Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#21
Sorry to hear about this, AGUX. Hope you feel better soon. 

And fully agreed that one of the downsides of being "famous" is increased scrutiny, some of which is very unfair. Though it's great that you are able to deal with the troll ratings. 

Maybe what FourPin wrote about (paraphrasing) 'criticism without specificity being invalid' might help you classify those unhelpful comments as trolls too? Hopefully help with being able to respond to valid feedback rather than let the trolls win?

Sorry, I know this is probably all very unhelpful of me, but hope things work out for you in the end. Best wishes.

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#22
Dude, you're falling prey to negative reviewers. Do not be their writing monkey. You said it yourself, "not to their taste." There's nothing you can do. You can fix every nit they mention and in the end, those folks will still say your story sucks. And after that? It'll be their story, not yours.

Learn to ignore them, or this is going to take you down a road of such negativity that you'll just end up not writing. Why let those people do that to you? You're an artist. All artists have their detractors. learn to brush them off. By the way, I think Brandon Sanderson is a hack and Van Goh couldn't paint a straight line to save his life.

Someone recently told me that the title of my latest story sounds like a "crappy school program designed to get children to read more" without even reading the story. Who knows why, and I don't really care. He probably couldn't write to save his life at gunpoint anyway.

Did you know Stephen King said Stephenie Meyer couldn't write? She influenced an entire generation and made more money on twilight than he ever did on any of his books. You think she cried herself to sleep on her mattress of money when she read what he, a heavyweight writer, said about her? Psshh! He was jealous.

Brush 'em off.

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#23

Quote:Learn to ignore them, or this is going to take you down a road of such negativity that you'll just end up not writing. Why let those people do that to you? You're an artist. All artists have their detractors. learn to brush them off. 


I published my first book on amazon 6 months ago, alongside other short stories. I had awesome reviews, good reviews, mixed reviews, bad reviews and awful reviews. The whole specter. I can't remember the good ones yet the awful ones are burnt into my retina. One guy once said that my work was an 'uneducated 13 years old girl horseshit' before telling me he did NOT read it at all... 

I know how hard it is to endure that. The exposure comes with a price and, apparently, people have a lot of issues to deal with... Don't fall for that. Write for YOU, first. Stay on RR's forum, among amazing people and buff up your ego. The people insulting you are probably jealous bitter airheads. They can't imagine nor write shit. The best thing they can do is insulting an author giving them FREE entertainment. 

Non-constructive criticism should go directly to your brain's garbage bin.

Keep up the good work!

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#24

Quote: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.

And yet... you published your writing on the Internet.


Now, please don't get me wrong.  Screw the trolls and hate-raters.  It's a childish and nasty thing to do.  But... this is the Internet.  If you want to write and only want positive feedback, give it to your mother.  But if you want to write and earn the scars you'll need to be a writer whose work is consumed by the general public in any form, then RR is a good place to start.  But you can't go into the ring and not come away with a few bruises.

A little like you, I'm mainly here because it gives me a structure and a place to put my writing out there.  But I chose RR because the public arena puts a little pressure on me to stick to a schedule and write with discipline, and doing so attracts a small readership.  The numbers, though, mean that if you attract a larger readership, you'll also attract the trolls and you can't write in a public forum and not anticipate trolls.


Quote:Did you know Stephen King said Stephenie Meyer couldn't write? She influenced an entire generation and made more money on twilight than he ever did on any of his books. You think she cried herself to sleep on her mattress of money when she read what he, a heavyweight writer, said about her? Psshh! He was jealous.


It's worth watching SK's video because it's not jut SM that he has a go at, and he specifically acknowledges her financial success and the success of other writers in a similar genre.  SK is a man of many flaws, but I think it is fairly inarguable that he is passionate about quality storytelling and simply didn't perceive it in the Twilight series.  You are welcome to disagree, of course, but to suggest that the fact that Twilight was commercially successful therefore equates to the fact that it was good writing is ludicrous.

Also worth reading the comments below the video.  You know the ones I mean.  Yeah.  That's the generation of Twilight fans that Meyer "influenced"...

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#25

precinctomega Wrote: You are welcome to disagree, of course, but to suggest that the fact that Twilight was commercially successful therefore equates to the fact that it was good writing is ludicrous.



I didn't do that.

"Literature" and storytelling are not the same thing. Writing is a medium and anyone reading popular fiction should not be looking for "literature." The whole concept surrounding great writing, i.e. "literature" has some broken logic. Half of the literary classics of the early 20th century were considered low brow writing in their day because they were published in the pulp magazines.

The very concept of king picking on a successful "storyteller" for her prose not being up to his personal standards... now that is ludicrous. What does everything have to adhere to some bar of literary excellence? Isaac Asimov did not write literary excellence, and yet millions of people have enjoyed his stories, and will continue to enjoy his stories in another two hundred years.

I actually don't like King's stories. He can't write a good ending to save his life in my opinion.

The flaws in a writers work as simply the brushstrokes in their art. And if a person wants to call it crap, I guess they can. Meanwhile, people who enjoy the author's work will continue to enjoy the authors work.

The Mona Lisa is not a very interesting painting. The background is too drab and the woman is too picture real. Van Goh, he's kinda sloppy, but I find i can stare at one of his paintings a whole lot longer than the Mona Lisa.

“Except for two stories [of Asimov]—”Liar!” and “Evidence”—they are not stories in which character plays a significant part. Virtually all plot develops in conversation with little if any action. Nor is there a great deal of local color or description of any kind. The dialogue is, at best, functional and the style is, at best, transparent… The robot stories and, as a matter of fact, almost all Asimov fiction—play themselves on a relatively bare stage.”—James Gunn


“I made up my mind long ago to follow one cardinal rule in all my writing—to be clear. I have given up all thought of writing poetically or symbolically or experimentally, or in any of the other modes that might (if I were good enough) get me a Pulitzer prize. I would write merely clearly and in this way establish a warm relationship between myself and my readers, and the professional critics—Well, they can do whatever they wish.”—Isaac Asimov

In my book, no pun intended, literature, can go take a hike. I want a good story.


Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#28

Shadowmail Wrote: 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.

This. So much this. 


Unless you're specifying that you wish to be slagged in a review format, those rude comments or 'critiques' should be disregarded. Unsolicited advice is still unsolicited. 

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#30

SeanScruffy Wrote:
Shadowmail Wrote: 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.

This. So much this. 


Unless you're specifying that you wish to be slagged in a review format, those rude comments or 'critiques' should be disregarded. Unsolicited advice is still unsolicited.

HA


Have you ever had 0.5 stars with no context or explanation at all?
I got 10 of them.

You gotta write what you wanna write, and sometimes what you write is not the taste of others. Like what is good food in my country is unwanted meat in other parts. Like oxtail or tripe, you know.

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#31
Isn't it funny how they will read all your chapters and then comment just to bash it? Like if it was so bad why did you keep reading? I had that happened to me a bit to when I started though I never made to the top trending. I would say either just ignore the bad comments that don't offer constructive criticism or just don't read the comments. A lot of famous people say that is what they do because those on the internet can be cruel for no reason. Just do you and ignore what people write, you can even turn off the commenting abilities. Or like I said just care about the ones that are good or give good criticism that helps you improve all the rest just ignore them because they are not going to help you and might even cause you stop writing. A lot of those who give bad comments and reviews with no insights into how to fix the problem are also people who would probably never write something on their own either. They like to spout off what is good and bad and yet don't know how hard it can be to write. Its like the overweight and out of shape person lying on the couch yelling at the pro athletes that they suck. Congrats on reaching so high with your story I am sure you are doing something right and I know I am interested to check out your story to find out what it is. Don't let these people bother you and just keep doing you. 

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#32

AGUX Wrote: I want to thank everyone for taking the time to reply to this post, it really helps to just get views from different people! I've been very focused on responding to every comment, but it may be time to turn those notifications off and avoid them completely.

Thanks again!

Advice that I was given by someone more experienced when I went through the exact same struggle as you when I hit trending and doubly so when buying an ad is to simply delete any comments that aren't constructive and make you feel bad. Don't respond to them or ask for feedback because once other negative readers see it, they all follow the leader and I've seen them gang up on an author more than once.


I locked the comment section of my story temporarily and that caused negative reviews to increase exponentially. So I'll pass along that advice and suggest just deleting the comments, you eventually become numb to them. I hope this helps! 😊

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#34

AGUX Wrote: 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*

I had the same issue when I published my first story, I didn't make it into the top ten, but I was in the top five of trending for over a week. The "critics" all showed up at that point. It honestly made me not want to write anymore. Eventually, I said screw em. I took the few bits of constructive criticism and used that to improve my writing. The rest I simply ignore now.


Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#35
Personally I interact a bit with the trolls, then see them drop off. They usually post only a single comment then don't bother replying to any of yours. Having been an admin on a Gmod Dark RP server back in the day, I'm at least somewhat armored against this kind of behavior.

The troll reviews are another matter, since you cannot respond to them to point out how completely false they are, you just have to report them and wait until an admin/moderator eventually get to them. Of course, your readers will usually downvote them into oblivion, but if you have few reviews they will still remain visible and serve as a hate magnet (I used to have a 0.5 star review on my story, and as long as it was up I kept getting 0.5 star ratings from time to time, then the review vanished and the ratings stopped coming).

Then there are critical reviews, and quite frankly I put them into 3 categories :

Lacking.
Balanced.
Very critical.

The lacking ones are those that point out vague issues but are usually very generalist and never go into any kind of details. Usually I PM the poster and ask for more details, and any advice if they have any (special thanks to Ondine for example, for the absolutely awesomely detailed discussion we had on information management and cultural outlook, despite the vague review). If I get no response, then I mostly dismiss the review. It doesn't make it invalid mind you, nor should it prevent you from turning your attention towards certain issues, but without any details there really isn't any action that can be taken, and you'll only get worried for nothing over it.

The balanced ones are those that try to keep a balance between good and bad points, and try not to let their criticism drown the review and discourage potential readers. Not really much to say, they are the best kind of reviews in my opinion.

And finally, the very critical one. Those...are problematic. On the point of view of growth as an author in terms of skill, they're awesome. Very detailed, to the point, everything right in this regard. The problem being that even those that really like the story go 'This story is very good, I heavily recommend, but' and then go on for 3 paragraphs of criticism that make it look like they're beating down the story while in fact they're trying to help, but not realizing that it really hammers the morale of the author, or sometimes even harm the story as a whole, as people see this kind of review, with paragraphs of bad stuff, and decide to leave, despite the fact that there's a lot of really great things the poster thought of the story, just that they didn't put it in the review, or expand on them as much as they expanded on the bad things.

Note that I usually dismiss ALL reviews that are 'I don't like the way it handles the genre'. I'm not going to mould my story into the tropes because that's what some people want. I also usually take reviews that were posted at the prologue or first chapter with a grain of salt, because a lot of stuff changes between the start of the story and the state it is currently in (as I continuously improve and correct things), and a lot of those reviews criticize things that have already been fixed, and would have realized that had they bothered to read on. Since I don't plan on going back and spending months rewriting my whole story (and then get stuck in a never ending loop of rewriting), their criticism is of limited utility. Although, if you do want to make a demonstration of the current state of affairs, maybe just updating the 1st chapter of your story and fully rewriting it to reflect later stuff could work.

Lastly, I was on trending as well, although I didn't trend nearly as hard as you did, trending did demultiply my reader base, and unfortunately did bring quite a few trolls along. Honestly it has been a relief since I've been off of trending, not having to check my story constantly for new comments, reviews, ratings, ect. It also does mean that I am unlikely to ever get back onto trending, or for my story to ever get known anyime soon (I don't spam small chapters like most authors, no offence, so I am seldom on the 'recently updated' list), but I accept that. I think slow and steady growth helps with dealing with such things one at a time rather than having them all piled up ontop of you at once.

As for the demotivation, I got a huge amount of support from my regular readers. Don't focus on the trolls that are trying to beat you down, go, talk to those that like your story. Some might resent those that say 'Thanks for the chapter' every time you post, but they are sincere, and if you get into a conversation with them you will see it. So go focus on those that actually read your story rather than the ones that are never going to truly read it, and are just here to spread their hatred and poison.

Re: Hitting trending has actually been a curse

#36
Learning to roll with the punches to a degree was one of the key things that kept me writing when Inheritance began to pick up steam on ff.net. Some of what was sent to me was downright nasty, or picking me up on things I had no control over. The nature of the story as a fanfic that I began writing before the conclusion of the story meant that by necessity, some of the lore is wrong. Because nobody knew what the correct lore was when I wrote it. You've got to learn what to let slide and what to take on board. 

The second somebody starts swearing up a storm because whatever thing I quoted is no longer canon I immediately tune out. 0.5 reviews for no reason? Fuck 'em. 

I do find it funny when somebody is three paragraphs into a sweary diatribe about what an awful writer I am and how I should be ashamed that I dared to post any of my work and I realise they've left their review 130,000 words and 30 chapters in. Like, it's cool that you don't like my writing, but come on. You've read a full novel's worth at this point. You could have put the bastard down at any point and you paid nothing for it. Relax a little.