If a bad review gets to be the most upvoted one, will you consider abandoning/restarting the story?

Valmond

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I mean, it can't be good for newcomers to see it on the top of the list whenever they want to know whether your story is good or not.
You’re doing good over all. To be real with you, gotta remember this. Most people who read something, watch something, etc. Are those that do not interact much. They may leave a like here and there, but the majority of the world does not translate to the online base directly. They are usually just there. Typically, you’ll tend to come across people that are more open to being vocal in comparison. Just try to remember, the online world is really a fraction of the total that directly participates in it.

With this being stated, you write how you wanna write. Keep doing what you want to do, do not let another dictate how you produce your creative content. If you feel your work needs to be rewritten, then do so. If not, then do not. More often than not, the negative reviews are by the loudest of the lot. It is one thing to critique, and it is another to simply bash. Many does the second choice rather than the first.

If you ever do get constructive feedback, value it. It is not often you’ll come across it.
 

LostLibrarian

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If you ever do get constructive feedback, value it. It is not often you’ll come across it.
I more or less agree with you, but I would still argue that any feedback has its constructive core.

Reviews and comments are mostly from readers for readers, but they still display what they take from your novel. So it's less about "constructive feedback or not" but "what do you take from it?"

E.g. a ton of my novel's criticism comes from the slow pacing and readers voice that. So now you can take two things from that:

(a) Check whether your novel is too slow. A lot of times there will be a disconnect between what writers want to write and what they actually wrote. So it might be a problem.
(b) If the "problem" is by design, then it's time to overthink things like setting of the tone, synopsis, tags or even the way one advertises. People often give bad reviews because they didn't get what they wanted and it wasn't made clear enough that they won't get it - hence feeling like they wasted their time.

Not every comment should be the reason to rewrite/rethink the story. But bad comments and reviews are the symptom of a problem the novel has on some level. And those are made by the readers, so exactly who you want to hear it from in the first place.

You want your readers to enjoy your novel? Then also listen to those who don't enjoy it. That's exactly where you get your feedback from...



[Not an answer to this, but I find the focus on "constructive feedback" really funny, when a lot of outspoken writers will also go "My editor just wants to change things so that he changed something" or "I write like I want and others don't get it"...]
 
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KyoruS

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Honestly, maybe. I also recently got a bad review. Coming from the reviewer's perceptive it is understandable that it gave such a bad rating. But I can't help but feel like the reviewer is pretty biased towards its review, as it only read the first thirty percent of the available story content.

Nevertheless, it definitely breaks my heart when I read it.

The only reason why I keep continuing writing the story is only that I fell in love with the story and the characters.

For your answer, if you are worried that new readers won't read your story, then you could compare the views amount before the review and after review, see if there's any difference. Recently, I checked my story statistics and found no big differences.
 

Zirrboy

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I more or less agree with you, but I would still argue that any feedback has its constructive core.

Reviews and comments are mostly from readers for readers, but they still display what they take from your novel. So it's less about "constructive feedback or not" but "what do you take from it?"

E.g. a ton of my novel's criticism comes from the slow pacing and readers voice that. So now you can take two things from that:

(a) Check whether your novel is too slow. A lot of times there will be a disconnect between what writers want to write and what they actually wrote. So it might be a problem.
(b) If the "problem" is by design, then it's time to overthink things like setting of the tone, synopsis, tags or even the way one advertises. People often give bad reviews because they didn't get what they wanted and it wasn't made clear enough that they won't get it - hence feeling like they wasted their time.

Not every comment should be the reason to rewrite/rethink the story. But bad comments and reviews are the symptom of a problem the novel has on some level. And those are made by the readers, so exactly who you want to hear it from in the first place.

You want your readers to enjoy your novel? Then also listen to those who don't enjoy it. That's exactly where you get your feedback from...



[Not an answer to this, but I find the focus on "constructive feedback" really funny, when a lot of outspoken writers will also go "My editor just wants to change things so that he changed something" or "I write like I want and others don't get it"...]
That's for authors who'd rather disregard negative feedback on the outside
It leads to frustration, but unless they get really bashed, i think they won't be the ones to quit

for those that consider quitting, it's usually the opposite.
forget about being the most liked one, just any negative review or comment can send them into doubt.
and for them, taking in positive feedback at all is helpful.
 

LostLibrarian

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Recently, I checked my story statistics and found no big differences.
I mean most users will barely notice the review-tab on SH. Especially with how few reviews there are.
So most new readers will probably only see it as a "bad rating" in your overall rating, but not the "rant" that goes with it...

for those that consider quitting, it's usually the opposite.
I mean my post was just meant in general. I just dislike the idea to differentiate between "bad comments" and "constructive feedback". Maybe just because I always try to find out why I think my writing sucks :D

Imho, people who consider quitting often have a deeper problem that won't be addressed by positive comments either. Those might push them forward (and sometimes time alone will solve some problems) but if you are thinking about quitting, it should mean "back to the drawing board" no matter what the readers say... even if it's just to come back with "this is exactly how I want it to be..."
 

Valmond

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I more or less agree with you, but I would still argue that any feedback has its constructive core.

Reviews and comments are mostly from readers for readers, but they still display what they take from your novel. So it's less about "constructive feedback or not" but "what do you take from it?"

E.g. a ton of my novel's criticism comes from the slow pacing and readers voice that. So now you can take two things from that:

(a) Check whether your novel is too slow. A lot of times there will be a disconnect between what writers want to write and what they actually wrote. So it might be a problem.
(b) If the "problem" is by design, then it's time to overthink things like setting of the tone, synopsis, tags or even the way one advertises. People often give bad reviews because they didn't get what they wanted and it wasn't made clear enough that they won't get it - hence feeling like they wasted their time.

Not every comment should be the reason to rewrite/rethink the story. But bad comments and reviews are the symptom of a problem the novel has on some level. And those are made by the readers, so exactly who you want to hear it from in the first place.

You want your readers to enjoy your novel? Then also listen to those who don't enjoy it. That's exactly where you get your feedback from...



[Not an answer to this, but I find the focus on "constructive feedback" really funny, when a lot of outspoken writers will also go "My editor just wants to change things so that he changed something" or "I write like I want and others don't get it"...]
True and I agree with you there. Even negative comments have their values, at times. I say at times, since well, we can get into a very messy area.

Anyway, breaking it down into two categories more or less might be easier to relate towards.

1. Negative Feedback 1

—-> This can simply be the reader cannot thoroughly present their points, and review on how they feel. This is understandable, and easy enough to point out. Which this in itself does have value to take from. However, it does divide a bit further, which may fall into target audience. Writing like anything else, you’re not gonna please everyone, but focus on the core. That core is what carries the entire thing, but also introduces newer people to come into it. This further gets messy when considering genre. You can take some value from what is written, but also look for specific points in their feedback. This will help you to know whether maybe you need to clarify something more, or if you did clarify it well enough. It can simply mean they are a bit impatient, or haven’t been processing what is happening. Now, if they are having trouble organizing the information, and they make this clear enough. Then it is something to definitely look at, and see where to remedy it.

2. Negative Feedback 2

—> This is really the one where nothing valid can be taken from it. They can either read a bit with no intention of giving it a chance, hence it reflects in the review given. Then there are those that simply wish to bring down the person. They may sometimes use certain words to gain acknowledgment from those less aware, and this in itself can damage the material. Problem with the second one is that, it may not even fall into genre preference. It might not even fall into anything really. These are the ones to more or less ignore, since well, you wouldn’t necessarily know how to begin trying to make it better.


———————————————

Now we can break this down further.

1. Disconnect between writers on what they wrote and actually wrote.

—-> This here I completely agree with. More often than not, at least on the first or second drafting phase. A writer may think they wrote something fully to others understanding. Well, this is where rewrites come in, but before that. It is a good idea to use an audio reader, to read your work back to you. This way, you can hear it yourself, and if something does not add up. Well, you gotta problem to fix. If too much is a problem, then it is time for a full rewrite.

2. I agree with the redesigning part to an extent. One part of it is trying to accurately adjust things such as your book cover, summary, tags, etc. For the book cover, it should reflect not only the genre in a sense, but the theme of it. The summary now should further make this more clear, but more on the line to give them a feel of what is to expect. Then comes in the tags, which you gotta be careful on. It can also give the wrong idea at times.

However, there are times when I come across readers still expecting something else. Even though all three were done and redone quite a bit of times. This here cannot be helped, once I had someone expecting smut. When there was no tag anywhere of it. Let alone the summary and book cover depicting something completely different. Sometimes, you just will not win. Try to do it the best you can, since that is all you can do.


——————————————

Now, to answer the next part. The target audience, these are the ones you will want to hear from. After all, these are the people that will keep your story afloat. If your target audience now have an issue that can be potentially harmful. Then it is time to revise a few things. However, those outside of the base. Sure, you let them come in, but don’t pay them too much mind. It is likely they are there to feel out if it is for them. Which may come with a lack of understanding, or they may like it enough to see where it is going. After maintaining them for sometime, then it will be a good time to see how they are reacting to the work overall. Just try to remember, you write for your base, not for those that are outside of it. Most importantly, you also write for yourself. Since, your base will be following you through thick and thin.

Readers have different preferences, so it is completely impossible to please them all. Hell, just look at some other things such as YouTube, or older books. There was some book that was written in 1947, two years after the bombing of Hiroshima. The book had a line that compared some scene to the devastation that took place. Well, it was received quite positively, despite how messed up it was. That there shows a base, and that base took even a book like that far.


————————————

Also true on the constructive bit. Editors are an interesting bunch, that if you are going for traditional publishing. You gotta meet a really narrow line. Honestly, this might be one of the reasons why self publishing has risen. It gives more freedom, and really just requires someone to experienced in correcting errors.
 
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LinMeili

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I got a bad review once. They put it as a comment on a chapter. Honestly, I was super super bummed. But I didn't reply to them and one day later, they deleted their comment.

:s_eek: I'm not gonna lie, I would probably restart if I had a lot of bad reviews. Like, if the majority of my reviews were bad. That hasn't happened, but I would be lying if I said I wouldn't at least think of it.
 
D

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You know, I usually don't give any damn fucking care about other people's critique, I just read it and store the point in my brain. However, if the negative feedback is just some bored people chiding because they got nothing better to do, I don't give a fuckshit attention to it.

I wrote that story, so what if you don't like it? Can you do the same, writing a story? Most of the readers (or maybe just my readers), are those from the non-scribbler ..., I'm not picking on them or anything, but if they have solid backing on what they've commented to be right, then why don't you write one?

Besides. you can't please everyone, there must be one who displeased with your work among them, even if by general it looks alright and all.
OIP.851D3goiiwIMFoNbTSg3-wHaHI.jpeg
 

owotrucked

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I mean, it can't be good for newcomers to see it on the top of the list whenever they want to know whether your story is good or not.

I've just looked at your review and I'd like to share you my opinion on it despite not having read your work.

His review sounds like a "promise break problem".

The first chapters of a story are supposed to set the tone, direction of the plot and how the characters evolve. The author foreshadows those elements in the early stages of a story so that the readers can judge whether the story fits their tastes (reading is worth their time).

Reading a book is a time investment, and we need to handle it with care. So, author must provide enjoyable payoffs, powerful emotions and meaningful closures.

If your stories change radically in the middle:
- The readers who enjoyed the start will hate it
- The readers who could enjoy the twist wouldn't have lasted that long

If many readers felt betrayed to the point of liking that review, it might be good to think about editing the early part of the story to put whatever flavors were hiding in the later parts.

It can't be helped when we write first drafts to overlook some stuffs that will appear later. So they are pretty much unfinished products.

The problem with webnovels is that even if you edit the first part of the story, your reviews won't disappear. Though you could re-release it under a different name...
 

ForestDweller

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but if you are thinking about quitting, it should mean "back to the drawing board" no matter what the readers say... even if it's just to come back with "this is exactly how I want it to be..."

Well, this happens to me so many times I've lost count.

But the answer so far is still to keep going. Just because I got nothing better to write. 😔
 

Jamminrabbit

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Well, this happens to me so many times I've lost count.

But the answer so far is still to keep going. Just because I got nothing better to write. 😔
At the end of the day, just do what you think is best. Whether it be restarting, rewriting, continuing, or flat out stopping. If that helps your mental, then you will be better for it than slogging through whatever you're going through now.
 

ForestDweller

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I've just looked at your review and I'd like to share you my opinion on it despite not having read your work.

His review sounds like a "promise break problem".

The first chapters of a story are supposed to set the tone, direction of the plot and how the characters evolve. The author foreshadows those elements in the early stages of a story so that the readers can judge whether the story fits their tastes (reading is worth their time).

Reading a book is a time investment, and we need to handle it with care. So, author must provide enjoyable payoffs, powerful emotions and meaningful closures.

If your stories change radically in the middle:
- The readers who enjoyed the start will hate it
- The readers who could enjoy the twist wouldn't have lasted that long

If many readers felt betrayed to the point of liking that review, it might be good to think about editing the early part of the story to put whatever flavors were hiding in the later parts.

It can't be helped when we write first drafts to overlook some stuffs that will appear later. So they are pretty much unfinished products.

The problem with webnovels is that even if you edit the first part of the story, your reviews won't disappear. Though you could re-release it under a different name...

Exactly. I've had people told me to add more into the intro to make the story more unique. Just hasn't got around to do it yet.

And like you said, it won't really delete that review or the upvotes, so I can't be bothered.
 
D

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Forest, I think you have talked about it again and again. If you think you want to write the way you wanna write, then ignore the reviews and comments. Or, you can take a look and take some of those feedback parts that are good and improve your story. Either way its up to you.

Lamenting about it on the forums isn't gonna help much. There's potential readers on here too, so sometimes when we comment or post on a thread, how and what we comment on things can determine whether others feel deterred from reading those authors' stories. Especially if we sound like we're blaming the readers a lot of times when not all readers all in the bad bunch.

Also somewhere in a different thread you once mentioned that you ask the readers what they wanna see in the story. Ask them how they feel about the story but don't ask it like you're open to suggestions what to put in your story and then feel bummed about it when they demand too much from you.

Constructive feedback is good to differentiate from the really rude, negative comments though.
Constructive feedback is good and can be helpful for improving. Rude, negative and unhelpful comments are not and they don't count as feedback.

Reviews are for the readers. We can't change it. Its like how we find reviews on things on Amazon. Do you really just only want to hear how good it is? Or also what to be cautious of before you try it? It just sucks, because the review happens to be on the thing you created, but that is how it is.

Like it or not, there'll be bad reviews and there'll be good reviews. How you move forward with it - whether to accept some feedback and improve or grow thicker skin and ignore it - is up to you ultimately.
 
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TheOneWho

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I think it's up to what the writer feels, if you don't want to write a story despite how good or bad it is. Then you shouldn't force yourself, but if you want to continue the story. Then you should continue despite what the comment/review makes you feel. But that's just what I think.
 
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