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March 2, 2011
Posted at 5:53 am
 

Odd Scoring

I noticed, while 'My Bus Broke Down' was very active, that its score would slowly rise and then drop suddenly. It did this a couple of times. Now the TPA scores shed some interesting light on this phenomenon.

Before going into the scores I should first explain that authors can see the (anonymised) individual TPA votes, whereas we cannot see a breakdown of the basic votes, only the average.

The TPA results for 'My Bus Broke Down' show a peak around 9 with a small spread: sort of what one would expect from a discretised normal distribution - albeit one with very few points since there are only twelve TPA votes as I write this. That part one would expect for any story, although the peak would be somewhere else depending on the story's merit.

The unexpected bit is that there is a gap (no sevens or sixes) and then two fives (on the appeal score, from which the overall score is partially derived). I see a bimodal distribution, though I can only say this with a low confidence level due to the small sample size.

Obviously these fives, and perhaps others like them folded into the basic score average, were responsible for the sawtooth like drop in score I saw.

I am not complaining about these fives: feedback is feedback. I am interested, though, in finding or figuring out why some people were so much less satisfied with my story than most others. It's information like this that should help me become a better writer.

My current working theory is that there is a bit of false advertising going on with 'My Bus Broke Down'. It has the d/s tag, but the d/s element is so mild and is explored so little that readers attracted specifically by that tag will be disappointed. All I can do here is explain that I put the tag there to warn people who *really* don't like d/s, and apologise to the true d/s lovers out there who were disappointed in this way. Assuming my theory is correct.