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Don't All Rush Out There at Once

Ross at Play
Updated:

NO!

DO all rush out to read the new story I just posted, I Have a Cunning Plot. The genre is Humor and No Sex.

It's only 1,700 words. I am hoping readers will love it or hate it. If they think it's so-so I will feel like it has failed.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I am hoping readers will love it or hate it.


In that case shouldn't the title be 'Marmite'?

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

In that case shouldn't the title be 'Marmite'?

Were you the one who scored it 'Tastes Like Vegemite'?

ETA:
Whoops! I had planned on adding a smiley face on the end of that.
I hope nobody thought I might I even suspected AJ capable of such things.
This was only ever intended as a joke about British liking Marmite v Aussies liking Vegemite.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Were you the one who scored it 'Tastes Like Vegemite'?


I wouldn't know - I've never tasted Vegemite.

AJ

richardshagrin
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


mite


"Definition of mite

"any of numerous small acarid arachnids that often infest animals, plants, and stored foods and include important disease vectors."

No wonder mar and vege mites are unpleasant.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

I asked you before, "Were you the one who scored it 'Tastes Like Vegemite'?"

I'm kind of hoping it was you now. If not, I can guarantee you that this world contains at least two vicious sods. :(

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ross at Play

I'm kind of hoping it was you now. If not, I can guarantee you that this world contains at least two vicious sods. :(

Presuming you own a complete set of fingers on both your hands, I'd suggest you count again. I'm pretty sure you missed some sods.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@robberhands

I'm pretty sure you missed some sods.


I know, but I did say 'at least two'.

Two out of 24 so far have 1-bombed my story.

I am, in fact, not happy with how it turned out. The resolution of the story, such as that was, sucks. I know the style of humour is over-the-top, even silly at times. I was expecting some 4s and 5s from those who hate the type of humour. The number of those is disappointing enough.

But 1-bombs? For a tiny twisted tale intended to give readers a few giggles? AFAIK, the only technical error that was not intentional is a missing quotation mark. The reading flows smoothly enough and the dialogue is plausible.

Why would shitheads bother reading something labelled as Humour if they are inclined to 1-bomb something just because the style of humour is not to their taste?

robberhands

@Ross at Play

Why would shitheads bother reading something labelled as Humour if they are inclined to 1-bomb something just because the style of humour is not to their taste?

That's assuming they actually read what you wrote before dropping the 1; I doubt that.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@robberhands

That's assuming they actually read what you wrote

Thanks for the sanity check. As I said, I expected some number of 4s and 5s.

I have never seen a histogram like the one this how now. There are nine 7s and no other score has more than three votes. I kind of interpret that as meaning, "Thanks for the effort, but this story does not work, and this is as kind as I can be."

Replies:   Zom
awnlee_jawking

@Ross at Play

Why would shitheads bother reading something labelled as Humour if they are inclined to 1-bomb something just because the style of humour is not to their taste?


For exactly that reason - they didn't find it funny and they rated its appeal accordingly.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee_jawking

For exactly that reason - they didn't find it funny and they rated its appeal accordingly.

For exactly that reason - I consider them to be selfish and mean-spirited. I would not be totally damning of something I hated if I could see it may appeal to others. I would not 1-bomb anything unless I thought nobody would enjoy it.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I disagree. The score you give a story should reflect your own personal opinion. If others like it more, it's their responsibility to give it appropriate scores.

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

The score you give a story should reflect your own personal opinion. If others like it more, it's their responsibility to give it appropriate scores.

Considering various viewpoints is usually a part of how I achieve an opinion. You really think that's wrong in regards to voting on a story?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

If you consider what other people might think about a story when allocating your score, don't you have concerns about whether others take your opinion into account when they allocate their scores?

AJ

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

If you consider what other people might think about a story when allocating your score, don't you have concerns about whether others take your opinion into account when they allocate their scores?

Concerns? I hope that's what they do but I'm aware some voters give a rat's ass about other readers in general and the story they are voting on in particular, which doesn't necessarily mean they actually did read the story they are voting on.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Zom

@Ross at Play

There are nine 7s ... this is as kind as I can be."

Are you saying you think 7 is a bad score? I vote 7 a lot when I enjoy a story, but don't think it is 'very' good. To me it is still good.

I refuse to subscribe to the modern notion that emotions must be binary, i.e. either complete rubbish, or the greatest thing since bottled beer.

I have never believed in participation medals either!

Sorry if that rained on the parade.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

If you consider what other people might think about a story when allocating your score, don't you have concerns about whether others take your opinion into account when they allocate their scores?

Do you think they were honest when rating it "You Call This a Story", rather than "Pretty Bad" or "Not good"?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Zom

Are you saying you think 7 is a bad score?

I think for many it is their "Not really" score. The entire reason for all of Lazeez's efforts manipulating scores is the self-selection of those who do vote by people inclined to be nice.

My gut feeling is most of those 7s are from readers who would rarely go any lower.

And as I have said, I am not happy with the way it turned out. But still, I gave myself several good laughs when I re-read it recently for the first time in a while.

Replies:   Zom
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Possibly.

How many 10s has the story received?

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

How many 10s has the story received?

I concede some level of hypocrisy regarding the honesty of the score I gave it. :(

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Well you are probably the only person on the planet who understands all the humour ;)

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Well you are probably the only person on the planet who understands all the humour ;)

NO DOUBT about that!

The options are to dumb-down every joke so everyone will understand, or to write them knowing only some will get them but they will enjoy them more for having figured them out.

As long as the result is still comprehensible when jokes go over a reader's head, I see no problem.

My conclusion is that some readers have a strong moral objection to others indulging in gay behavior. It appears to me some must also have a strong moral objection to others laughing. And I stress, I assess it as not good enough to expect favourable reactions for more than a few - but I cannot see it as being worthless.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Zom
Updated:

@Ross at Play


My gut feeling is most of those 7s are from readers who would rarely go any lower.


By 'rarely go' do you mean they would rarely score lower, or that they would not vote at all if they couldn't vote a 7, or both?

I regularly find myself abandoning a story, I either can't stand or can't read, without scoring it, so maybe I am also one of 'them'.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Zom

Yes, Zom, that is what I mean. I suspect the general kindness of a fair percentage of readers results in them not voting at all if they could not give a story at least a 7.

Replies:   Zom
richardshagrin

Not surprising, I have a different view of the votes I give. They aren't designed as a reward or punishment for authors, their purpose is to help other readers decide if they should read the story. And to tell them what other readers think. Not everyone wants to be a reviewer, but most readers should want to give a clue to other readers. I don't give low scores all that often but I do, sometimes, even a 1 to a story most people rate very highly. If I didn't like a story, it is my assumed role to let other readers know. They might decided not to waste their time on it, or might decided to give it a try, based on what the other readers think about the story. There may be a few authors who focus on the scores but that isn't why I give them to stories I read.

Bondi Beach

@richardshagrin

No wonder mar and vege mites are unpleasant.


A knock on Australian kids? Better watch your back when you visit Oz. The Happy Little Vegemites will be waiting.

(Link is to the authoritative rendition on YouTube.)

bb

Zom
Updated:

@Ross at Play


general kindness


I can't remember being classified as 'kind' or 'nice' before :-) but the point you make has a bunch interesting ramifications. Apart from making voting compulsory (good luck with that) there would be no way to mitigate the skews my (and others') behaviour introduces. Thankfully they are all in the same direction.

Ross at Play

@Zom

There is something odd about the number 7.

My histogram is certainly not 'normal'. There's a row of scores with 2 or 3 votes, one with 4, then in the middle TEN votes?

That is definitely not random. There's some psychological influences affecting that.

robberhands

@Zom

... there would be no way to mitigate the skews my (and others') behaviour introduces.

Why worry at all? The scores are made by readers (with a little aid from Lazeez) for readers. The scores are meant to be a tool for readers on SoL to choose stories they might enjoy and only stories on SoL are compared. I don't see how "nice scores" hinder this purpose.

Replies:   sejintenej  Zom
robberhands

@Ross at Play

That is definitely not random. There's some psychological influences affecting that.

What a wondrous observation. Did you expect your readers to vote by dice?

Replies:   Ross at Play
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

One of the truisms utilised by mentalists is that, asked to chose a random, single digit number, seven is by far the most popular choice, as 'elephant' is the most popular choice of animal starting with 'e'.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play
Updated:

@robberhands

Did you expect your readers to vote by dice?

When you look at your raw-score graphs, does the shape remind you of a bell - or a dead man with a spear through their heart?

I have asked Lazeez to delete it, on the grounds he'll be doing readers HERE a service: it is sitting at the 90% percentile for its genre, for fuck's sake!

Does anyone here NOT think at least 20% of stories here are effectively incomprehensible, requiring constant double-takes to work out the intended meaning and sometimes still needing to guess?

robberhands

@Ross at Play

When you look at your raw-score graphs, does the shape remind you of a bell - or a dead man with a spear through their heart?

I don't have any "raw-score graphics" to look at, only a graph displaying the score after the 10% outliers are cut off.

Does anyone here NOT think at least 20% of stories here are effectively incomprehensible, requiring constant double-takes to work out the intended meaning and sometimes still needing to guess?

I'd never think something like that, I'm much too nice, you Bruce.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I don't believe in kicking someone when they're down, but as you're Australian ...

Bearing in mind all the previous discussions about reader biases, what sort of score were you expecting for the story? It's higher than my 'Rue, Britannia' achieved.

I have asked Lazeez to delete it, on the grounds he'll be doing readers HERE a service: it is sitting at the 90% percentile for its genre, for fuck's sake!


That fails the reciprocity test. If everyone deleted their stories at the 90th percentile or below, that would move another batch of stories into that category, and so on until stories currently above the fiftieth percentile were being deleted.

Does anyone here NOT think at least 20% of stories here are effectively incomprehensible, requiring constant double-takes to work out the intended meaning and sometimes still needing to guess?


I noticed you left your Colonel Blimp 'joke' in. If it hadn't been explained in the forum, I would never have guessed your intended meaning.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

I don't believe in kicking someone when they're down, but as you're Australian ...

Today I have killed a few-day-old kitten someone dumped in my yard and one of my own babies.

Considering you are not an American, you may proceed ...

what sort of score were you expecting for the story?

Not good, to be truthful. I was never satisfied with the final scene, but I saw enough in the remainder to believe some people would sincerely enjoy it. The Brit who proofread it asked if there would be an sequels.

I was not looking for or expecting a number. The scores here serve useful functions but have no relevance to anything. I looked its relative position within its genre. Seeing it placed at the 90th percentile, ranked lower than over half the stories that are truly unreadable, was more than I am prepared to bear.

It's higher than my 'Rue, Britannia' achieved.

Really? I quite enjoyed that. It was not great, IMHO, but I got at least few good giggles from it. What more should I expect from a very short story labelled with the misspelt word, 'Humor'.

ETA: I noticed a technical error when I proofread your post. The contraction it's is only valid for the words it is and it has. The is no contraction for the words it was.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

The is no contraction for the words it was.


Your story was still available when I wrote that post.

I thought you were joking about having it deleted because you didn't include a smiley.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Your story was still available when I wrote that post.

There were overlapping times for a few different things. The order appeared different when I checked ... and I saw an opportunity to craft a joke you would get in the wording I chose. :-)

I thought you were joking about having it deleted

It WILL NOT be lost to the world forever. I have made my choice about what is best for it, and me, for now.

The next time it is published it will be infinitely better. It will not have that missing quote mark. :-)

Replies:   richardshagrin
sejintenej

@robberhands

Why worry at all? The scores are made by readers (with a little aid from Lazeez) for readers. The scores are meant to be a tool for readers on SoL to choose stories they might enjoy and only stories on SoL are compared. I don't see how "nice scores" hinder this purpose

IF readers use scores to decide whether to risk a download them surely "nice" scores will influence them improperly. I very very seldom look at scores except the result after sending my score.

My way of looking at scoring is comparison with a specific story** which has everything I want. That gets a 10, a very close match with good grammar, spelling and clarity could also get a 10. Too many spelling errors drops it a point provided the story is good and the writing clear. A good plot but I have to think about what the author is trying to ;put across gets a 7 or perhaps 8. Too much repetition (usually sex) drops a story to 8 at the very best. Below that I don't even finish chapter 3 let alone condemn the story.

** the story was recommended in this Forum but is not (unfortunately) on SOL

robberhands

@sejintenej

IF readers use scores to decide whether to risk a download them surely "nice" scores will influence them improperly. I very very seldom look at scores except the result after sending my score.

I'm certain you are more than capable to recognize that the average SoL reader might be more lenient than you are when scoring a story. Keep it in mind when you look at the scores and you can use this tool like everyone else. Of course, it's also fine to ignore the scores.

Ross at Play
Updated:

At this moment I am struggling to get to sleep before dawn. I am going to lose this morning, again. I thought of someone's comment earlier today that we must accept the probability of taking some hits when we put our creations out there. I cannot argue with that; they still hurt.

I wondered, do we all have some point at which bruising to our egos disables our creativity? That point would be different for each of us. I hit what I assess to be my point today. I'll do something different tomorrow, no today. Whatever. Good night.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
richardshagrin

@Ross at Play

infinitely

You are going to divide it by zero?

awnlee jawking

@richardshagrin

You are going to divide it by zero?


Double zero, for the Americans ;)

AJ

Zom

@Ross at Play

There is something odd about the number 7.

Perhaps it is offering a Second Chance? :-)

That is definitely not random.

Could it somehow be accurately reflecting the readers views? What would you think a 'normal' distribution should be? Is there any 'normal' really?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@richardshagrin

You are going to divide it by zero?

For those of u here with black and white standards, 1/0 = infinity.

Zom
Updated:

@robberhands


Why worry at all?


There are more stories here than anyone will ever read, so I suspect most readers will take any guidance they can get, and other readers' scoring has to be a significant factor in selecting what to read. I know it is for me. Authors should at least be aware how scores will impact their readership. I know it's not a competition, but if authors didn't want a good exposure, why publish at all? Then there is that nasty ego thing ...

Ross at Play

@Zom

What would you think a 'normal' distribution should be? Is there any 'normal' really?

A single skyscraper among a row of buildings a few stories high is decidedly un-normal.

Replies:   Zom
Zom

@Ross at Play

A single skyscraper among a row of buildings a few stories high is decidedly un-normal.

Not if it is the first of those to follow. Methinks thou mayst be obsessing a tad.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Zom

Not if it is the first of those to follow. Methinks thou mayst be obsessing a tad.

None to follow; it's gone (Thanks, Lazeez), so no more obsession.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Its footprints persist. On the site's Twitter feed, for example.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Why would shitheads bother reading something labelled as Humour if they are inclined to 1-bomb something just because the style of humour is not to their taste?

Is there a tag for 'bad humor', or maybe for 'unfunny humor'?

I'm guessing your particular humor doesn't appeal to as wide a segment of the SOL population as you'd hoped.

Still, 1-bombing is pretty extreme for something as minor as not understanding someone else's humor. Certainly there must have been something about the story more upsetting than droll humor.

By the way, as we've noted in the past, no one ever downvotes a story because it 'had no technical errors', they vote it down because the story itself didn't appeal to them. If you have a strong story, readers will forgive any number of technical issues (ex. bad grammar, frequent misspellings, bad language usages). Whether or not the humor was behind the 1-votes, I'm guessing they weren't excited by the underlying story.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

For exactly that reason - I consider them to be selfish and mean-spirited. I would not be totally damning of something I hated if I could see it may appeal to others. I would not 1-bomb anything unless I thought nobody would enjoy it.

To be honest (not having read the story), if I read something marked as humor that fell flat, I'd be likely to score it harshly (though not that harshly), simply because it failed in it's major focus. It was trying to be funny, and no one found it funny. You've admitted before that you're humor doesn't appeal to many (claiming most people don't 'get' your human). I'd say you were spot on. No one 'got' the humor in this, and rated the story accordingly.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Concerns? I hope that's what they do but I'm aware some voters give a rat's ass about other readers in general and the story they are voting on in particular, which doesn't necessarily mean they actually did read the story they are voting on.

NOWHERE on SOL does it say jack shit about 'taking other's opinions into account when voting on a story'. Instead, it very clearly states: Vote according to how the story appeals to you personally.

If we all voted by how we all thought everyone else voted, no one would ever vote according to how appealing THEY found the story to be.

Replies:   robberhands
Crumbly Writer

@Zom

I refuse to subscribe to the modern notion that emotions must be binary, i.e. either complete rubbish, or the greatest thing since bottled beer.

Personally, I've never been that fond of bottled beer either. I'm still waiting for the aerosol version. 'D

Replies:   Zom
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

The options are to dumb-down every joke so everyone will understand, or to write them knowing only some will get them but they will enjoy them more for having figured them out.

No! If your jokes don't go over well, you learn—in time—not to tell jokes at parties. I've never been terribly funny—as most of you have already witnessed—so instead of trying to write comedy, I instead write serious dramas and only use humor to lighten the mood during stressful episodes—in other words, as a pacing device. That way, even if the humor falls completely flat, readers are unlikely to object, since they'll see the terrible joke as exactly what it was, an attempt to lighten the topic.

It's OK for your humor not to appeal to everyone, but how long do you think "Jokes and Giggles" would have lasted if no one ever found it funny? The bottom line is, don't try to sell everyone on your humor unless your certain everyone will find it funny. Otherwise, simply send it to the few people you know will find it funny and be done with it.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

My histogram is certainly not 'normal'. There's a row of scores with 2 or 3 votes, one with 4, then in the middle TEN votes?

That is definitely not random. There's some psychological influences affecting that.

Duh? Where would you expect the greatest majority of votes to be, statistically? Of course they're all in the middle!

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

One of the truisms utilised by mentalists is that, asked to chose a random, single digit number, seven is by far the most popular choice, as 'elephant' is the most popular choice of animal starting with 'e'.

Tee-hee! And "1" is the most popular choice when faced with Ross's brand of humor (though realistically, it's actually "7", though the 1s definitely skew the results fairly dramatically).

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I have asked Lazeez to delete it, on the grounds he'll be doing readers HERE a service: it is sitting at the 90% percentile for its genre, for fuck's sake!

Authors delete stories all the time, sometimes even well-received stories.

I'm getting ready to announce that I'm 'unpublishing' my biggest selling story, and possibly yanking it from SOL, mainly because I think I can do better, even after four separate revisions.

You can't get better if you're afraid of making an ass of yourself on occasion. Take you lumps and move on, but don't get discouraged, simply modify your approach and try again. If one type of story doesn't appeal to readers, then try another. As I said, if your humor doesn't appeal to everyone, then package your stories as something other than humor.

Replies:   Ross at Play
robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

NOWHERE on SOL does it say jack shit about 'taking other's opinions into account when voting on a story'. Instead, it very clearly states: Vote according to how the story appeals to you personally.

With caps for emphasis, I was almost convinced I stated something to the contrary but I didn't. On the other hand, I also don't care what's written on SoL in regards to how I should achieve my opinion when I vote on a story.

Crumbly Writer

@sejintenej

IF readers use scores to decide whether to risk a download them surely "nice" scores will influence them improperly. I very very seldom look at scores except the result after sending my score.

Not me. I generally stay away from stories with a rating lower than 7, though that varies based on the description, but I rarely read anything rated 5 and never read anything rated 4 or lower.

Most readers use scores exactly the way they were intended, as a way to weed decent stories from those that no one can stand. Deal with it.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


ertainly there must have been something about the story more upsetting than droll humor.


A no sex story about a girl plotting to lose her virginity.

No, that wouldn't bother anyone. :)

Replies:   Ross at Play  sejintenej
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

At this moment I am struggling to get to sleep before dawn. I am going to lose this morning, again. I thought of someone's comment earlier today that we must accept the probability of taking some hits when we put our creations out there. I cannot argue with that; they still hurt.

As it should. However, despite all my previous critiques (again, never having read the story itself), I think you're yanking it too early.

I've found over time that the initial scores rarely last. You always get an initial score that's high to one degree or another (very high, or very low, or very middle-of-the-road). However, after the story completes, readers generally adjust their scores to suit the story as a whole (does the entire story hold up). But even that doesn't hold.

Those initial ratings only evaluate what the first readers to see your story think. Give it time. Generally, over time, most scores rise. But at first, the initial positive scores drop even lower, as readers who weren't attracted to the story initially weigh in (surprise, surprise, they didn't like it after all). But it's only when readers find it on their own, long after it's finished, that you get an 'honest' appraisal of a story's appeal.

And even then, my scores for the same story vary widely depending whether it was posted to SOL, Fine Stories or Sci-Fi. Each site has different tastes, and interpret the exact same story on a completely different basis.

By yanking it so early, you'll never get a feel for how readers really think of your story.

It may hurt, but you won't learn as much if you leave before the lesson is complete. :(

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

don't try ... unless your certain everyone will find it funny.

I'M NEVER DOING THAT! I will not compose musak.

I expected it to be rated poorly. I did not expect it to be rated as worse than the average stories among all stories which are incomprehensible.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Duh? Where would you expect the greatest majority of votes to be, statistically? Of course they're all in the middle!

If 7 is the most popular score, I expect 6 and 8 to be relatively high - statistically that is.

I don't think I've ever seem a histogram with something like scores from 4 through 9 on a straight line and 7 three times higher than everything else around it. I just noted there is some very non-statistical phenomenon at work for there to be such an extreme prevalence for one number out of a range.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Authors delete stories all the time, sometimes even well-received stories.

By posting, I knew I have given WLPC rights to publish for some period. Lazeez had the right to refuse my request, and say he would not remove it for the stated period.

I appreciate that he chose not to do so. I expect it was easier for him to agree because the story is so short it's unlikely any readers started it but had not finished.

The story will be published again, but to respect Lazeez's agreement to do something he was not obliged to do, I will not even ask if I may post it elsewhere until I would have had a legal right to insist he removes it from SOL.

I agreed to a contract and I will honour my obligations. Thank you, Lazeez, for choosing not to enforce your rights under that contract.

Replies:   robberhands
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

A no sex story about a girl plotting to lose her virginity.
No, that wouldn't bother anyone. :)

I note the smiley. You know that 'no sex' means no explicit descriptions of sex, not that the story is not about sex.

Wasn't there a rule at one time for American TV shows that scenes must end while one actor still has one foot on the floor?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Wasn't there a rule at one time for American TV shows that scenes must end while one actor still has one foot on the floor?

It was that, if two people are in bed (separate beds, by the way), they each had to have at least one foot on the floor. Times, they were adifferent. 'D

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I'M NEVER DOING THAT! I will not compose musak.

I expected it to be rated poorly. I did not expect it to be rated as worse than the average stories among all stories which are incomprehensible.

Read the other messages (I know, there were a LOT of them).

I was suggesting that, rather than posting the story as "humor", that you bury the humor in a 'regular' story so it's not your main selling point. That removes the emphasis from your humor. They may still not find it funny, but it won't be the only point of the story. Instead, focus on the story (i.e. don't sell it as a humor piece). Again, if you know your humor doesn't appeal to everyone, you're setting yourself up for failure to sell it as something funny.

I'm not asking you to promote junk, I'm merely suggesting you repackage it so the main emphasis isn't the element that no one gets. Instead, you make it a minor, rather than the main element of the story.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Sorry, I misread the post (I read the 7s and 5s).

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

it won't be the only point of the story.

I would concede there is no point in any Brit or Aussie posting anything HERE where the only point of the story is as a vehicle to give some readers a few good laughs. It is only 1,700 words.

AJ's Rue Britania is only a thousand words. He devoted 4 of 11 words in the story description to the words 'Caution for bad taste'. I could understand its current score if the 3 to 4 minutes some spent reading it - despite that caution - had ruined their lives.

Isn't truth in advertising enough for something so harmless?

I know mine doesn't really work but it gets close to its objectives. There are a few who have sincerely enjoyed it. It does not deserve a ranking among the bottom half of stories on this site that are truly worthless, impossible to understand the authors' intentions.

I'll find it a home where some will appreciate it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Zom

@Crumbly Writer

I'm still waiting for the aerosol version.

Shake a can hard enough ... :-)

robberhands

@Ross at Play

For karmic reasons, the people first reading your story will always dislike it. You should have waited before pulling it back. My current story started with a score of 6.6 and the second comment I received was, "Stop wasting everyone's time with your rubbish". Meanwhile, I'm quite happy with the response I get and my readers seem to be happy as well.

Replies:   Jack Green
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Where would you expect the greatest majority of votes to be, statistically? Of course they're all in the middle!

That is exactly what I expected.

As someone with a limited knowledge of statistics, I did not expect a HUGE value for the statistical measures, variance and standard deviation.

I transferred the number of votes for scores of 4 through 10 into cells A4:A10 of a spreadsheet.
At cell A12 I entered: =VAR(A4:A10)
At cell A13 I entered: =STDEV(A4:A10)

The value at A12 was 8.95 (to 2 decimal places).
The value at A13 was 2.99 (to 2 decimal places).

I copied column A to column B.
In cell B7 I then overtyped with: =ROUND(AVERAGE(B4:B6;B8:10))

The value at B12 was 0.95 (to 2 decimal places).
The value at B13 was 0.98 (to 2 decimal places).

Don't you think those statistics are surprising, statistically speaking that is?

sejintenej
Updated:

@Dominions Son


A no sex story about a girl plotting to lose her virginity.

No, that wouldn't bother anyone. :)


That actually sounds like the basis for a good story.

Georgeous bit of fluff sees and hears her friend getting it off and gets all hot and damp

-Makes date but boy gets knocked over by school bus.

-Another date but he goes to the wrong place

-They go into an empty classroom during break and two minutes later another couple turn up to watch
- makes date but mummy arranges for her to babysit her ailing grandmother

and so it goes on........ she ends up with a carrot

Don't all rush out there at once to help her

Replies:   AmigaClone
AmigaClone

@sejintenej

-Makes a date but she gets grounded

-Makes a date, they actually go out, run across a friend in need before the end of the date and the mood is lost.

-makes a date, boy goes in to meet her dad the two get to talking and discover he might be her half brother and neither are into incest.

-Make a date but one of them gets grounded.

-make a date, boy's family moves before the date of the date.

-make a date, boy turns out to be gay and can't get it up.

Geek of Ages

@Ross at Play

Don't you think those statistics are surprising


No; but I also think you're feeding essentially gibberish to the statistics functions—and a paltry amount of it—that the numbers you get back don't actually contain any particularly useful information.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Geek of Ages

I also think you're feeding essentially gibberish to the statistics functions

My knowledge of statistics says otherwise.

I have no idea what is causing these results, i.e. what they mean, and have only said that some unusual non-random factor is influencing them.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

AJ,
I just came across this in your Rue, Britannia:

the prince pounced, his proud prong probing the profundity of her plump pussy.

I can at least now feel it is not an automatic no-no -- if you have the right audience -- to try something like this:

The siblings' steady stream of sour sarcasm slowly subsides into sporadic subjugated sulks.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Jack Green

@robberhands

Is it possible that the scores given to Ross-at-Play's story are not a judgment on his ability as a writer but more an 'appreciation 'of his many contributions to this forum?

He presents his views and opinions with typical Australian vigour, and over time he may have rattled a few cages. Given the invitation to mark his story maybe some inhabitants of those rattled cages have taken the opportunity to put the boot in.
Ross-at-Play even indicated the range of scores which he would least appreciate … that's like painting a bulls eye on his bum and labelling it 'Kick here '.

Just a thought.

robberhands

@Jack Green

Is it possible that the scores given to Ross-at-Play's story are not a judgment on his ability as a writer but more an 'appreciation 'of his many contributions to this forum?

That possibility is so exceedingly disgusting, hypocritical and idiotic, I don't even want to think about it. Sadly, your question prompted me to do just that. Thank you!

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

AJ,
I just came across this in your Rue, Britannia:


But it's in the bottom 20% so it must be unreadable. I admire your courage and fortitude in daring to sample it ;)

the prince pounced, his proud prong probing the profundity of her plump pussy.

I can at least now feel it is not an automatic no-no -- if you have the right audience -- to try something like this:

The siblings' steady stream of sour sarcasm slowly subsides into sporadic subjugated sulks.


From my story's score, SOL isn't the right audience :(

What does 'subjugated' mean in that context?

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Jack Green

Given the invitation to mark his story maybe some inhabitants of those rattled cages have taken the opportunity to put the boot in.


How is a mode score of 'Good' putting the boot in?

Does that mean some forum members have been putting the boot in on my stories too for railing against dogmatic minimalism? If so, I think it went over my head.

AJ

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

What does 'subjugated' mean in that context?

Suppressed.

Ross at Play

@Jack Green

He presents his views and opinions with typical Australian vigour, and over time he may have rattled a few cages.

The editor in me suggests you should change "may have rattled a few" to "has rattled many".

As to your suggestion, thanks, but I must respond with a quote:

You may think that, but I couldn't possibly comment.
- Francis Urquhart, House of Cards (UK)


Still, that would not provide a satisfactory explanation for the current score of AJ's Rue, Britannia. IMHO, it too, is not great, but a well-executed attempt with enough merits for some readers to genuinely enjoy, as did I. I have not read anything else here with a score so low that I did not loathe.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

"The siblings' steady stream of sour sarcasm slowly subsides into sporadic subjugated sulks."

What does 'subjugated' mean in that context?

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary
to subjugate (verb) = to defeat somebody/something; to gain control over somebody/something

In this instance it means the mother eventually "controlled" her sons' objections by remaining intransigent until their frequency faded away.

robberhands
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

From my story's score, SOL isn't the right audience :(

As often stated here before, a story score reflects how much a story appeals to its readers.

As an author, you can look at it from a different angle, especially if you don't like your story score. Readers are essentially evaluating their own preferences, which means a bad score for your story reflects the low quality of the readers, rather than the quality of your undisputable, extraordinary good story.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

SOL isn't the right audience :(

That was my conclusion and what prompted my request to Lazeez to remove my effort from this site. :(

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

a story score reflects how much a story appeals to its readers.


Sorry, I'm not using enough smileys :(

I've mentioned before that I believed the mostly American readership of SOL objected to people they idolise, the British Royal Family, being publicly mocked.

From what I've been able to discern, on average non-American voters awarded higher scores. And no, I didn't award myself any of the 10s ;)

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

the mostly American readership of SOL objected to people they idolise, the British Royal Family, being publicly mocked.

I'd be willing to treat them as "sacred" (they do bring in the tourists' dollars), if only they weren't such cows. :)

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

Sorry, I'm not using enough smileys :(

That statement is open to debate. Aside, I hope you noticed I actually didn't disagree with you.

awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Ross at Play

As examples of how Americans regard Brit Royalty, read Cold Creek's Dman series, Jay Cantrell's Regan Riley and Andy Drayton stories, and Banadin's Richard Jackson saga.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

As examples of how Americans regard Brit Royalty

'Freedom of Speech' does not exist until there is freedom to poke fun at anyone and anything, with no regard to accuracy.

Our German friends may apply a voluntary taboo which I would agree with, but that's about it, IMHO.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Isn't truth in advertising enough for something so harmless?

Your parallel to AJ's Rue Britania, is informative. I was going to suggest, if you repost it in the future, that you stipulate in the description that it "features extremely droll Australian humor". That would, right off the bat, eliminate the many American "Dumb and Dumber" humor fans who are more likely to punish anything which isn't similar. Part of your problem is isolating you fan base, rather than pitching your humor to the world at large. (Note: the "extremely" is a bit excessive, but it should help alert America readers that they're unlikely to appreciate it.)

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Don't you think those statistics are surprising, statistically speaking that is?

I'm not arguing that any of this is 'normal'. Instead I'm urging caution in your approach. Instead of pitching a humor piece, directed broadly, I'd take the same humor and wrap it into a larger story—where it's not the primary focus of the piece where the humor will stand on it's own without anyone judging the entire piece on the value of a single joke.

Consider it like posting a MM story. Posting it as a separate piece, every homophobic individual will seek it out and 1-bomb it without ever glancing at it. However, it you wrap it into a larger story, with a separate agenda, with a separate warning cautioning readers going in, it's unlikely to get quite the intense negative reaction.

This isn't so much reader equity of fairness in voting, instead it's your own story marketing. You're trying to ensure that ONLY those most likely to appreciate the story read it, while keeping 'the haters' away from it. You need to change your focus, and that's largely to purpose of the story description, your main marketing tool for a story.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

My knowledge of statistics says otherwise.

I have no idea what is causing these results, i.e. what they mean, and have only said that some unusual non-random factor is influencing them.

Any time you have an insufficient sample size you'll mostly get statistical gibberish, as you simply don't have enough data to get a meaningful interpretation. Instead you're picking the mind of only a few people with particular opinions, rather than a representational view of the general public.

Also keep in mind, that in most cases, the minimum sampling size for most statistics is at least 100 points.

Replies:   richardshagrin
Crumbly Writer

@Jack Green

Is it possible that the scores given to Ross-at-Play's story are not a judgment on his ability as a writer but more an 'appreciation 'of his many contributions to this forum?

I doubt enough readers follow the forum discussion to make much of a difference, just as I doubt most forum authors would go out of their way to sink a fellow author's story simply to punish them for their opinions. But then, I prefer seeing the good in man (though I always watch over it with an overly skeptical eye).

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

SOL isn't the right audience :(

That was my conclusion and what prompted my request to Lazeez to remove my effort from this site. :(

That's always a concern on SOL, as the 10-point scoring system gives an outsized voice to the lowly 1-bombers (if there are enough of them). That's why I chose to not post my one MM story to SOL, knowing it wouldn't receive an objective reception.

richardshagrin

@Ross at Play

if only they weren't such cows. :)

Cows are female, the ones that give milk, anyway. The males are bulls, or maybe steers. Collectively they may be cattle. Which is the new way to spell Seattle. C attle. Move there, the local governments will treat you like cattle.

robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

Instead of pitching a humor piece, directed broadly, I'd take the same humor and wrap it into a larger story—where it's not the primary focus of the piece where the humor will stand on it's own without anyone judging the entire piece on the value of a single joke.

You suggest Ross should write a story as a place to hide the story he wanted to write? Congratulations, that's a plan smelling of pure ingenuity.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

That would placate the 16-a-dayists who want value for money and give higher votes to longer stories ;)

AJ

richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

minimum sampling size for most statistics

There are other distributions than the "normal" curve. It has been a long, long time since I took Statistics, but there are distributions that describe data with fewer, a lot fewer, data points (observations).

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

that's largely to purpose of the story description, your main marketing tool for a story.

Both you and Richard suggest that. And I agree.

The title was chosen to attract British readers. It's an obvious play on a catchphrase from one of the best British TV comedies ever, Blackadder. I doubt many Americans have ever heard of it.

Did I do enough in the description to deter American readers? I could have done more. The evidence from AJ's story - where the description included "Caution for bad taste" - suggests it would not have made much difference.

You said:

I'd take the same humor and wrap it into a larger story


Not possible with humour. I had an idea. I squeezed as much out of it as possible.
Attempting to incorporate humour into a story idea is an entirely different thing.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play
Updated:

@richardshagrin

There are other distributions than the "normal" curve.

I'm not objecting or commenting ... I'm just making the observation I've never seen a sample that looked like it.

If I was asked to guess what was in the minds of those voters it would be, "I can see the effort. This does not work (for me). Seven is a generous as I can be." If that was their thinking I would be grateful for the encouragement to not give up.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

There are other distributions than the "normal" curve. It has been a long, long time since I took Statistics, but there are distributions that describe data with fewer, a lot fewer, data points (observations).

Also, not everyone distribution curve is a classic "bell graph" (in fact, extremely few are). Sadly, that seems to be the only one which anyone recognizes.

But the point is, with so few 'votes' (data points), those peaks often represent the views of only a few outspoken individuals, rather than any real widespread feelings by the public at large. After all, Ross never said how many votes the story had received.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Not possible with humour. I had an idea. I squeezed as much out of it as possible.
Attempting to incorporate humour into a story idea is an entirely different thing.

Understood. But I think that most of us recognize that, even if one story idea falls flat on it's face, it's often possible to reuse the concepts and components in another story. (i.e. it may not be the joke itself that failed, but simply the presentation/delivery/marketing.)

What I was suggesting was that you stick it in your back pocket, for now, but pull it out again when you see another opportunity to reuse it. In that sense, no story idea ever dies, it just provides ammunition for another, future battle.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

If I was asked to guess what was in the minds of those voters it would be, "I can see the effort. This does not work (for me). Seven is a generous as I can be." If that was their thinking I would be grateful for the encouragement to not give up.

That sounds like the best analysis to date.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Also, not everyone distribution curve is a classic "bell graph" (in fact, extremely few are). Sadly, that seems to be the only one which anyone recognizes.


Because statistics defines the "bell curve" as the "normal distribution", even though double ended infinite tails are actually not normal for natural processes (there is usually at least a finite lower limit, if not an upper limit)

The other distributions tend not to get introduced at all until you get into advanced college level statistics courses.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

After all, Ross never said how many votes the story had received.

At that time, 28 votes. There were 10 scores of 7, one score had 4 votes, all other scores less.

Please, I do know enough about statistics to say, "THAT is not random." That's all I'm saying.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

That sounds like the best analysis to date.

Thank you. It DID look ODD.

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

That sounds like the best analysis to date.


I'm not sure redefining 7 from 'Good' to 'This does not work (for me). Seven is a generous as I can be.' is a good idea.

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

I'm not sure redefining 7 from 'Good' to 'This does not work (for me). Seven is a generous as I can be.' is a good idea.

We have adjusted raw scores, why not add some adjusted meanings to those scores?

Ross at Play

Finally, some evidence a FEW READERS like my style of humour. The three extra votes for my other story in the last week is more that it has received over many months before that, and its score ticked up a couple of hundredths. :-)

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