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More on scores

aubie56

I know that some of you guys are tired of me bitching about scores and the way that they are calculated and reported, but I have discovered something that brings my blood to a near boil. I have noticed that several authors have scores reported as being well over 8, and some even in the 9s.

What I would like to have explained is how that is possible. For one thing, it would have to mean that the stories get principally votes of 10, with maybe one or two 9s thrown in. Okay, I will agree that this is theoretically possible, but very unlikely. As long as one deals only in whole numbers, then a single vote of 9 will bring a score down to 9 no matter how many 10s there were. If one allows decimal fractions in the voting calculations, then I will concede that my complaint is invalid, but somewhere, I got the idea that the initial calculations at least are all done with whole numbers. What is the real scoop?

Furthermore, if the scores are adjusted by the method suggested in the FAQ, then all scores have to be lowered by the same amount, independent of how long the story might be. In other words, a story the equivalent of 1 chapter long would have the same knockdown as a story of 150 chapters. I can't see that happening. For example, my stories are usually 10 chapters or 30,000 words long, which is what I think is appropriate for them, and my score runs about 7.0 to 7.7. Does it mean that if I pad the story out to 100 chapters, my score would run 7.5 to 8.2, for example?

I see stories with the high scores and I can't help wondering if there is some sort of favoritism being shown. If there is, just say so, and I will shut up. Otherwise, I would like an explanation.

I don't expect to hear from Lazeez on this, except to maybe throw me out of SOL, so someone else will have to enlighten me. Please do so.

Crumbly Writer

You'll have to provide examples, but as far as I've ever noticed, the few 9 and 10 scores are left over from the days before Lazeez adjusted the scores, and the original scores have long since been lost, so he never adjusted them like he did everyone else. They're an aberration, but once which makes the rest of us look like rank amateurs. Think of it this way, they were also allowed to write about whatever they wanted, unlike how certain stories are no longer allowed on the site.

Replies:   Dominions Son
richardshagrin
Updated:

I agree there is a very limited, close to no probability that a story posted on SOL these days would get all tens, but one. Assuming enough votes were cast the low outlier would be discarded. If the final score were ten, that score would not be adjusted downward as I understand the system. The system works to bring scores so that the average score is a six and that other scores are adjusted so the other scores stay in the same order but get distributed so most of the scores stay closer to six than they would if raw scores were used. If the perfect story were posted and got only votes of ten, it would stay a ten.

aubie56

Okay, here are a couple of examples of stories posted today:

My Journey - Book 2: Exile by Xalir
| Votes: 402 | Score: 8.05
Size: 109KB | Downloads: 10753 | Posted: 9/26/2016, 1:08:56 PM | Updated: 9/28/2016, 3:45:06 PM | Chapter 3

35 by Allen Wilson
| Votes: 831 | Score: 8.58
Size: 4919KB | Downloads: 217057 | Posted: 2/6/2005, 2:06:38 AM | Updated: 9/28/2016, 4:48:20 PM | Chapter 77

I am not finding fault with either author or either story, they are just the first examples I came across in trying to answer the question of whether or not there were stories with 8+ votes.

There is at least one story with a 9+ score, but I did not want to take the time to find it. I hope these examples answer your doubt.

My story scores within a single story almost always run from 6 to 10, with a few 1s and 3s, never more than 10 of them. On the other hand, I usually get about 20-40% of my scores as a 10. I am not complaining about my raw score, it is the score that is published that I am annoyed with. So many people have a low end cutoff of 8.0 that none of my stories can make the grade, and I think that is unreasonable!

Bondi Beach

@aubie56

My Journey - Book 2: Exile by Xalir
| Votes: 402 | Score: 8.05
Size: 109KB | Downloads: 10753 | Posted: 9/26/2016, 1:08:56 PM | Updated: 9/28/2016, 3:45:06 PM | Chapter 3


I haven't read the story, but what jumps out at me is the guy (or the gal) has written all of three chapters with 10,000+ downloads and has 402 votes. That suggests the author has a lot of readers and that many of them are inclined to vote. Such enthusiasm---aside from the story quality---may explain the high score.

I did enjoy the brief period when one (short) story of mine had a 9 something, I think. It also had exactly one vote. Now it's at 7.77 with five votes: two 10s and one each 7, 8, and 9.

bb

Replies:   aubie56  Dominions Son
aubie56

@Bondi Beach

That high score is a carryover from Book 1.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

You'll have to provide examples, but as far as I've ever noticed, the few 9 and 10 scores are left over from the days before Lazeez adjusted the scores


Not true.

I used the advanced search to search for stories scored 8-10. The highest scoring story in the system is a 9.62

There is a story posted in 2013 that scored 9.4

There are 68 stories posted this year that are scored 8 or better.

There are 4 posted this year that score above 9. Interestingly all by the same author.

Penguintopia

A Well-lived Life - Book 10 - The Wife

A Well-lived Life 2 - Book 1 - Bethany

A Well-lived Life 2 - Book 2 - Stephie

A Well-Lived Life - Book 9 - Anala

Dominions Son

@Bondi Beach

I haven't read the story, but what jumps out at me is the guy (or the gal) has written all of three chapters with 10,000+ downloads and has 402 votes.


The original story posted two days ago with a prologue and chapter 1. Chapter 2 posted yesterday and chapter 3 posted today.

I'm pretty sure the story is completely written and he's posting chapters on a schedule like a number of authors have discussed doing in the forum rather than posting the whole thing at once.

Crumbly Writer

@aubie56

So many people have a low end cutoff of 8.0 that none of my stories can make the grade, and I think that is unreasonable!

Anyone with a "low end cutoff of 8.0" won't be spending much time on SOL. The typical cutoff is at least 7.0, with allowances for 'interesting story premises'—with corresponding allowances given.

Ernest Bywater

My story Always a Marine is 6,307 words, posted in September 2010 has 26,333 downloads, 2,840 votes and a score of 9.23.

The raw score graph shows 1,847 votes of 10, and the rest are estimates based on relative graph size with 1 votes of 1, 2 votes of 6, 6 votes of 7, 18 votes of 8, and 966 votes of 9. Remove the top and bottom 5% means the top and bottom 142 votes go, to leave it at 1,705 x 10 + 851 x 9 to be used = 24709 divided by 2,556 for 9.6670579029. The weighting takes it down to 9.23.

Note: Even if I have the exact numbers of the low level scores out a little, they still all get wiped out and the number of 9s gets cut to 851, anyway.

There you have an example of a story with a score of 9+

Crumbly Writer

Assuming they aren't glitches (like fans voting before anyone else has discovered the story), there's really no reason to stress over someone achieving a higher score than you. There may be other factors involved (like the subject matter or the age of the fan base), but it doesn't really matter. Someone else will always get more attention, just like there will always be someone more attractive coming alone.

Instead, you've got to be happy with your work, and accept when the type of stories you write only achieve a certain rating. They may be overly complex, or overly simplistic, but either might account for a difference in scoring.

If scores bother you so much, I'd suggest you do as many authors do—ignore them. They're designed exclusively for readers, and they don't really benefit the authors. Even if you score a 10 on SOL, there's no guaranteeing anyone will give you a $400,000 publishing contract, or even that you'd earn much if they did. As I said, there are always thousands of factors involved in any success, and there's nothing lonelier that having one phenomenal success, but are unable to complete another.

Quit focusing on scores, and concentrate on the stories. If you want to dramatically improve scores, jump on the latest bandwagon—it's unlikely to make much difference—but it'll keep you focused on new topics.

sharkjcw
Updated:

As of 10 minutes before this was posted there are 4 authors with a score of 9+ on a story Penguintopia (4), Roustwriter (1), RLFJ (1), and Dark Pen (1) so far this year. The thing to remember is that scores are still based on how readers vote , regardless of what Laz does to the scores, It is done to ALL scores. It affects the scores on stories with a high number of votes less than stories with a low number of votes.

As a reader I am more concerned with the whether I like a story than the score. I have read stories with a score of 5 or 6 that I loved and have dumped after 1 chapter stories with a score of 8+.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  Grant
Crumbly Writer

@sharkjcw

As a reader I am more concerned with the whether I like a story than the score. I have read stories with a score of 5 or 6 that I loved and have dumped after 1 chapter stories with a score of 8+.

Exactly! That's why it's better to focus on the story you're called to write, rather than on scores, sales, ratings or reviews. If you focus on metrics, you'll always be disappointed. If you focus on telling the best story you can, and it doesn't do well, there's always room to improve on your next story.

Replies:   sejintenej
Switch Blayde

I'm just curious...

If a story gets all 10s, will the final score be a 10?

If a story gets all 10s and one 9 (after the top and bottom 5% are removed), I assume the story cannot get a 10. Is that correct?

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

If a story gets all 10s and one 9 (after the top and bottom 5% are removed), I assume the story cannot get a 10. Is that correct?


I'm not sure how the math for the adjustments would work out. However, the highest score in the entire database is 9.62, so I wouldn't consider it that likely.

Grant

@sharkjcw

I have read stories with a score of 5 or 6 that I loved and have dumped after 1 chapter stories with a score of 8+.

Yep.
There have been some very high scoring stories I didn't get past the first page or 2, let alone make it to the end of the first chapter.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

If a story gets all 10s and one 9 (after the top and bottom 5% are removed), I assume the story cannot get a 10. Is that correct?

correct

awnlee jawking

@aubie56

Book 2's score is currently lower than Book 1's, yet in my opinion the writing quality is better and the plot more credible. However we should expect Book 2's score to rise as the story's length increases.

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

However we should expect Book 2's score to rise as the story's length increases.


The score will more likely rise as more people read it and score. There is a large number of readers that refuse to score a story until after it's finished, and another group who won't read it until it's finished, and they will score it then.

sejintenej
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


@sharkjcw

As a reader I am more concerned with the whether I like a story than the score. I have read stories with a score of 5 or 6 that I loved and have dumped after 1 chapter stories with a score of 8+.

Exactly! That's why it's better to focus on the story you're called to write, rather than on scores, sales, ratings or reviews.


I echo sharkjew (what a penname!). I go by subject, then partially writer and lastly score. Given two stories with the same general subject the better score gets read first which means that I have started with stories scoring 6 or so.
I don't always accept scores - I got bored by and long ago stopped reading Penguintopia after about four books - my choice - but I still read Arlene & Jeff which also has a highish boredom factor

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

I wonder how many readers are waiting until Arlene and Jeff is complete before they start it or score it :)

AJ

demonmaster62

To Add just a little "thread drift" here, but not go off topic, I have a question that I've always wondered about; If I'm reading a multi chapter story, with chapters submitted over time (which I have), and I "score" each chapter (which I do) am I;

1. hurting or helping that author's overall score?

2. even being counted after the first score I give (meaning does the score I give chapter 1 cancel out or over ride the scores I give say chapter 3, then chapter 6, chapter 11, and so on? In other words, is the original score that I gave the only score that the "computer" (for lack of a better word) counts, and discards the rest?

Switch Blayde

@sejintenej

I echo sharkjew (what a penname!)


Did you notice your slip?

Replies:   sejintenej
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@demonmaster62


is the original score that I gave the only score that the "computer" (for lack of a better word) counts, and discards the rest?


The last score overrides all previous scores.

Saying that, a lot depends on other stories being scored in the time periods. When I was testing something in the scoring system with Lazeez, I gave one of my stories a 10. The score actually went down because when the story was re-scored, other factors affecting the scoring algorithm changed that hurt my story.

sejintenej
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


sejintenej

I echo sharkjew (what a penname!)

Did you notice your slip?


The nom de plume part looked wrong but the spellcheck allowed it. I went up and the poster's name agreed - until I saw it on a different part of the screen which didn't have the dust mite.

Apple juice to him

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

There is a large number of readers that refuse to score a story until after it's finished, and another group who won't read it until it's finished, and they will score it then.

There's also a third group who rate each individual chapter, however, the score unintentionally influences other readers. So often, a story with a low initial score will remain in the doldrums, while a story with a quick start and lots of action initially, will generally maintain a better score overall, even after the action ends.

Crumbly Writer

@demonmaster62

To Add just a little "thread drift" here, but not go off topic, I have a question that I've always wondered about; If I'm reading a multi chapter story, with chapters submitted over time (which I have), and I "score" each chapter (which I do) am I;

1. hurting or helping that author's overall score?

2. even being counted after the first score I give (meaning does the score I give chapter 1 cancel out or over ride the scores I give say chapter 3, then chapter 6, chapter 11, and so on? In other words, is the original score that I gave the only score that the "computer" (for lack of a better word) counts, and discards the rest?

Each score erases the earlier ones. This wasn't always so, as originally the score was cookie based, and once the cookie expired (typically a couple months), the new score would be added as an additional score, allowing certain individuals to enter multiple scores for the same story over time. However, Lezeez corrected that flaw years ago.

Many, but certainly not all, authors will watch the ratings to see whether the score falls or rises for each particular chapter. The overall score rarely changes, the the fringes do. Although I have certain 'fans' who always rate my stories a 1, despite reading each chapter promptly each week, they'll reward the fast action chapters with a 3. I may not notice variations in my 10 scores or even my 8s, but I notice those outliers more than the majority of votes as a bellwether for how the story was received.

Does it affect the story's overall score? Not directly, though it can influence it. Again, someone seeing a story with an 8 score is more likely to read it, while a 7 score is more likely to bypass it. So even if it varies temporarily, you may be eliminating certain readers who may enjoy it, but there's no way of measuring or predicting it's impact.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Switch Blayde

If a story gets all 10s, will the final score be a 10?


Yes. It will get 10. A mean score of 10 remains a 10 after weighing and a mean score of 1 remains a 1.

If a story gets all 10s and one 9 (after the top and bottom 5% are removed), I assume the story cannot get a 10. Is that correct?


There is no rounding going on. So if after the top 5% and bottom 5% have been dropped one 9 remains, then of course the score won't be 10.

Depending how many votes there are, it could score up to 9.99 after weighing.

Penguintopia

@sejintenej

don't always accept scores - I got bored by and long ago stopped reading Penguintopia after about four books - my choice


Which is the exact response I would expect. Just because a story is highly rated, it doesn't mean that it's everyone's cup of tea. I personally can't stand George R. R. Martin's writing, but he does seem to be popular.

Ernest Bywater

@demonmaster62

1. hurting or helping that author's overall score?

2. even being counted after the first score I give (meaning does the score I give chapter 1 cancel out or over ride the scores I give say chapter 3, then chapter 6, chapter 11, and so on? In other words, is the original score that I gave the only score that the "computer" (for lack of a better word) counts, and discards the rest?


1. Not really, you simply showing how you feel the story rates to the end of the chapter being voted, that is the whole story to date, not just the chapter.

2. The system now tracks what score you gave a story and adjusts it to what you enter as the latest score. So, if a story started posting in February and you liked chapter 1 so much you gave it a 10, then finishes posting in September and you thought the edning weak so you gave it a 6 the system removes the 10 from the count, adds in a 6 and recalculates the score for the story.

madnige
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


If a story gets all 10s and one 9 (after the top and bottom 5% are removed), I assume the story cannot get a 10. Is that correct?


As I understand it, yes, but if the adjusted score were to be at least 9.995 it would be rounded to 10 for display. Guessing (based on comments here) that the simple average of scores (less outliers) is 8.5 and assuming a piecewise-linear adjustment (I'd use a quadratic), that's one '9' vote and at least 533 '10' votes (after outlier removal), so not very likely.

ETA emphasis

EIA - unless Lazeez truncates the scores for display, which is the only possible interpretation of

There is no rounding going on


Or, if you want to get really nit-picky pedantic, that statement is wrong because the maths routines used in the calculation do rounding in the underlaying binary representation of the numbers during calculations, probably at 15-16 (decimal) digits of precision - unless the floating point calculations are done in one of the special modes where all intermediate results are truncated. Of course, the more reasonable interpretation is that Lazeez meant something like 'There is no explicit rounding done as part of the scores calculations', with the implicit rounding done in the standard calculation and display routines being taken as understood.
{ Nerdy Pedant mode off }

Crumbly Writer

@madnige

{ Nerdy Pedant mode off }

What's a little nerdy-pendanticism between friends? :-)

Replies:   aubie56
aubie56

@Crumbly Writer

What's a little nerdy-pendanticism between friends? :-)


Actually, that should be AMONG friends, if you mean the whole of the forum.

Replies:   Zom
Zom

@aubie56

nerdy-pendanticism

Shouldn't that be nerdish-pedantism?

Ernest Bywater

@madnige

Lazeez truncates the scores for display, which is the only possible interpretation


and what I believe is happening.

richardshagrin

Sounds like a bondage story, putting Kate in a trunk, and locking her in. Trunk Kate. It would have to be a very large trunk to put more than one Kate in, to have Trunk Kates.

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