Re: Is it worth writing after going below 4 stars?

#3
Below four stars would be average, which infers you might need to up your game. On the other hand, who cares?  I have one novel started that received a pan, probably because I haven't updated it, and pissed someone off.  So what?  As I have posted four others complete within the last eight months, they can go pound sand. Ill complete the fifth when I get around to it. Four books in one year , for free, is plenty. Generally the trolls start early around here for some reason, probably because their poop gets washed away by good reviews fairly quickly. and they loose the opportunity to do damage. Could care less. I post for readers, and know my work well, as it has been vetted by dozens of writers and critiquers prior to post.  I wouldn't worry about early returns from trolls and note that most here post drafts anyway.  If  you get pans that are not accompanied by suggestions for improvement, they are from children and idiots, not readers or concerned writers, so you are freed to ignore them. Understand that some participants work is so awful they feel the only way they will ever be noticed id if they try to suppress their betters. Not realizing that garbage writing is garbage writing  and will never be seen as something it isn't, and that the effort to bing decent material helps them not at all.

Re: Is it worth writing after going below 4 stars?

#5
It certainly has an effect, but it's not a deciding factor.  A lot of people intentionally try and resist skipping a fiction based on star rating alone. If you only have a few reviews on your fiction then you may be able to ignore it.  People who care about review score often checks the review count to see if it's balanced out yet or if it's "one damn half star review" killing your rating.  

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.  

Re: Is it worth writing after going below 4 stars?

#9
I'd say that it depends on why you write stories in the first place.

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.

Re: Is it worth writing after going below 4 stars?

#10
I've never finished a story, (still on my first, afterall) but I'd think just the act of finishing a story pays dividends on any future project. 

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?

Re: Is it worth writing after going below 4 stars?

#11
That is a good point. Not only do you set the stage for bad reviews on future projects by abandoning unfinished stories (hell hath no fury like a reader scorned), but readers like me won't even give your latest story a chance when they see several older stories on hiatus. I'm not interested in getting into something that I know up front is likely to get dropped by the writer. I've already been burned by that a few times and it has soured me on those authors forever.

Re: Is it worth writing after going below 4 stars?

#12
If you enjoy writing it, keep going for it. If you don’t, don’t torture yourself over it. Some readers are fickle, saying that they’ll be angry at an author for dropping a story due to low ratings but then saying that they wouldn’t click on a story with low ratings so it’s hard to reach a decision. But eventually, new readers will come by your story, see your slightly low rating and slap you enough 5* to get you up there again if they truly love your story (which I’m sure many will/do).  It’s ultimately up to you. 

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. 

Re: Is it worth writing after going below 4 stars?

#13
It depends. My very first story, Dirge of Apocrypha, hit top 300 before it hit trending, and had a 4.81 rating. Then on trending, it got bombarded with anonymous low rates (there was literally 1 review that was negative, and it wasn’t really negative because it was a 3 star). 

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. 

Re: Is it worth writing after going below 4 stars?

#14
My longest ongoing story has been sitting solidly around 3.6-3.8 for almost the entirety of its year-long posting run thus far. It has a couple hundred followers, a handful of reviews, and one or two dedicated commenters. Most people don't love it, many find it mediocre, and a few have aggressively torn into its base premises as completely implausible and every part of its execution as lackluster. But there are also people who love it. Someone even went so far as to say it was one of their very favourite stories on the entire site!

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.