Home « Forum « Author Hangout

Forum: Author Hangout

Scoring Differences Between the Various Sites (SOL, FS and SciFi)

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

What's been everyone's perception of the relative scores on each site. I've been trying for some time to promote FS by offering my stories to them first, as a potential draw, but they routinely provide my lowest scores, by at least a full point across the board, while SciFi, being a dedicated market and having little competition, scores much higher.

Frankly, I'm about ready to quit posting to FS, despite many of my fans following me there, but the lower scores there may just be due to the inherent differences between a 5-point scoring system and a 10-point scoring system.

What's been your experiences: For me, my stories rate at:

SOL: high 7s to mid-8s

FS: high 6s to low 7s

SciFi: mostly high 9s

That's a huge difference for the exact same stories posted at the same time.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Crumbly Writer

It could be due to the different forms.

FS has 1 to 10 stars, SOL has words. I'm thinking of changing FS's voting form to SOL style one and cancel the stars style altogether.

As for SFS, remember the scoring system (that you guys don't like). With a low number of stories and so far a low number of readers, the system doesn't have enough data to weigh the scores properly. This will change as more stories are posted and more readers vote.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

You are looking at three different readerships that have some mutual sub-set overlaps. One thing to remember is that FS is the only one that allows readers under 18, and most of them won't have developed a good enough sense of story scoring.

Replies:   joyR
Ernest Bywater

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

the scoring system (that you guys don't like


There's no scoring system that everyone will like. I think you have the best one I've seen.

I think it would be better to have the same scoring system on all three sites, it makes it easier for everyone, while providing you with a uniform code.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


There's no scoring system that everyone will like. I think you have the best one I've seen.

I think it would be better to have the same scoring system on all three sites, it makes it easier for everyone, while providing you with a uniform code.


Aside from my previously stated objections to the 10-point systems because of how it weighs more heavily against minority stories, I agree with Ernest. It's better for everyone if the scoring is similar and the scores are nearly the same (except for different tastes between the different sites).

It sounds more likely that the 5-point system reflects lower scores (since the difference between 6 and 7 are essentially lost) than younger readers dislike stories (though I could be wrong about that). I also suspect that words are better than stars too.

Update: I was thinking of the old FS scoring. Since they're both 10-point, the scoring difference is likely due to the stars vs. words, though I can see sci-fi stories doing better on sci-fi. But one story ranging from 6 to 9 between the different sites seems a little extreme.

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@Ernest Bywater

One thing to remember is that FS is the only one that allows readers under 18, and most of them won't have developed a good enough sense of story scoring.


Is it just me? Or is that an awfully arrogant statement? I would love to have someone detail the 'proper' way to score a story, bearing in mind that this mythical 'proper' way has to apply to every single individual reader, regardless of age, story category, personal taste, etc etc.

Scoring a story on a scale of 1 to 10 is entirely subjective, so the age of the reader isn't germane, what counts is what they believe the story deserves, for whatever reason(s) they consider applicable.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
joyR
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


But one story ranging from 6 to 9 between the different sites seems a little extreme.


Why?

If the story was scored by exactly the same readers on both sites, then yes, one would expect the scores to be similar. But that isn't the case, and since the readers all have their own opinions as to what score a given story deserves, there is bound to be a difference in the scores from site to site.


I can see sci-fi stories doing better on sci-fi.


I wouldn't be at all surprised if the opposite wasn't true. One would expect the majority of readers on a Sci-Fi orientated site to be more discerning of Sci-Fi than the readership of a less genre specific site.

The again, expecting Sci-Fi stories to do well on a Sci-Fi site, presumably as opposed to non Sci-Fi stories on a Sci-Fi site, well, no shit Sherlock..!! Why would you post a non Sci-Fi story to a Sci-Fi story site anyway?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@joyR

The again, expecting Sci-Fi stories to do well on a Sci-Fi site, presumably as opposed to non Sci-Fi stories on a Sci-Fi site, well, no shit Sherlock..!! Why would you post a non Sci-Fi story to a Sci-Fi story site anyway?

No, I was suggesting that the more general FS site might not appreciate sci-fi stories as much, or at least prefer a different type of sci-fi story. As such, I'd expect sci-fi stories to score higher on a sci-fi site than elsewhere, but I'm still unsure why FS scores them so much lower, since it seems more systematic than individual choices.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater

@joyR

I would love to have someone detail the 'proper' way to score a story,


So, you believe someone with no or little experience in a field knows all their is to tell about it? You believe limited knowledge on proper grammar, spelling, sentence structure, plot development means people can properly assess and score a written material?

With age and experience comes the ability to better judge, value, and compare things, especially things like stories. The average 10 year old doesn't have the same ability to follow and enjoy a complex story the average 10 year old has. Thus a complex story a 20 year old can follow, enjoy, and score well is very likely to be scored down by a much younger person who can't follow it well and gets lost in the complexity of the story.

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@Ernest Bywater

So, you believe someone with no or little experience in a field knows all their is to tell about it? You believe limited knowledge on proper grammar, spelling, sentence structure, plot development means people can properly assess and score a written material?


Not at all. My point is that experience, knowledge, grammar, spelling, sentence structure, plot development etc are irrelevant to marking a story on a 1 to 10 scale. The score is a numerical indication of how much the reader liked the story.

There is nothing to denote why they liked the story.

If your personal decision on how to score a story involves all the things stated above, how is that score more valid than someone who scores a story highly because the author's skill moved them to laughter, tears, and had them up all night reading… Especially when the story genre isn't one the reader normally reads, let alone enjoys.

If someone honestly believes that one of the above is more valid than the other, then please explain how that isn't an arrogant, elitist opinion.

Are the top scoring stories all perfect examples of the author's technical skill..?? Or were those authors able to write a story that resonated with a wide and varied readership?

Have you ever sat and listened to a really good storyteller. Someone who can tell a story that holds their audience captivated by the story they weave? Do you honestly believe that it's technical skill alone that ignites the imagination of the waif, the cook, the maid and the Queen, at the same time, with the same story?

So, again, exactly what is this mythical 'proper' way..??

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@joyR

how much the reader liked the story.


The only mythical aspect here is your assumption that every 10 year old can understand all aspects of a story that uses words, phrases, or concepts they don't understand. Naturally they will score such a story down due to not enjoying it because they don't understand it.

The other mythical aspect you apply is every 10 year old has the judgement to correctly evaluate the story in a valid way on a scale of 1 to 10. Many young readers simply score on a scale of 1 to 3 - don't like, not sure, and I like. It takes experience to discern the wider values and finer points of 'I like it' to 'It's a superior story.'

If you can't understand and assess properly, you can't score properly.

Being aware of the realities of life doesn't make a person an elitist.

BTW: When I was 10 years old I was reading books at home that were well in advance of what the other kids were reading , and most couldn't even understand the summaries in the covers, partly because they didn't have the vocabulary, and partly due to lack of experience reading the more complex stories. I was ahead of the curve because my mother was blind and had talking books. So, from a very young age I was listening to quality fiction and had a good vocabulary before I started at school. I know, from experience, most young readers can't adequately evaluate and rate reading that is beyond what they're used to.

NOTE: I always say most not all.

Replies:   joyR  Switch Blayde
awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

I'd expect sci-fi stories to score higher on a sci-fi site


I'm not sure that's true. On a site for general fiction, a sci-fi story will compete mainly on quality of storytelling and writing. On a sci-fi site, the audience should be more discerning about the genre-specific attributes.

As such, the different readership will be assessing the stories on different qualities so what pleases one audience might not please the other. The consequence may differ depending on the story.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
joyR
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

Naturally they will score such a story down due to not enjoying it because they don't understand it.


It takes experience to discern the wider values and finer points of 'I like it' to 'It's a superior story.'


If you can't understand and assess properly, you can't score properly.


My point is that a 1 to 10 scale is a subjective score. Of course a 10 year old reader might score a badly written story with a 10 "because it has Dragons", but that is their choice.

If you want a score that reflects technical skill, spelling, grammar etc, you need a different scoring method. As we don't have that, you can't force those considerations upon a simple 1 to 10 scale.

There are competitions where in addition to the judges awards there is also a 'peoples choice' award. Have you ever noticed how rare it is that the judges and peoples awards go to the same person/team..?? Which award is more "real world" ..??

Oh, and still no sign of an explanation of the 'proper' way to score a story.

As an aside, if spelling, grammar and technical skill are required to guarantee a good story, how on earth do you explain '50 shades'……..????!!!!!

Ernest Bywater

@joyR

how on earth do you explain '50 shades'……


like a lot on the top seller lists of late - great marketing hype. I've yet to find anyone who likes the books in the top seller lists of the last decade or so. I do know many get sales simply because of the fact of the location of the vendors - people want to buy a book at the last moment at the airport, check the what they have - damn little, and thus they end up buying crap because it's marginally better than the few others there.

Ernest Bywater

@joyR

Oh, and still no sign of an explanation of the 'proper' way to score a story.


Tyu going back and reading what was said, as it's clear you need to learn a proper way of reading.

My first post in this thread said, bold added for emphasis:

You are looking at three different readerships that have some mutual sub-set overlaps. One thing to remember is that FS is the only one that allows readers under 18, and most of them won't have developed a good enough sense of story scoring.

notice - good enough - states poor quality

Next response of mine to your attack:

So, you believe someone with no or little experience in a field knows all their is to tell about it? You believe limited knowledge on proper grammar, spelling, sentence structure, plot development means people can properly assess and score a written material?

With age and experience comes the ability to better judge, value, and compare things, especially things like stories. The average 10 year old doesn't have the same ability to follow and enjoy a complex story the average 10 year old has. Thus a complex story a 20 year old can follow, enjoy, and score well is very likely to be scored down by a much younger person who can't follow it well and gets lost in the complexity of the story.


I speak of the ability to assess and evaluate, and how it improves with age. If it improves with age, then the unimproved are obviously not doing it well. Not do it well, means it's not a proper assessment.

I point out the reason why younger readers are likely to give a lower score due to the lower experience meaning they don't enjoy the story, regardless of how good a story it is. Yet you ignore all that and think it's OK to down score a story because you don't enjoy it due to not having the knowledge or skill to understand it or assess it.

It's a recognition of the facts of life, not an elitist view.

However, since every time you lose a point you move the goal posts and try to expand it further, go right ahead and expand it again.

The thread started as a call for understanding why the scores vary - I explained that. The FS site has younger readers who are less experienced at assessing scores, and in some cases down vote because they don't understand the story and thus don't like it. I've explained why it happens and the cause, but feel free to go right ahead keep moving the discussion off to something where you think you can score points.

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@Ernest Bywater

As stated in my original post;

Scoring a story on a scale of 1 to 10 is entirely subjective, so the age of the reader isn't germane, what counts is what they believe the story deserves, for whatever reason(s) they consider applicable.


By all means continue with your attitude to those who you consider to be too inexperienced or erudite to score a story in accordance with your vaunted but as yet unexplained 'proper' method.

Personally I'm happy to receive any score, high or low, that is the honest opinion of the reader because as previously stated, a 1 to 10 score is entirely subjective.

It wasn't and isn't my intent to 'attack'. Disagree, most certainly.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@joyR

I've already explained it twice, I suggest you go back and re-read what's been said.

Replies:   joyR
sharkjcw

I would like to point out that a lot of readers from SOL that are on FS or SiFi are there for a single story or author, while on SOL they are browsing stories or Authors.
On SiFi a lot of readers that link on searches are going to be "hardcore" SiFi fans that are looking for a LOT of tech and science.
On a search leading to FS they are looking for a nice young adult or whatever story.
On SOL you have your thousands of people that are looking for a sex story or something.
Three very different groups of people three very different score on three different scoring systems.

My two cents for what its worth.

awnlee jawking

@joyR

how on earth do you explain '50 shades'


It's a popular pastime for 'experts' to bash 50 Shades, but I think a large part of that is professional jealousy. When it comes to providing specific examples of how authors have written badly, there are plenty from eg J K Rowling and George R R Martin, but most of the complaints about 50 Shades seem to hang on how cliched it is.

AJ

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

Naturally they will score such a story down due to not enjoying it because they don't understand it.


Even more than vocabulary, is reading comprehension. Show don't tell is a good example. Children's books are all telling because a young child doesn't have the reading comprehension to get what the author is showing. They need to be told.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@joyR


There are competitions where in addition to the judges awards there is also a 'peoples choice' award. Have you ever noticed how rare it is that the judges and peoples awards go to the same person/team..?? Which award is more "real world" ..??


In professional sports, the fans choose who will play in the All-Star game. Then the coaches pick the second level (or something like that). The fans pick on popularity (and in many cases larger markets have more fans so they get more votes). I think the coaches (the experts) choose better.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

I think I'm with @joyR on this one. The winners of the Booker Prize are pretty much unreadably dull.

Various attempts have been made to instigate a rival award with the aim of it being awarded to books the public actually like to read, but I don't believe any of the contenders have achieved significant international recognition. :(

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I'm not sure that's true. On a site for general fiction, a sci-fi story will compete mainly on quality of storytelling and writing. On a sci-fi site, the audience should be more discerning about the genre-specific attributes.

Theoretically, but given that I write mostly sci-fi, and my stories score much better on sci-fi.org, I can only assume it's because it's a more natural fit than my stories on either SOL or especially on FS, where my scores a more than 2 full points lower.

We can talk all day about what might happen, but given the evidence I see from my stories, my interpretation makes more sense than that sci-fi readers would be more critical.

joyR

@Ernest Bywater

I've already explained it twice, I suggest you go back and re-read what's been said.


My apologies. I can't reply yet, still re-reading, but cannot find an explanation of the method as yet, perhaps you might point to which post I should re-read..??

Back to Top