Reacting to Insults?

2 years ago | TheAdamBo (Member)

I'm not getting much attention on RoyalRoadL, but the one guy who seems to consistently leave comments on my stories is just leaving insults. The last comment he left said, "You made it to chapter two before you made it terrible, so congratulations. Why does everything you write have to be so twisted and awful?" I know better than to get in comment fights with your readers, but since there's no mute or block feature (that I can find, anyway), it's starting to get on my nerves. What would you guys consider a good reaction? Should I delete the comments? Will that make people start saying I can't take criticism?

My Fiction is Fantastic, Fabulous, Freaky, and FREE! Check it out on BolanderBooks:

Read responses...

Page: 12


  1. Nico H (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    "Twisted and awful" seems like somebody has a kneejerk reaction to heavy topics... I would say to take a critical look at your story's framing, to make sure that you're portraying any heavy topics with a sensitive hand (torture, abuse, murder, etc can elicit 'why are you twisted' responses, but there's nothing wrong with including those things as long as you make it quite clear that you're not trying to show any of these as good things) and if your framing /is/ fine, then go ahead and delete. I will reply to constructive criticism, if someone gives me well-meaning pointers like 'the middle paragraphs have too much word repetition', but I'll just delete comments that have nothing good to say. Once somebody said that my writing 'made them need to take a shower' all because the main character ended up with a different character than the commenter wanted.

    Currently writing Yokaishiteru! and Others
  2. TheAdamBo (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    The first comment I got from him (basically a witty conversation with himself about how gross the story was) was because the MC has a romance with a nonhuman character. This time the story was "twisted and awful" because the MC (different story) finds out she killed a child during her werewolf transformation.

    My Fiction is Fantastic, Fabulous, Freaky, and FREE! Check it out on BolanderBooks:
  3. Nico H (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Oh wow, that's not even that bad on the scale of things... Coming from someone whose stories consistently include interactions between humans and demons, with a heavy focus on humans finding demon feeding habits morally wrong, and demons finding it confusing how humans could commit as many crimes as they do. Way worse stuff than a human/nonhuman relationship and one dead kid. Oversensitive or a troll. That said, I think I'll be taking a read through your stories!

    Currently writing Yokaishiteru! and Others
  4. TheAdamBo (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Sweet! I'd appreciate it!

    My Fiction is Fantastic, Fabulous, Freaky, and FREE! Check it out on BolanderBooks:
  5. unice5656 (Moderator)

    Posted 2 years ago

    You can go ahead and delete whatever comments you want; the comment section is your dictatorship. However, keep in mind that you'll still be able to see them (they'll show up in red because they're soft deleted, not hard deleted). I had this really annoying girl posting comments complaining about stupid formatting issues that weren't actual issues that still haunt me these many years later. Thankfully, she dropped the story quite early. If it gets to the level of harassment, you can report the comments and request that the person be banned from commenting on your fictions, I believe, though I've never done this, so I'm not sure.

    You can also reply. I'd keep the responses thoughtful and directly address the criticisms in the comment. Don't attack readers, no matter how pissed off you are. "I'm sorry you feel that way" is my standard go-to. Though once, I had to say "You're clearly an American", hahaha. (It was a person who said that since I'm writing in English, I should use Imperial units of measurement.)

  6. Sharkerbob (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    You can also respond with total non-sequiturs that leave them spinning. Maybe that'll confuse them into submission. :P

  7. Scott Scherr (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    I had someone over at RRL who was commenting so much and obsessively nit-picking to the point that I thought he might have been trolling me just to get me angry and bite back. I chose to stay professional and respond with multiple variations of "Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts" and just let it go. Eventually, said reader, wrote me a raving five-star review. Turns it he loved my story and his critical comments were a result of being overly invested in the characters and the storyline as a reader. All that to say, you never really know how much a reader likes or dislikes your work by the short snippets of comments they post. I would say, if you have a return reader who is constantly commenting on your stories, even if it appears negative, chances are they may actually be a fan of your work... you never know. I would just thank he/she for reading, and leave it at that. At least someone is bothering to comment at all, right?... lol. Just my 2 cents.

    Author of the apocalyptic series, Don't Feed The Dark.
  8. TheAdamBo (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    I got one review that compared Amber in Amber Silverblood to a doll in a doll house because she hardly ever effects the plot. I was like, that's cool, you're welcome to your opinion, but the whole point of Amber Silverblood is that she's a helpless teenage girl who's in waaaay over her head and has lost control of her life. She doesn't do things so much as things happen to her.

    My Fiction is Fantastic, Fabulous, Freaky, and FREE! Check it out on BolanderBooks:
  9. Maromar (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago


    Literary expectations do real harm to stories featuring passive protagonists. As long as they're not "doing something to the plot" they're mistaken as objectively bad characters (a concept that shouldn't exist, as fiction is a subjective field). Never mind an interesting internal monologue and deeply explored themes, if she's not punching her problems in the face physically or metaphorically, the kind of people that take the most common general fiction tips as gospel will shout "You don goofed."

    Do look over your work and see if the things you explore come across as dull. If they don't, pay the oh-so-enlightened review no mind; it won't even be a drop of water in the well.

    The first step to becoming a hero is being mulched by a truck:
  10. mathtans (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Just to echo Scott S, sometimes it's hard to tell what's meant as a genuine "insult" in text form. When I first read your header text, I admit to thinking 'Hmmm, does the "you made it terrible"' mean 'your writing is terrible' or 'the situation these characters are in is now terrible and twisted and that's so cool (but I'm bad at expressing myself)'. Having read a bit of the follow-up, I feel like it's probably neither...

    One thing I might double check is how you've set up your story summary. If there's no indication that "terrible" things like angst/child death might be a factor, it could be that this person came in expecting one thing, was blindsided, and is lashing out. Alternatively, yeah, they could be a genuine jerk with some kind of vendetta against you. (Context: I'm paranoid, to the point where I've tossed in the header of my RRL parts "hey, this part talks about suicide, if that might be an issue". One person's said you're kind of spoiling your own story, but I figure better safe than sorry.) When in doubt, take the higher ground.

    As to what I would do, comment wise? I wouldn't delete it, I'd go with your "you're welcome to your opinion" route. Because the thing about negative comments is, usually you need a certain amount of readership to even get to that point, meaning it's possible that your readers may even jump to your OWN defence. (And if it's on an earlier part, I'm the sort of guy to get passive aggressive and remark later on a current update, 'Wow, the remarks on the first two parts of this story in the last week have weirded me out, is it only me, or do any of you agree?'.... not recommending it, just saying what I might do.) Granted, while I've seen this sort of 'readership to the rescue' thing happen, I've never personally experienced it.

    As final context to all of this, I once got the comment "Get off the internet". I responded to it in a cordial (if mildly sarcastic) manner. ... Sometimes I get very lonely.

    Writing a Time Travel serial:
    Writer of the personification of math serial:
  11. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    I have a personal hatred for "concern trolling" , ie, insults and trolling disguised as attempting to be helpful, because they're "concerned" and want you to be better.

    I like the non sequitor idea. Run with their comments and just make random shit up to confuse them.

  12. nippoten (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    I've gotten some harsh/mean comments early on, though they've petered out months ago. For me, there's not much I do except laugh and move on.

  13. Walter (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Maybe try and trick them into making their insults into a review? Like "I don't care what you say, commenter. The only thing that is important to me is comments on webfictionguide!"

  14. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    There's no great way to handle it. That's the allure for people who like to troll: if you ignore them, they look like they're running roughshod over you. If you don't, it makes it that easier for them to get you to lose your temper and then whoops, you're showing your ass online.

    There are some -- a very few -- people who can take trolls and aggressive antifans on head-to-head and come out smelling like a rose. I'm not one of them. Statistically speaking, it's not likely anyone who posts here is. And the danger of trying to determine if you are one is the failure mode for trying is catastrophic injury to your online reputation.

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)

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