Re: It has finally happened. Do I just suck it up?

#1
Finally, after around 2-3 weeks of posting on this site, someone randomly gave my story a 1 star rating, in spite of my two positive reviews. I'm afraid this might create misconceptions around the quality of my story. Do I just suck it up and wait around to see if my score gets higher from other ratings or what? Didn't think I'd encounter a rating troll so early on

Re: It has finally happened. Do I just suck it up?

#6
I'm not really familiar with how badly a star hurts on RoyalRoad, but from my experience on other sites:
It's going to happen, and it hurts a lot more as an author than it gets noticed as a reader.

Personally, when I'm looking to decide if I want to read a book, I ignore one stars unless there's a huge number of them. 'One star' usually means "This story wasn't for me but I decided to review it anyways". 
What I watch out for is two and three star reviews - Because that (usually) means that it wasn't a fundamental problem with taste, but rather that someone really tried to get into a story and there was something about it that hampered their enjoyment. 

One stars hurt, but don't let them get you down. (Unless there's an algorithmic reason why it is really bad on this website. I'm still new to the interface.) 

Re: It has finally happened. Do I just suck it up?

#9

Ayer12 Wrote: Finally, after around 2-3 weeks of posting on this site, someone randomly gave my story a 1 star rating, in spite of my two positive reviews. I'm afraid this might create misconceptions around the quality of my story. Do I just suck it up and wait around to see if my score gets higher from other ratings or what? Didn't think I'd encounter a rating troll so early on


I wouldn't worry so much. A review is a review and that means people read it. So take that as a small win and try to ensure that whatever you do it's the best you can do. If it was just that odds are it's a troll and you are better off just moving on and working on your stories. If a review was left read it and if it has points take them and think about how best to use that tidbit of insight.

Re: It has finally happened. Do I just suck it up?

#10
Okay, so because everyone has told you the same thing, which is definitely a great lenses to view the experience through and that advise is totally invaluable to morale. Remember to keep going regardless of how you're rated or what anyone says. No one has the right to give you permission to write - that's something you do or you don't. Just like choosing to be a better writer - that's something you choose an area to focus on, and practice, practice, practice...

Now for the other part of what's potentially going on that people are far too kind to point out.
There is the possibility that it wasn't a troll. Just like you have the right to write, readers have the right to express an opinion that doesn't neccessarily share your/others view of the work. And that's okay. As creatives we wear our hearts on our sleeves and bristle at anything less than our imagined greatness (I've been there - and I still hate backseat editors. Also known as you-should-ers or I-wouldn't-have-written-it-that-way-ers). Being told that your sentence structure is a mess - hurts. Being told that you're spelling a character name wrong consistently - makes you go WTF - but also hurts.

The sad truth is - your/my/other creative's hurt doesn't matter. Why you ask? Well it comes down to why we're writing?
Now validation writing in my opinion is extremely toxic. But we all do it, especially when we first get started. How do you know you're a validation writer? Here are a few tips that have helped keep things in perspective. Do you feel offended when you aren't praised? Do you engage in shortcuts to boost numbers instead of improving your skills in writing? The sinister part here is - sometimes we don't recognize that we are doing these things, especially on a site where the numbers matter to an extent. I might announce I have X views - but my read through rate sucks. Do I quit because I didn't get the validation I felt I deserved? RECOGNIZE MY GREATNESS!!! lol

What's really annoying is a rating with no reason why. I mean it doesn't give you a direction to improve. 'Not for me' reviews are actually easy to handle because there was nothing you can do to change their minds. While I may not leave a 1-star for books I've picked up. I will leave a 1-star when I'm contacted to read something after I explicitly ask if it's a romance. I loathe romance. So by virtue of being lied to - I'll leave a 1-star. 

All of that is not meant as an accusation. I just wanted you to have a few different angles to consider. In writing we are either writing for ourselves which means reviews/ratings shouldn't have any emotional impact because the reward is intrinsic, or we are writing to be read, which means we need to be open to less than perfect reviews/ratings in order to write in a way that our readers respond to - which means improving our writing skills.

So figure out your why, then figure out your how.

Re: It has finally happened. Do I just suck it up?

#11
As far as people getting misconceptions I don't think you have to worry about that. Most people don't really look at the ratings at all when choosing what to read. The real negative about people giving you crap reviews is that you won't be on trending which will expose your work to more people. Maybe people would take notice of ratings if every single rating was 1 star, but if that were the case I'd think you'd have to take a look at yourself before worrying about anything else. That doesn't seem to be the case with your work though.

Re: It has finally happened. Do I just suck it up?

#14
It happens. Sadly, some people just do 1 star reviews for little to no reason. 

I own a game store, and it's one of the topics on the retailer forums that is always being discussed: How to deal with 1 star reviews. 
Someone got one today because a customer came by and he wasn't open. It was an hour after his posted closing time. 
Another store got a 1 star that said "I don't play games, nothing for me to buy."
I got one because I wouldn't buy a guys old action figures. We don't sell action figures. 

You just keep going. It hurts. But you can't let it affect your story. 

Re: It has finally happened. Do I just suck it up?

#15

The Wrote: It happens. Sadly, some people just do 1 star reviews for little to no reason. 

I own a game store, and it's one of the topics on the retailer forums that is always being discussed: How to deal with 1 star reviews. 
Someone got one today because a customer came by and he wasn't open. It was an hour after his posted closing time. 
Another store got a 1 star that said "I don't play games, nothing for me to buy."
I got one because I wouldn't buy a guys old action figures. We don't sell action figures. 

You just keep going. It hurts. But you can't let it affect your story.



For real? Wow, some people are just d*cks sometimes.

Re: It has finally happened. Do I just suck it up?

#17
There unfortunately isn't much you CAN do about it. Your writing will improve over time, provided you keep working at it. So a free floating numeral without an explanation means nothing besides the vague idea someone supposedly didn't like what they read. Ratings, by and large, are mostly useless as an actual metric. Reviews on the other hand, well, at least you have a chance to see the reasoning behind the score.

A basic review is worth two ratings and an advanced review is worth four ratings. So they are literally more valuable in terms of metrics as well as information.

What kills me inside is the very literal use of averages for determining a story's final rating and by extension its ranking. A single low outlier rating takes anywhere from five to twenty ratings to be offset. At some point, you will outgrow the negative ratings, assuming they are outliers, but it's a painful process. Overall ranking matters, because it can earn your story 'free' prime advertising on the front page or earlier pages through the search engine. Unfortunately, a single outlier can make a difference of dozens of page results.

Edit: Someone linked in from this forum thread and dropped a 1.5 Not suspicious at all...

Re: It has finally happened. Do I just suck it up?

#20
Ha! I had something similar happen to me. I wrote my into, got several chapters in, then had someone nice who joined back in like 2017 leave me a nice 5 star rating. It really made my day. Yes, my book starts a little slow, but that is just because I want the story to have a view of who my MC was before everything changed. Then out of nowhere with no reason my rating dropped from a solid five to a three. 😬 No reason, no critique or dear John letter, just pow! I had yet to figure out analytics so I had to mentally guess how badly someone thought of my writing. 
But here is the thing though... I don't write these stories to please anyone. I actually write them just because it is really awesome for my brain and I really do enjoy rereading it again later. So, while the low occasional stars are not enjoyable... They don't really harm me much. 
Now, those 5 star ratings? 🥰 They make my day. More then that the comments that are actually about the chapter and not a cut and paste "thank you", those are cool. 
So yeah, I had three low ratings right at the beginning writing my story on here. You don't need to worry about it. Just keep writing and creating your dream story and it will come back up. Mine is happily back up to 4.5 today. 👍
---
Looks like everyone was awesome! 😄