Re: Boring Readers

#1
Have any of you read some of the comments and have been just so utterly discouraged that some of your readers are so boorish and boring? Like, I am a boring guy, I won't hide that, but even by my standards, some people are beyond boring. I won't point fingers, but ever since the start of the story, my MC has been chasing after a girl he loves and his entire motivation was to get back to her. The MC assumes she's dead in Chapter 20 after visiting her house. I won't bother to add a Spoiler Tag because anyone that reads it enough to care would know that, in fact, the girl is not dead.

Then I've seen an increasing amount of posts that started to keep asking about when they'll meet and to just rush to that point. And internally, I go like: "I've spent 20 Chapters and around 85k words to get to this point to establish that she's dead for the MC. Do you really expect me to let them even realize that the other one is alive for another 20 chapters?"

This is mainly thanks to me slipping in a separate POV every 5 Chapters, often showing the MC's family and the girl. It may be frustrating to the readers, quite frankly, as if it's not even a mystery and that it could just be solved by having them meet. Often, I think whether or not it was a better idea to not reveal her true identity to the readers via an Interlude in the first place (the MC knows less about her than the readers do), but then I remember that it would have gotten far more backlash if I revealed that with small hints scattered all across --because they'd either hate how the MC doesn't realize the hints or how the readers themselves failed to piece it together. It's not like they could have logically run into each other, too. They're far too busy minding their own business.

But again, those people are probably the ones who reason that the eagles could carry Froddo and Co to Sauron's lair. (Note: I know that they can't, logically speaking, but this is just an example.) 

I suppose from among the thousand that read it, the ones that bother to leave a comment are mostly the vocal ones that make it apparent that they hate X and Y instead of just reading on quietly because they enjoy the story, but it still tells a lot.

With my plight finally described, what about you lot? Do you guys ever run into problematic, matter-of-fact readers that want to cut the beginning part of the story and the ending part of the story, then put it together and call that a read? 

Re: Boring Readers

#2
I can't tell yet as no one has commented on my stories yet. When I comment it is either a 'liking the book and will follow'  or some positive advice.

I prefer positive advice because it is hard to put yourself out there and our stories will always have someone who doesn't like our style, genre or voice. 

So positive reinforcement for my comments.

Re: Boring Readers

#3

Yeah, we readers like to show off how smart we (think we) are in the comments :p don't take it too personally hahah

It's like, when a reader thinks he sees a plot hole, he gets baited and has to brag about how he found a plot hole. Even if they're wrong, or if the story would be a hundred times worse with it "fixed" 

Re: Boring Readers

#4


Samuel Wrote: I can't tell yet as no one has commented on my stories yet. When I comment it is either a 'liking the book and will follow'  or some positive advice.

I prefer positive advice because it is hard to put yourself out there and our stories will always have someone who doesn't like our style, genre or voice. 

So positive reinforcement for my comments.


Couldn't agree more, quite frankly. Some people just don't like your "style", or rather, way of telling a story. Quite some time ago, I've had a reader give a review with a one star for Character just because my MC was able to do something that everyone else (in the same situation as him) can also instinctively do. I often use Third Person Limited because it lets me detach myself from the character and also the readers that'd read it later on, and the problem seemed to be the fact that I didn't say "When he instinctively did that, he did not, in fact, understand that literally, everybody who'd learned said Skill could also use it instinctively" or something along those lines. Because that's literally the only complaint they left (aside from a more controversial topic that I am 90% sure I know more than said reviewer) to put a one-star on Character. Subject of said review: 'Instinctively'; a problem that arose because of my writing style.

Re: Boring Readers

#5
Well, an author's job isn't to give readers what they want, but rather what they need. Besides, I find any kind of reader entertaining. I don't mind readers trying to interpret the story in their own way, even if their interpretation is totally off the mark, in fact, it's kinda entertaining for me. If somebody advises me on how to go about my story, I don't really mind either. We all like to imagine how a story would be better if it went a different way than it actually does. Fanfictions came about from just that kind of thought process. And sometimes, some readers could actually think up a scenario many times better than the actual writer. I've received a few genuine pieces of advice that had seemed good to me. Of course, I didn't take them since it was my story to write, but still, readers are anything but boring to me...

Re: Boring Readers

#6

Rainmeter Wrote:
Samuel Wrote: I can't tell yet as no one has commented on my stories yet. When I comment it is either a 'liking the book and will follow'  or some positive advice.

I prefer positive advice because it is hard to put yourself out there and our stories will always have someone who doesn't like our style, genre or voice. 

So positive reinforcement for my comments.


Couldn't agree more, quite frankly. Some people just don't like your "style", or rather, way of telling a story. Quite some time ago, I've had a reader give a review with a one star for Character just because my MC was able to do something that everyone else (in the same situation as him) can also instinctively do. I often use Third Person Limited because it lets me detach myself from the character and also the readers that'd read it later on, and the problem seemed to be the fact that I didn't say "When he instinctively did that, he did not, in fact, understand that literally, everybody who'd learned said Skill could also use it instinctively" or something along those lines. Because that's literally the only complaint they left (aside from a more controversial topic that I am 90% sure I know more than said reviewer) to put a one-star on Character. Subject of said review: 'Instinctively'; a problem that arose because of my writing style.
 


I saw that review and I can understand. It is like giving a 2 or 3 star review with one word like average. How does that help readers or even you the author? Well it doesn't.

My MC can be a complete loser. Fails at so many things but when it comes to fighting, he is a trained soldier. So he is efficient at killing people.

I am waiting for some good/bad comments and reviews. I will only concentrate on ones that will improve my creativity.

Re: Boring Readers

#7
My main consideration when writing a story is to tell a good story, not to satisfy some particular group of readers or fans. If they're agreeing to read my fiction, they're agreeing to come along on my journey. If a chapter I write is slow and I'm talking about that character's background, I'm doing it for a reason. I might even be telling rather than showing, simply because I don't have the time to write a full book leading up to the book I'm currently writing. I always start with a comprehensive outline, and I rarely deviate from it. I also have readers who aren't afraid to tell me a chunk of it is boring. If there's something I can do to make it less boring I will, but if I feel that section is necessary for the composition's integrity, I'm not changing it.

Re: Boring Readers

#8
Whilst I can imagine on some level it is frustrating, I think there are a lot of positives to take from this...

You have readers who have tuned in long enough to care about what's going on. They're investing in the story and the characters and are keen to see where it's going. I think also, behind the obvious of what's been said, there's something you can take from it.
Take for example the comment thread on chapter 20:


Quote:Really hoping this confrontation happens soon. Starting to get really annoying having Sean mindlessly pining after Clara without knowing who she really is or why he even likes her even after she has rejected him repeatedly. Seriously, their first dialogue post system is going to make or break this novel, and the longer it takes the more frustrating it is going to be.

>>

Yeah. It is getting pretty annoying. Not in a mystery plot way, in a frustrating RomCom misunderstanding kind of way. I want them to meet so we can finally know where that plot line is going, right now it is up in the air.

>>

YOU:  It isn't very likely that they'll meet until the climax of this arc (which is after god knows how many chapters). After the breakdown, he'll at least be a badass for a good while

>>

I suppose she would probably just end up killing him at this point, once he feels she's a vampire he'd probably attack, then she would probably just pop him from inside out.


These are you core, committed readers. They're not your 'TFTC' readers who aren't giving you anything, they're the people you're engaging with your story and giving you something you might be able to work with.

Like I said, whilst their interactions may be frustrating, that they aren't perhaps getting what you want from it, there's something to be taken from their feedback. Do you think perhaps the pacing is too slow? If you have a look at the bold parts there is a suggestion that perhaps some parts don't feel like they are moving fast enough. Is this something you could work on?

A review written for up to chapter 15:
Quote:At times it drags on and on going from one psycological extreme to the next, and nothing seems to really happen, people just confusedly talking with each other. Then there's action and it's all over in a couple confusing words.


I'm not saying for one minute to abandon your story to write what other people want you to write. Nuh-uh. 
And there's nothing wrong with the slow burn and people having to wait for things- hell, I keep people hanging on (not that I am getting the same type of comments but I know some revelations will take a while to come out) 

And actually if someone was to binge your story in a few months or once it was finished they might not interact with the comments in the same way, as they can get their next fix immediately-- Bit like The Walking Dead for me during the season 7 and 8. I watched them on a week by week basis, watching it as things dragged out, hoping that the next episode might reveal what I wanted to know. I stuck with it but that period was hard work. My friend didn't and abandoned the show until this year when he could binge all the way through and he actually liked them more than I did, because I guess he didn't have to suffer the frustration of having to wait. 

It's something to think about anyway, looking at it analytically from a different angle. This type of feedback can be quite valuable, because the risk is perhaps people will stop reading. 

I wish you all the best, and with my positive hat on, well done on creating something that people are caring about!

Re: Boring Readers

#9

EnhancedBeing Wrote: It's something to think about anyway, looking at it analytically from a different angle. This type of feedback can be quite valuable, because the risk is perhaps people will stop reading.
I remember when I used to think "thanks for the chapter" is the most useless kind of comment since it doesn't help me in any constructive way, but later I understood, the fact there are people who appreciate your content enough to give you a simple thank you despite not being articulate enough to say much, is a huge thing. And once it stops happening, you miss 'em. Kinda demotivates you too. there are hundreds, probably thousands of people reading your chapter maybe, and those that comment, care enough to do so. So I appreciate any comment I receive(which is, sadly, not very many), and I also appreciate my readers...


And as Enhanced said, sometimes readers can give you a glimpse at some discrepancies in your work that you may not notice cause you're too close to it. Yes, not every reader would be able to do that and not everyone would get your intentions with the story, but that's how readers are. They just interpret things their own way. And human nature is trying to be helpful, or sometimes, show off, or one-up someone, so some of their "help" might not be what you want, but so what. Even if they are wrong, their "wrongness" is fun in its own way...

Re: Boring Readers

#10

Rainmeter Wrote: Couldn't agree more, quite frankly. Some people just don't like your "style", or rather, way of telling a story. Quite some time ago, I've had a reader give a review with a one star for Character just because my MC was able to do something that everyone else (in the same situation as him) can also instinctively do. I often use Third Person Limited because it lets me detach myself from the character and also the readers that'd read it later on, and the problem seemed to be the fact that I didn't say "When he instinctively did that, he did not, in fact, understand that literally, everybody who'd learned said Skill could also use it instinctively" or something along those lines. Because that's literally the only complaint they left (aside from a more controversial topic that I am 90% sure I know more than said reviewer) to put a one-star on Character. Subject of said review: 'Instinctively'; a problem that arose because of my writing style.
By the way, if someone gives you a review just because they don’t like something. It can be reported, what you would have to do is point that out, and give credible statement on why it should be removed. If you can point out obvious intent to attack or falsify information, around those lines. Within the given context of where they have read, it would be possible to have it removed if memory serves.

Now, if they voice on why they don’t like it, and in detail. As well as the information they use backing it up, then well…nothing can be done there. R.R requires a review to be fair, it doesn’t accept reviews just because someone doesn’t like it. They gotta explain these things, otherwise, you can probably write them off as a troll, or trying to harm the piece of work.

I think the only thing R.R has a real problem with, is stopping drive by .5 ratings. Those can be reported, however, it can be quite a hassle, given the amount of authors and readers on this site.

Re: Boring Readers

#11
People have their own tastes, that's the long and short of it. As for boring? I don't know, what might be boring for you may be exciting for someone else, and vice versa. Basically, people have the right to think what they want and write what they want, no matter how irritating it might be to receive X comment about Y.

As for comments, most of the time people comment to either thank or to criticize you. I've received some great feedback for my story so far. Is it correct? Again that's all opinion, but in my opinion it's been varied. That's the way this all works: readers can offer their opinion and I can either discard or utilize their criticism. 

I've really enjoyed my time here so far and I hope people keep leaving comments and feedback not just on my work, but on everyone else's work. I've been very impressed with Royal Road as a community. It's really giving and generous, even if sometimes what I receive isn't something I or other authors necessarily want.

Re: Boring Readers

#12
I think you may be being a little hard on your readers. I haven't read the comments so I can't say for 100% surety, but generally when people are asking you for stuff/trying to direct your story and not telling you to stop writing that means they're enjoying the story. People just get antsy when they want something. I wouldn't take any of it to heart if I were you.

Re: Boring Readers

#14

Quote:These are you core, committed readers. They're not your 'TFTC' readers who aren't giving you anything, they're the people you're engaging with your story and giving you something you might be able to work with. 

Like I said, whilst their interactions may be frustrating, that they aren't perhaps getting what you want from it, there's something to be taken from their feedback. Do you think perhaps the pacing is too slow? If you have a look at the bold parts there is a suggestion that perhaps some parts don't feel like they are moving fast enough. Is this something you could work on? 



Just to clarify, it's not that I hate the feedback. I love it, actually. The fact that people are vocal about it is good. It's just that I find it boring how many people think that everything will just be promptly decided and done for rather than being decided later. It's akin to what would happen if Tolkien, hypothetically speaking if he had posted his stories online and a lot of the readers just point out that they could have just ridden the eagles. It's not that they're criticizing the story, even. It's the fact that they're suggesting a far more boring alternative. 

The reviews I've gotten outside of review swaps have been decent so far (excluding the one I spoke about) and have helped me realize what I may have been doing wrong. Quite frankly, I hate the straight-up five-star reviews (those can just be ratings, to be fair). I prefer the 3 - 4 star ones. The one thing that triggered me was the one star on character because of an issue that arose thanks to my writing style (and the fact that I didn't show other characters that early on when I had no reason to).

Re: Boring Readers

#15
Readers commenting that they're looking forward to the big reveal of whatever dramatic irony you have going on isn't necessarily a bad thing. I spent literally 80 chapters, 200k words, and 7 years (real time, not in story) without my MC realizing her love interest was a real person rather than AI and I'm considered moderately successful on this site, haha. I can't even count the number of "I hope she realizes soon" comments I've gotten.

If the comments go from enthusiastic to annoying and demanding, well, that's what the moderation tools in your comments section are for. You can delete and lock comment threads, and I believe you can get users banned from your comments section if certain individuals are being problematic.

Re: Boring Readers

#16
It just sounds like they're engaging with the story to me. Plenty of people who like slowburn stories will still be like "ooooh I can't wait until they find out about X, when is he gonna explain Z to her?" while fully knowing and enjoying the slow pace.

If they're genuinely bored, then (assuming your story is good), they're just not the target audience. There's nothing boring or boorish about being the kind of person who appreciates a faster story; it's a matter of personal taste. The fact that they're still reading and engaging despite that preference says good things about your story, and frankly if I were one of your readers I'd feel quite insulted by this derision.

Re: Boring Readers

#17
While you should never change your story just to fit the whims of readers, if you're getting a dozen comments about the exact same issue with the exact same complaint, it is a sign that there's something going on that isn't right. Either it's there's some story flaw, or the story isn't going the way the marketing suggested, or something like that. Readers aren't typically very good at diagnosing story issues--most non-authors aren't--but if you get consistent complaints in one area, it means that there is something there. Maybe it's not actually the issue readers think it is, but it very well may be something.

Not having read your story or the comments, I couldn't give the slightest answer. Maybe it's nothing worth looking at, but it could be.

Re: Boring Readers

#18
Some people really just don't understand or care about character development. Like, I've seen it happen in some many other places were as soon as there isn't one fight in a chapter/episode it becomes "boring." You have to learn what comments to listen to for any reason and there will always be people who are utterly useless for as a data point for how the audience is reacting.

I honestly think people who just go "boring" are best ignored sense they don't even explain and that is wildly subjective.

Re: Boring Readers

#19
I remember getting these two comments on my first and second chapter where someone was complaining how they don't know what's going on or where the story is even headed. 

I mean fair enough, but then again, I intended for my first chapters to introduce the main characters and some worlds before getting to the main part. Just a few chapters about the main character showing off his powers and personality. 

Re: Boring Readers

#20
Right at the moment, I'm thankful that people are commenting at all. Wouldn't dream of complainig about 'Thanks for the chapter' comments, because it tells me someone liked what he read enough to thank me.

There are some people who like to point out flaws in the plot and that tends to be a mixed bag. Sometimes they see something I overlooked, sometimes I simply look at it from another angle and disagree with them.

As of yet noone said that something was taking too long. But I'm pretty sure that is because I am pretty impatient myself and don't take enough time to build tension.
If your readers tell you that something is taking too long, they are impatient for further developments. That is not necessarily a bad thing. It means they are invested in your story, does it not?
So you could take it as a compliment at least in part.

Though I can be pretty thin-skinned myself when people are criticizing. When I read that someone doesn't like my MC because of so and so, my gut reaction is to defend her vehemently. But it is worthwhile to think about it for a while and let it simmer. Often there is at least some kernel of truth that can help you  to give the character more depth.