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March 5, 2012
Posted at 9:25 am

Shameless pandering and voting

I started posting a new story this morning. It is composed of two short chapters. That's because I wanted to make it two chapters. That's because if I do that, it will be on the new stories page today, and the update page Wednesday, which puts it out in front of the entire SOL audience twice, instead of once.

Yes, I am guilty of shameless pandering to you, the people, to get more of you to read it. I could have submitted it as one document, and you could have read the whole thing by now. I probably should have submitted it as a single submission, because there is no reason, plot-wise, to separate it into the two halves I did.

I also forgot to turn voting off for the first part. But since I recently read in one of the blog streams that a lot of authors think people like me who turn voting off until the story is complete are lower than whale shit. This is because someone who starts a story and then thinks "Nah, this isn't my cup of tea" can't tank the story with a vote of zero just because they didn't like installment one.

And that's not fair, now is it? We should all get our vote, even if we're voting on something we haven't even finished.

Of course there is a legitimate argument that there are stories that people just can't finish, because they're so badly written, or something like that. I admit that people should be allowed to vote that the story was very badly written. But they can do that when the story is finished, just as easily as they can do it on chapter one.

Oh yeah. They'd have to wait a while to tender their vote of zero. Can't have that.

Apparently there are people who think that when I withhold voting, it means I'm trying to finagle the system somehow, like I do when I split stories into multiple chapters so they appear on the update page multiple times, and more people get a chance to see the story is there. I have actually seen entries where they say people who withhold voting until the story is over are trying to "skew" the results.

But that's not what I'm thinking. I'm thinking that if you don't get past chapter one, then you just aren't interested in what I write. That's fine. I hope you find something you do like. But I don't think it's fair for you to take a shot at me just because you don't care for what I post.

What I want people to vote on is the whole package. Does that mean people who don't like my stuff can still vote low? Sure it does. But now they're voting low on the level playing field that contains the entire story, instead of the first half page, where their opinion may color that of other people before they even give things a try. I see a lot of blog entries by people who say they don't even look at anything below a six (or whatever). So the people who want to wait, and see what is what, withhold their vote, waiting to see what's what, and the people who aren't interested get to torpedo the story on page one, and that skews things for those who are just browsing around.

Now, after having said all that, I am purely embarrassed to say that I haven't looked at my stats page for at least a month. I have no idea what the scores on my stories are. I don't write to get scores. I write for fun. Feedback in the form of emails is frosting on the cake.

But scores do mean something to a lot of other authors. So let me suggest something. If you don't like what someone is writing about, click away and don't vote. If you don't like the voice someone is using (like that irritating first person present that I just hate) then click away and don't vote.

If they can't write a complete sentence, okay. It's a vote on the technical side of things. If their plot falls apart, fine. Vote that low. If they wrote a no sex story and coded it much sex, knock yourself out. If you want to vote low on them so that your favorite author's stories score higher. Well, in that case, you're just an asshole.

But you get my drift. Now you know why I turn voting off until the story is finished.

Except for today. Today I forgot until it was already submitted, and since I'm finagling the system by using two chapters, and I'd be turning voting on in another day anyway ... what the heck.

So have a blast. Vote all you want on chapter one. It was a challenge story anyway.

Thanks for reading.