statement in the whole of literature). I believe that, if it is indeed intended to be confusing, there should also be some hints in the work that this is indeed the case. Personally, I am tolerant of mysteries and intentional plotholes to some extend but if a certain threshold of logic is crossed, it irks me too. Leave your readers some bread-crumbs to make them happy. In the end, they don't live in your head and have no idea how the story is planned. 

Another thing is, don't expect people to read all the comments. If you are lucky and have several pages of comments, very few people would go through them all. 

As for people trying to arrogantly correct your English, it is called a lack of communication skills + the perks of internet anonymity. It is easier to insult someone when you are not facing him. Consider the possibility that the very nasty person on the other side might be a teenager who thinks that being edgy is the coolest thing ever. Still, when you receive a bad critique try for a second to think objectively whether or not it carries some merit. As beginner authors, we are here to improve but this does not mean that we must bend at all demands. Knowing when a compromise is acceptable and when it is disruptive for the overall idea is, in my opinion, part of the trade.

As a whole, just don't take it to heart too much and cheer up. Trolls have just left the bridges and are now surfing the web. 

Re: Why are people so angry all the time?

#6
There's a certain amount of planned antagonism online, everyone wants their voice to be heard and to be noticed and to be talked to out of the many in the crowd. Unfortunately, this leads to a habit of people giving comments sharp edges as they are more likely to draw a reply because it ruffles peoples feathers. The boring comments just don't get the same attention.

Re: Why are people so angry all the time?

#7
Yes, trending is a mixed blessing. You get many more readers, but it also attracts trolls. It's easy to say just roll with it, but this is something you worked hard to create and share. I can understand your frustration. In an ideal world, comments would be a combination of constructive criticism and positive feed back. Unfortunately, this isn't an ideal world, it's the internet. Even with all the negative aspects, to reach trending is quite an accomplishment. Quite a few readers had to give positive ratings and reviews to get you there. Don't let the naysayers tarnish what you've accomplished.

Re: Why are people so angry all the time?

#8

Stratothrax Wrote: There's a certain amount of planned antagonism online, everyone wants their voice to be heard and to be noticed and to be talked to out of the many in the crowd. Unfortunately, this leads to a habit of people giving comments sharp edges as they are more likely to draw a reply because it ruffles peoples feathers. The boring comments just don't get the same attention.

It's sad because I reply to each and every comment. There is no need to be disrespectful to be noticed on my comment section :c

Re: Why are people so angry all the time?

#9
There are several levels to this. probably more than I can easily see. First, multiple people noting the same issue usually means it remains an issue.  It is up to the author to telegraph his novels intentions clearly enough so they can be accepted as part of a works flow, its not the readers duty to decode the mindset of the author. Its good that it is mentioned more than once, that kind of balloting is what is needed to sort out things that need changes from those items of note only to the few, or the one.

Critique often  may be less specific than an author would like, and indeed the readers are not obligated to offer revisions or do line editing. I doubt the intent is to be mean overall, though it can seem that way. The best response is to ask yourself "How can I vanish this complaint about the text as it exists?" While some things may seem obvious and apparent to the author, stuff can escape a readers attention, and your text addresses, and must address, the readers, not your inner logic.

Writing is supposed to bridge that gap, not perpetuate it.  This is all part of writing a novel, if not the most creative part, it can take some skull work and creativity to do.  Two, there are readers with a less than admirable grasp of English.  Sometimes an author may want to accommodate that lack, sometimes he/she may not. A good grasp of who the audience for the work includes and who it does not include can help guide that decision. You do have to decide that the work is by you, not for you, and do the work on the behalf of the audience that it requires.

The best thing is, that people are troubling themselves to comment at all, which I can guarantee is not a given, so rejoice.

Hope that helps some. 

Re: Why are people so angry all the time?

#10
It's good to hear some stories from people who've been on trending. It is my goal of course, though I am a long way off. If it were me, I would read the comment, block the person and move on. If I hear it quite a bit, of course its something to consider. You need to have full confidence in what you are doing as an author. If someone doesn't like my work or has a lot of bad things to say, of course I'll consider what they are telling me.

However you have to fully realize that what you write is not for everyone. Pay attention to your fans, rather than those bad apples.

Re: Why are people so angry all the time?

#11
Because people feel entitled to criticize because they get no repercussions if they do. RR follows “Customer is typically right” mentality in terms of moderation. 

I’ve had a random guy .5 my story just because he didn’t like the genre and called it “wish fulfillment” which made it odd because my MC has a shitty life. Why would I want to live through that lmao. 

He also told me “oh, and also fuck you” just because why not, I guess? Lmfao

Had another guy also review my story just to nitpick complain and then go “This is fine” in his review title and 3 star me. Effectively just wrote a review to lower my rating because it didn’t go the way he “expected” despite the multiple flags beforehand that should have told him not to read it (cover picture being the biggest offender).

All of this happened on trending. You just get idiots. Comes with the territory. Best you can do it ignore/block em if it needs to be and hope if they put a dumb review on your story it gets removed.

Re: Why are people so angry all the time?

#12
I don't think I've blocked anyone and the only two comments I've deleted were either a direct insult to me (for daring to thank people for helping me get to the top 50 at the time. I reported this one too) and someone promoting another story (which I later regretted because I'd asked for things to read, but the way he wrote it was a little unclear). I got a few reviews which were reported by other people and removed, someone even went as far as creating extra accounts to give me more 0.5 ratings. I only know this because they suddenly disappeared a few days later as the accounts were banned. 

I always suggest everyone to check the FAQ (https://www.royalroad.com/support/faq) as there are very clear guidelines on what is and isn't allowed in reviews. 0.5 stars on an advanced review without an explanation why is not allowed. Telling people to absolutely not read the novel ('only read this if you want to puke your brains out' comes to mind) is not allowed. Telling the author to stop writing or a personal attack ('you suck, your momma sucks, you should just die') is not allowed. Bringing outside issues up (revenge review) is not allowed. Genre hate (I don't like slice of life/wuxia/isekai) is not allowed. Misrepresenting a novel (saying it's wish fulfillment when it's not) is not allowed.

Do not hesitate to report such reviews

Anyone who could/should have known better being turned off by something in the novel... well, nothing you can do about it. I caught some flak (part of it in DMs) when my mc killed two scared kids which I described in rather gruesome detail. Turned my stomach to write it. But I've got the 'traumatizing content' and the 'gore' warnings up there for a reason. Sure, I also have the profanity, which i haven't really 'earned' yet, but I wasn't randomly clicking things. 

It happens, just like 'really great, 3.5 stars' happen, or a review by Gompman (if he jokes about it, so can I) 
peolaughing

Re: Why are people so angry all the time?

#13

Oskatat Wrote: I don't think I've blocked anyone and the only two comments I've deleted were either a direct insult to me (for daring to thank people for helping me get to the top 50 at the time. I reported this one too) and someone promoting another story (which I later regretted because I'd asked for things to read, but the way he wrote it was a little unclear). I got a few reviews which were reported by other people and removed, someone even went as far as creating extra accounts to give me more 0.5 ratings. I only know this because they suddenly disappeared a few days later as the accounts were banned. 

I always suggest everyone to check the FAQ (https://www.royalroad.com/support/faq) as there are very clear guidelines on what is and isn't allowed in reviews. 0.5 stars on an advanced review without an explanation why is not allowed. Telling people to absolutely not read the novel ('only read this if you want to puke your brains out' comes to mind) is not allowed. Telling the author to stop writing or a personal attack ('you suck, your momma sucks, you should just die') is not allowed. Bringing outside issues up (revenge review) is not allowed. Genre hate (I don't like slice of life/wuxia/isekai) is not allowed. Misrepresenting a novel (saying it's wish fulfillment when it's not) is not allowed.

Do not hesitate to report such reviews

Anyone who could/should have known better being turned off by something in the novel... well, nothing you can do about it. I caught some flak (part of it in DMs) when my mc killed two scared kids which I described in rather gruesome detail. Turned my stomach to write it. But I've got the 'traumatizing content' and the 'gore' warnings up there for a reason. Sure, I also have the profanity, which i haven't really 'earned' yet, but I wasn't randomly clicking things. 

It happens, just like 'really great, 3.5 stars' happen, or a review by Gompman (if he jokes about it, so can I) 
peolaughing

The reason I brought it up was because the reviewer told me in DMs he had a problem with aspects (bright colored hair, unrealistic fights) in the story that literally was on the cover art. The MC has silver hair, and an unrealistic weapon. The second chapter also has an unrealistic magical AoT styled fight.


Yet he read past all that and then went “you could have done x instead” like I’m OBLIGATED to cater to what he wants to read specifically in a genre.

Really irritated me, but alas, I just ended up ignoring him. His review got downvoted to hell anyway, but still. Sometimes reviewers just... do dumb shit.

Re: Why are people so angry all the time?

#14
In general the reason for anger would be stuff like entitlement etc like above mentioned such as how when you start expressing a emotion (probably a negative one since they stick out more) you’ll get into the rant more by the end of it than you even were at the beginning etc. but in a more practical sense this is a problem with specific readers and specific reader communities. I don’t mean that these instances are exclusive to certain specific communities of readers but that the prevalence of such behaviour changes between the comment sections of different books and different genres and different websites etc. How you interact with the reader community and the comment section effects this, the author notes effects this, and even the content of the story effects this (though I’d expect not all that much since the fiction is mentally separate from the “real” world). Whatever introduction that welcomes new readers to your fiction also filters out different kinds of readers and can cause less or more of whatever reader personality/behaviour to bleed into your specific reader community.

Reader behaviour isn’t a static thing and changes and adapts as they are exposed to certain “environments” and communities to increase or decrease certain behavioural tendencies (such as entitlement) through various factors. Conformity effects you, the general mood and vibe surrounding a fiction or it’s reader community effects you (like an angry comment section full of ranting dragging you into ranting against them and you end up grumpy and angry in completely independent comment sections as well as a consequence, bleeding behaviour from one community into another). If there’s a lot of angry entitled people reading Superhero fiction on this site (hypothetically) then you can easily expect the readers for a new superhero fiction to exhibit the same toxicity even though that specific fiction/reader-community is actually reducing said toxicity through positivity or whatever. If all the people reading Apocalypse Sci-fi Romance (in particular) as super nice with each other, you can expect the reader community of a new fiction in that niche to reflect the surrounding community of that genre within the RR echochamber. There’s also random outside variables like random reader X might be affected by something that happened IRL and act completely different from other individual in any given community, or just have a personality that goes counter to the current social contagion (technical term) strongly enough that they might even act in an completely contradictory manner. Also the anonymity of internet people (and lack of most direct interaction between readers especially) means they’re behaviour isn’t all too heavily connected to one another other than the variable of what fictions they are drawn to and exposed to.

On the website level, you can for example see that certain fiction hosting sites also have different levels of various social behaviours. Certain sites might be more toxic to one another and prevalent entitlement might become more of a norm, and as always the behaviour of readers from specific sites might bleed into other sites whenever there is any switching between sites for any individual reader. Also they live in different places with different cultures so they way they think differs, and people who live in different places might frequent different websites which leads to further divergence in how they behave and how the echochamber culture of any one site develops. Etc etc.

It’s chaos basically.

Re: Why are people so angry all the time?

#16
I've never blocked a reader, and the comments I delete revolve around aid posted for line edits that I have already completed, to reduce clutter since the issues were addressed and the notes no longer point to anything, but I do not  delete notes to "shape" opinions of the work.  Sometime this means there is a long column of blab on my page, but that's fine, glad to have such people voicing their reactions and telling me about themselves.

Re: Why are people so angry all the time?

#17
I don't know if this helps, but once I have finished writing something, I quash any feelings of parenthood I might have toward it. My thrust changes to mentoring it. Helping it to find its place in the readers world. It is now a product seeking a consumer base.  What can I do to make it more appealing, find it its proper home?  Doesn't mean I want to make it fit in to every neighborhood though. I pay attention to the comments and try for improvements that settle it in with the right audience for it.  Sometimes  that can be beyond my current skill set or time budget, sometimes it is less a chore. Sometimes the personality it has taken on forbid doing much to help it. Shrug. That's life, I go on and make another child....

Re: Why are people so angry all the time?

#19

frostwolf86 Wrote: It's good to hear some stories from people who've been on trending. It is my goal of course, though I am a long way off. If it were me, I would read the comment, block the person and move on. If I hear it quite a bit, of course its something to consider. You need to have full confidence in what you are doing as an author. If someone doesn't like my work or has a lot of bad things to say, of course I'll consider what they are telling me.

However you have to fully realize that what you write is not for everyone. Pay attention to your fans, rather than those bad apples.



You can't feasibly block people unless it gets truly bad. It's just a guaranteed 0.5 rating and you can do nothing about it. Whereas, unfortunately, keeping them unblocked may at least let them leave the story unrated or to give it a 2-star or something.

This entire issue with angry toxic commenters is because the site is overflowing with these kinds of users and they get practically no punishment for it. The moderation is extremely hands-off about it, and so repeat offenders are allowed to be rude and combative with every story they encounter. I once got a commenter calling a story leftist propaganda for cucks, essentially, and I'm quite sure that person is still going around the site just like normal.

Re: Why are people so angry all the time?

#20
Fun thing: I was wrong. I posted this thread after seeing a bad comment on my fiction, and only later I learned that it was I who was wrong. I chatted a bit with the guy, and while he used strong words and tones, the issue was that he's not an English speaker and thus his grammar and word choices were odd.
Indeed, he's been quite helpful since then. 
Most of those who flame and rage, truly do because they care otherwise they would have not made it to chapter 18 or so, and would have not wasted time for a comment.
Some who want to just annoy you exist, but most? Most don't, really.
It was a bias of mine, one which I learned to look past, also thanks to you all and your replies. So, thanks!

PS: don't call me based.