Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#1
I started writing my book for two reasons:

1) I wanted to get better at telling stories.

2) I have been going through a lot of stress at work and writing helped me slip into another world for an hour or two a day. Something I desperately needed/need.

My book hit the top 20 in trending after 14 days. It hit the top 10 two days later.

I used to look forward to checking RR right before starting my day at work. A new follower here and there, the odd comment that was mostly appreciative. But trending has changed all of that. Buried beneath the massive amounts of new followers and 4-5 star ratings are the comments and ratings that make me not even want to check my dashboard anymore.

I can totally understand 1-2 star ratings. The book isn't someone's taste, or perhaps someone honestly thinks it's just bad. It's all subjective, I totally get it. I can pretend like they are troll ratings. Someone trying to undercut my work so they can get ahead perhaps, despite the algorithm for trending not taking that into account.

But it's the comments that really get me. Someone will read through the first 17 chapters of the book, only to get to the last chapter and leave a comment telling you that your work sucks. Like ... okay. Is there ... a reason? No reason given.

Other comments bash you for plotholes or inconsistencies within the text. I'll reply with acknowledgment or fill in the plothole if it's possible and ask the others to point out the inconsistencies because after spending half an hour re-reading my chapter, I can't find them. And I'll just get ... no reply. Nothing. See the name of the person under 'who is reading this chapter' and then a minute later I'll see a new 1-star rating show up.

It's just kind of messing with me. I should be happy my book is getting so much attention. But honestly, it's been doing nothing but sapping my confidence.

Not really sure what I'm looking for by posting this. Maybe others that have felt this way? Maybe I just needed to get this off my chest.

*sigh*

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#3
I’m sorry that this happened. Honestly, I feel like a lot of users on this website can be very blunt and very rude (most of the rude/blunt ones don’t realize they’re being rude/blunt) compared to other sites. It’s easy when you’re on the internet to just say whatever comes to your mind without filter. I don’t think those commenters really think about what they’ve said after they’ve said it, so you should try not to let it bother you too much. The readers who stay with you to the very end and help constructively are the ones who should you pay the most attention to. Not the one off comments from readers who haven’t actually paid attention while they’re reading.

If it really starts getting to you, you could always move off-site to a personal website. Loyal readers will follow. (I’ve had a couple author friends with a decent following consider this) You could also always take a break. Writing seems to be something you love and having it ill-colored by a bad experience is sad. Also trending/visibility on this site tends to summon the jerks. 

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#4
There are always downsides that creep up when you make it big, However you got to think positively. For every negative review or comment there should be a positive one along side it. If there wasn't you wouldn't be at the top.

You cannot please everyone, it's as simple as that. 

The one thing most negative comments don't take into account is that this is amateur writing. We're not big time authors and are generally doing this as a hobby. 

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#5
seconded what the others have already said. Don't let the negative comments get to you. Your story just doesn't appeal to some people and that's ok. There is no story that will appeal to everyone everywhere. It's the upside and downside of trending - people will try the novel 'because it's trending' even if they normally wouldn't have. Those who picked up the story there and didn't like it feel 'cheated' because trending is supposed to be good, right? So they leave a comment because for every 10 satisfied readers, one leaves a comment and for every 10 dissatisfied readers, 6 leave a comment. If they had started reading your novel some other way, they probably wouldn't have. Then they chose it themselves. But you're on trending, you're supposed to be better. And so the whining goes.

Don't take it personally, keep doing what you enjoy. No story comes out perfect on first draft. Keep having fun while writing and keep working on how you write.Don't rely on random passer-bys for good feedback

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#6
I went and read the first chapter. I can tell why you hit trending. Your story is quite interesting and I like the way you write the duality of the two characters. Unfortunately being popular is a double edged sword, and there are always those people who other people just because they are "popular" and have to find some "flaw" with them.

If comments are "non-nonsensical", and you ask for clarification and they don't give you any, ignore them. If you are looking for good feedback, look for the people willing to interact with you and read your story/re-read after you fix something they pointed out. (I've had some readers find truly awful mistakes that I made, and after I fixed them the readers went back and re-read for me). I've done the same for some authors I read. I've also had the "troll" commenters who seem to go to just read the latest chapter and write "I'm lost", and when asked why, there is absolutely no response. I try to just ignore those people. (Luckily I'm only semi-popular specifically in sci-fi on another site that doesn't have a lot of sci-fi readers so its not quite as bad as "front page press". )

You might also put in a disclaimer "This is a first draft and has gone through minimal editing. I will send through editing later." At that point you might just try ignoring all of the seemingly troll/you need to edit comments until you feel like doing an editing session. (You could as for additional feedback when the comment is made letting them know you will use there advice when editing, and if they don't give any then ignore them when looking through comments to edit.) I personally employ this method because I find doing in-depth editing when too close to writing the chapter is very demotivating and I would rather just get my work on my next chapter (I do run a quick spell check edit/semi-grammar edit over the story before posting, but nothing more in-depth). 

Another option is to just completely ignore all comments/reviews. In this one you focus on the fact you are writing for yourself. You embrace the idea that no one else matters. You post your story for the readers who love you, but even then you don't respond to anything (comment or review). Authors who publish through amazon/other platforms don't respond to reviews. 


readerbreather Wrote: Honestly, I feel like a lot of users on this website can be very blunt and very rude (most of the rude/blunt ones don’t realize they’re being rude/blunt) compared to other sites.



I haven't had much experience with this site, so I don't know too much on how blunt/rude people can be, but I do know that when I leave a review I tend to be very critical. Because of this I try really hard to find both good parts and parts that need improvement for the review, and I am always willing to work with an author to help them improve the "needs improvement" sections, and re-review on the improved writing. (Seeing this comment hits home because I have had many a person ask me for a review and after I review they stop writing, and I hate myself for being too critical. Its gotten to the point where I really struggle with reviewing because I want to be encouraging but also give an honest reviews/critique parts that I felt truly need improvement. I don't give unasked for reviews anymore and I try to warn people who want review swaps/put most "here's what you can do to improve" in comments.) Maybe there needs to be some sort of "guide" to reviewing you need to read before reviewing. Even that probably wouldn't truly help. Just remember that in the end all reviews are subjective and never truly objective because writing is art. 

Whichever way you chose, good luck. Your story seems like a fun and interesting read, so I hope you are able to find a way to continue enjoying your escape from work (and don't take to heart the critical reviews. Don't let the over critical people like me stop you from writing). In the end YOU ARE AWESOME! You made trending! That means that you probably have a ton of readers who will never say anything, but absolutely love YOUR work.

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#7
Unfortunately reaching trending always brings out the troll ratings. I know it happened to me when I reached trending and its happened to many other authors as well. In some ways, it's a right of passage on Royal Road. Still it hurts, particularly the comments. All you can do is take the comments with a grain of salt. If someone bashed your work without giving a reason, that's just their opinion, nothing more. If someone offers constructive criticism then make use of it. As others have said, sometimes the readers here can be blunt and don't fully understand the work an author puts into their story. Don't let that deter you. Keep writing what you want to write. Good luck.

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#13

parkertallan Wrote: Unfortunately reaching trending always brings out the troll ratings. I know it happened to me when I reached trending and its happened to many other authors as well. In some ways, it's a right of passage on Royal Road. Still it hurts, particularly the comments. All you can do is take the comments with a grain of salt. If someone bashed your work without giving a reason, that's just their opinion, nothing more. If someone offers constructive criticism then make use of it. As others have said, sometimes the readers here can be blunt and don't fully understand the work an author puts into their story. Don't let that deter you. Keep writing what you want to write. Good luck.

I feel pretty lucky I didn't get more low ratings during my time on trending. I think the lone 0.5 star rating was someone that just didn't like LitRPG, but oh well.

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#14
arashifufu Wrote: The sharpest blades are forged in the hottest fires.

Bread rises when left to rest. Boiling water softens potatoes but hardens eggs. What works for you may not work for others and we need more kindness in the world.

"Blunt" should not mean "rude." There's honesty and then there's attacking an author's insecurities. No one should be proud of being mean.

Sorry you have to deal with rude people, OP!

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#15

artsymarsy Wrote:
arashifufu Wrote: The sharpest blades are forged in the hottest fires.

Bread rises when left to rest. Boiling water softens potatoes but hardens eggs. What works for you may not work for others and we need more kindness in the world.

"Blunt" should not mean "rude." There's honesty and then there's attacking an author's insecurities. No one should be proud of being mean.

Sorry you have to deal with rude people, OP!

(This was very obviously a joke, my friend) 

To clarify, making criticism gentle (but honest) and sprinkling in some praise is a win-win. If the author ignores your feedback, it basically means you wasted your time on writing it. And overly rude comments are wayy more likely to be dismissed. You're absolutely right

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#17
Maybe this is just me, but the instant I put up a work on a public forum I expect it to get torn to shreds or receive a bunch of "it sucks" and that's it reviews. Not because I'm a pessimitic person, but that is simply what happens when you put yourself out there. People are petty, rude, and ill-mannered. lol The sooner you accept that and learn to write those people off like you do the 1-2 star raters the better. If you are gonna take anyone's opinions to heart, take to heart the ones that leave actual feedback. Cause they actually are pointing something out.

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#19
Yeah my motivation took a nosedive for a time too. RR is a nice site, but I'm gonna be honest, a certain small section of the reader base can be incredibly negative and elitist unlike a lot of other sites.

I just stopped looking at what readers said for like a month or so until I started to grow confident that my writing was actually good. 

I still avoid looking at comments when feeling down though, it's just really not a good idea when motivationally vulnerable to risk looking at something that might ruin things and cause a demotivation death spiral.

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#20
I'm not an expert, far from it, but if criticism isn't specific, it isn't valid 

I posted a few excerpts on Reddit, the only feedback I got was the thousand word interrogation scene was that it was 'too descriptive' and it had 'lots of sentence structure problems'. I thanked them for taking the time to post, asked how to change the sentences, got no response. If there were 'loads of problems' it would have been easy enough to point one out, they didn't

The next response went on some bizarre tangent about romance novels, wrote a sentence that made no sense and used something I didn't write to point out a supposed problem with what I wrote?!

I'm all for criticism, that's literally why I go to the trouble of posting stuff, because I can't see the cracks anymore, but 'this is bad' is useless, 'this is bad because' is helpful

I realise that saying ignore it isn't really helpful, and I don't know how I'd process it but ultimately if people hadn't liked your writing it wouldn't have hit trending in the first place. Plus there's no guarantee they actually read 17 chapters, they could have not understood something, then clicked through 17 pages just to be a dick