Is it worth writing after going below 4 stars?
Disclaimer: I'm talking about 'the doomsday weapon', which lost many stars after going in trending.
It would also help if you've already established a fanbase. Take "He Who Fights With Monsters" the ratings have tanked since the later chapters, but the author is actually making more money than ever. I used to get upset seeing him at 12000 dollars a month, now it's at 20000 dollars a month and his ratings are at 3 stars.
If nothing else, I would take this as a sign that you need to clean house. Fix what you can, improve where possible.
Also, if an advanced review is particularly bad, like he just wrote "hhhhhhh" in the description, you can probably report it and get it removed. If they're going to sink your rating, they should have an airtight review then. Double check it for any rule violations.
If you want people's validation that your story is good, then ratings may be a good indicator to continue writing or not. But if you write for fun then ratings should be just a number.
I have to be honest though, as a potential reader I look at ratings as the first indicator if a story is good enough for me. Usually a five star ratings meant the story is well written and I might enjoy it (although it's not always the case). Looking back through my follow list, I clicked on each and every landing page because they have a high rating (at first), so it's definitely going to affect your views.
On the other hand, as a follower of a story, I'd be pissed off if the author gives up writing more just because the rating goes below X amount. Maybe I'll refrain from reading fictions from that author ever again. Because it shows that the author is too easy to be manipulated by trolls.
But at the end of the day, who am I to judge? My opinion means nothing. I'm just a reader and never write a story. I don't know how hard it is and you should find your reason to continue. Or not continue. It's up to you!
Looking at your landing page, my advice is to ask help from your followers to rate your story. I see that you have 295 followers but only 63 ratings. Maybe the ratings will go up then.
Hope this helps.
first: all the followers? they now know you finish your projects. This means, those same followers will come into your next story already hyped, and they'll in turn, hype up the newcomers.
second: I can imagine ones writing improves by leaps and bounds during this process alone.
probably more, but as far as I'm concerned, these seem beneficial enough, no?
Maybe you could do a rewrite with edits/changes of that lowly-rated that you publish separately if you still enjoy writing it but are discouraged by the ratings. I’ve seen some successful stories do that.
Eventually due to apparently bad luck, the story hit 3.99 strictly from random ratings with 0 voiced feedback, even in the chapter comments. So, I pretty much got annoyed with that and got rid of the story (I also didn’t like how I wrote it because compared to when it was active, my writing quality has improved leaps and bounds) and planned to work on my other story Requiem.
Requiem pretty much had similar weird luck (though not as cursed as DoA) with random ratings dropping its score from like a 4.85 to a 4.38. One rating and review (which got removed) was even from some irrelevant poster that was just genre hating, which led me to believe that’s probably where a few low rates come from in regards to all stories.
My personal take though? If you’re getting low rates but you have legitimate feedback coming from them and drop below 4? Maybe a rewrite is in order, especially if nobody is paying you for continuing.
If it’s just a bunch of random low rates with zero feedback and you drop below 4? It’s likely people are just being dickheads and you caught the bad luck bug, over you legitimately needing a rewrite.
So, personally, I would always say keep going, don't stop, and the right people will find it eventually. Don't let the ratings get to you. Negative reviews happen to the best writers in the world; why would you or I be immune? No story is perfect for everyone. Write for your own audience; trying to appeal to everyone will only end up with an incoherent muddle that works for no one.
[advice over, tiny rant below]
The problem with trending is that it is presented as a universal recommendation. When one reader is looking for snappy OP stories, another for slow burn romance, and a third for action-heavy underdog adventures, no one story will possibly satisfy them all.
Imagine this scenario: All three of these readers are caught up on their current follows, have a few hours free, and go looking for a new story. Behold, three new stories at the top of trending! One fast-paced about an overpowered reincarnator, a slow romance between two elves from different tribes, and an action story about a hero whose system-granted powers are all stuck at the default level. At first glance, you'd think this is perfect. One story for each reader, yes?
But the problem is that all three readers will see the high, high ratings, and read all three. Each will be pleased with one, and disappointed by the others. If they're reasonable people, they may rate 3 or 4 stars for those they find uninteresting; if they're grumpy and feeling resentful, they may drop .5s just to get that other junk away from the top spot that is clearly deserved by their preferred story.
It's the exact same problem as when every single recommendation thread for 'I want a fantasy novel' returns 'Sanderson, Malazan, Wheel of Time, Game of Thrones'. When something is put on too high a pedestal, when it's presented as the best, then readers expect it to be the best for them, and when it is disappointing they get confused and angry. 'Why was this praised? It doesn't deserve that 4.9! It should be 3.5, but the only way to bring it down to there is to counterbalance the crazy fans by putting a .5 on it.'
Is there a solution? Not really. Do your best to tag clearly, write a summary that spells out what your story is and isn't, but raters gonna rate.