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Noticed an amendment to the Submission Coding Advice

Ernest Bywater

Lazeez has made an amendment to the advice on coding stories that will help a lot of people to code better. It also answers a few forum questions raised in the past.

http://storiesonline.net/author/posting_guidelines.php

Correct, Precise Codes:

Correct codes are extremely important. Most people use the codes to decide whether they want to read a story or not. The more precise your codes are the better your scores will be. If you put the wrong codes or you miss some codes or even put extra codes, you risk the chance of people retaliating by giving you low scores.

For example, if you put the romance code in your story's codes, while your story is a rape story, then you'll attract those people that are looking for romance and when they find the rape in there then they'll be shocked and the result is usually a vote of 1. And by not labeling the rape, you won't attract those interested in reading about a rape who would give your story a higher score. So it's all about attracting the right audience.

Precise coding is also important. Excessive coding is bad. If something is mentioned in the story but not described, then it shouldn't coded for. Anything that happens offscreen shouldn't be coded for. For example, if a woman gets raped, and the story doesn't contain the rape scene, only a mention that the woman was raped, then the story doesn't need the 'Rape' code. Use your judgement and try to see it from the readers point. If you see a code in the story what would it mean to you? Code accordingly.

Make sure that you read the Code FAQ to have a clear understanding of what each code means. If you have codes that are crucial to your story and are not in the list then email me.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

All good advice that I agree with.

The only thing I would add, well add probably isn't quite the right word, is a similar reader guide for interpreting story coding with the above information from a reader's perspective.

I say this having gotten a complaint from a reader about coded for content occurring onscreen.

The reader thought it should be coded for but still only happen off screen.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

It's the same thing we've been saying for some time. You need to list codes, instead of skipping them for story 'surprises'. A surprise is when someone does something unexpected, not when they rape someone or commit incest. Those are generally pretty well thought out by those committing them.

When it gets tricky is when you already have several codes, but only have a single brief scene in a 80 chapter story, do you code for it. In those cases, I would if it's a major squick (MM, rape, incest), but not if it's a less-volatile subject. Again, the racial codes aren't for describing characters, like the combination age/sex codes are, instead they're for coding sexual stereotypical situations likely to offend someone (i.e. big black men raping a poor defenseless white girl). If it's a 'normal' character, of any background, then you don't need to code for it.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

The reader thought it should be coded for but still only happen off screen.

That's not a coding issue, it's a content issue. The reader simply preferred that you not describe the scene, skipping of the squicky aspects. He was reading the story, despite the code, and simply expressing his opinion that the story would have been more enjoyable if you'd left it out entirely (the graphic depiction, that is). I also get those for incest elements and sometimes sex in general (any sex in a story clearly marked for the sex that occurs).

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

It's the same thing we've been saying for some time. You need to list codes, instead of skipping them for story 'surprises'.


We've discussed them a few times on the forum, and Lazeez has seen what we've said and has now formalised how we should do it, so there should be fewer discussions on what should and should be coded - note: I said should - how effective that may be is another matter.

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

You need to list codes, instead of skipping them for story 'surprises'.


I don't think that's an absolute. I've had readers e-mail to say they wouldn't have read one of my stories if all the codes had been present, but in the event they were glad they did.

You have to judge each case on its merits and try to choose the least wrong option.

AJ

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


That's not a coding issue, it's a content issue.


No, it's not a coding issue or a content issue, it's a issue with reader comprehension of how the coding works.


He was reading the story, despite the code, and simply expressing his opinion that the story would have been more enjoyable if you'd left it out entirely (the graphic depiction, that is).


No, he was not simply expressing his opinion, he was very demanding about it.

If he understood how the coding worked, he would have known that such content would be there and that the story wasn't for him.

ETA: He specifically stated that he saw the code and still expected it to only be mentioned with the actual action happening off screen.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

He specifically stated that he saw the code and still expected it to only be mentioned with the actual action happening off screen.


Too bad we can't rate readers. :(

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

It's the same thing we've been saying for some time. You need to list codes, instead of skipping them for story 'surprises'. A surprise is when someone does something unexpected, not when they rape someone or commit incest.


I don't remember the story I wrote, but a woman had sex with her son and didn't know it. It was a surprise at the end. To have listed "incest" would have ruined the surprise and the story.

I wrote a story about a guy picking up a hitchhiker, a sexy girl. She seduced him in the car so they pulled over and had sex in a corn field. She bent over so he could take her from behind and then guided his dick into her ass. It wasn't until the man went to fondle her clit that he discovered the cock. To have listed "MM" (or maybe it was Mm) would have ruined the surprise. (Actually, biologically it was MM, but in the reader's mind, until the very end, it was MF).

So listing a story code CAN ruin a surprise and, as I've said before, the story comes first. I don't care about the readers who get pissed. My target readers are the ones who slap their forehead and appreciate the surprise.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

So listing a story code CAN ruin a surprise and, as I've said before, the story comes first. I don't care about the readers who get pissed.


That's OK, because it means you're prepared for, and accept, some readers will go viral about it with a 1 bomb. Which is what the warning is about with the codes.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

I favour the same approach, the story description and codes acting like a movie trailer, enough to entice the audience without giving away the whole plot.

But I can think of a drawback. Someone who enjoyed your story then lost it may well try searching for MM.

AJ

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

it means you're prepared for, and accept, some readers will go viral about it with a 1 bomb.


That's why "The Hitchhiker" won't ever be posted on SOL.

miksmit

What are the chances that a surprise tag can be added? Or would that ruin the idea? I've seen this discussion before on here. Maybe this is one conversation that won't be resolved. Kinda like abortion, death penalty, or whether there are honest politicians of any party.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@miksmit

What are the chances that a surprise tag can be added?


There is a "caution" tag. But that wouldn't appease anyone. I wouldn't use a "surprise" tag. Readers would be looking for the surprise and it will lose its effect.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

So listing a story code CAN ruin a surprise and, as I've said before, the story comes first. I don't care about the readers who get pissed. My target readers are the ones who slap their forehead and appreciate the surprise.

Maybe we need a "Surprise!" code, or at least a "hidden codes" code. 'D

Replies:   Dominions Son  DerAndy
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Maybe we need a "Surprise!" code, or at least a "hidden codes" code. 'D


Hidden codes is an interesting idea.

How about setting it up so the author can designate hidden codes. The hidden codes would work with the category search and category exclusion preferences, but would not display to the user.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  Lugh  Not_a_ID
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

How about setting it up so the author can designate hidden codes. The hidden codes would work with the category search and category exclusion preferences, but would not display to the user.

That actually might work, as readers could still be surprised while still avoiding their personal squicks (like romance). 'D

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

That actually might work, as readers could still be surprised while still avoiding their personal squicks (like romance). 'D


1. Now we just have to convince Lazeeze that it's worth implementing.

2. Romance=Mushy Feely stuff without the sex as a payoff. Who would want to read that? ;P

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

1. Now we just have to convince Lazeeze that it's worth implementing.


send him an email via the Webmaster link explaining why you want it, and the advantages you see for the site in having it.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

send him an email via the Webmaster link explaining why you want it, and the advantages you see for the site in having it.


I'm not the one looking to surprise readers. I just had a thought that would make what someone else suggested a little more functional for both authors and readers.

I might cross post this on the Bug reports/feature requests forum though..

DerAndy

@Crumbly Writer

Generally I know the "caution" code for these situations, but that could again mean anything. We will never be able to have both a real surprise and a warning off for people who won't like the surprise...

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@DerAndy

Oops, I was unaware of the 'caution' code. But in the description of my last contribution, I put 'caution for bad taste'.

Do I need to go back and add the 'caution' code? Do readers specifically search for stories including or excluding 'caution'?

AJ

Replies:   DerAndy  Crumbly Writer
Lugh

@Dominions Son

How about setting it up so the author can designate hidden codes. The hidden codes would work with the category search and category exclusion preferences, but would not display to the user.


Interesting idea. The question is how codes are stored, since the "hidden" has to apply to individual codes rather than all.

Replies:   Dominions Son
DerAndy

@awnlee jawking

Do I need to go back and add the 'caution' code? Do readers specifically search for stories including or excluding 'caution'?


I'm not even sure if most readers even know what the code means, and as it's so broad I don't think anyone would search for it. It might warn off the more queasy readers off, though. And you can at least point to it for readers who complain about something not explicitely mentioned in the codes.

Dominions Son

@Lugh

Interesting idea. The question is how codes are stored, since the "hidden" has to apply to individual codes rather than all.


That is a question only Lazeez can answer. I've already put the idea up on the bug/feature section.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Oops, I was unaware of the 'caution' code. But in the description of my last contribution, I put 'caution for bad taste'.

Do I need to go back and add the 'caution' code? Do readers specifically search for stories including or excluding 'caution'?

I doubt that anyone searched for a caution code, since it's so rare, but it's a warning that something in the story is likely to upset readers, so many would (I'm assuming) avoid any stories with that tag (i.e. bad guys stomping on babies, domestic abuse scenes, etc.).

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Crumbly Writer

but it's a warning that something in the story is likely to upset readers

Ah, now I known what it actually means.

Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

Hidden codes is an interesting idea.

How about setting it up so the author can designate hidden codes. The hidden codes would work with the category search and category exclusion preferences, but would not display to the user.


I'd be more inclined to go with a "Spoiler/Hidden Tags" where they're exposed to search exclusion(or inclusion) or other account level settings, so SOL can remove (or include them) them auto-magically from that person's viewing list(kind of like the pedo stuff).

But I'd probably give them an (account level?) option to be able view "spoiler codes" if they choose to do so on an all/none/manual(individual) basis.

Giving the user the means to opt into viewing the spoiler tags is so the guy looking for the MM tag rather than avoiding it can also find the story, and not be confused when they look at the story codes and don't see it tagged as such.

Giving them an indication there are "other tags" not explicitly listed upfront lets him know it's hiding behind a mask he can remove if he wishes, without needing to read the entire thing first.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Not_a_ID

Spoiler/Hidden Tags


That might work. The only problem I can see is how hard would it be to add it to the program. Make it so readers can click the tag expanding the spoiler/hidden tags. Probably best to make it available to all. The tags even when hidden should be usable with in the search options.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@docholladay

That might work. The only problem I can see is how hard would it be to add it to the program. Make it so readers can click the tag expanding the spoiler/hidden tags. Probably best to make it available to all. The tags even when hidden should be usable with in the search options.


It means another database entry, it also means having to update just about every template which displays story codes. Luckily, the JavaScript part is pretty much there already, it's just doing the server side implementation that would be a bear.

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