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Random vent feel *** free to ignore***

Darian Wolfe

Some little pissant had the audacity to rate Dividends a 2. I couldn't write a 2 if I was smoking crack while high on meth.

The only way it is conceivable I could write such a substandard piece of garbage is if I wrote a story about sleeping with that canker filled whore that the voter calls mother.

Such a slanderous vote is obviously made out of spite. The voter should crawl back up that vagina that has had more pricks than a dartboard and let honest writers be.

Switch Blayde

@Darian Wolfe

Ignore the scores you get.

Replies:   Darian Wolfe
Darian Wolfe

@Switch Blayde

I normally do. That one torqued my jaws.

PrincelyGuy

Maybe the reader was confused and thought 1 was the best score; therefore the reader rated Dividends as a 9. Hey, it is a possibility. I will remember this if I ever post a story. I am number 1....

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@PrincelyGuy

Maybe the reader was confused and thought 1 was the best score


Except the reader didn't give a 2. He said he "hated it."

Which, btw, doesn't mean it wasn't good. It's just that he hated the story for whatever reason.

Ernest Bywater

Votes are a register of what they think of the story, if they didn't like the story at all they vote that way. It may have nothing to do with the quality of the writing.

Replies:   Darian Wolfe
Michael Loucks

@Darian Wolfe

Such a slanderous vote is obviously made out of spite. The voter should crawl back up that vagina that has had more pricks than a dartboard and let honest writers be.


There are people who do that because they like to burn down anything that others like. There are also people who genuinely don't like a story despite it being popular. I'd rate Titanic a '1' despite it being one of the most popular/highest-grossing movies of all-time.

I used to get burned up by the '1'-bombers and learned to just ignore them.

Darian Wolfe

@Ernest Bywater

I understand Ernest. From my point of view, if I dislike a story that much I'm going to drop it like a hot potato. I won't bother to finish it much less rate it.

I wouldn't have been angry if they had lowballed it but had said why. Was it the structure? The pacing? Not enough sex? Too much sex? I didn't scratch the incest itch? Too predictable? What's the problem?

To lowball it then walk away without an explanation felt like a fuck you. That pissed me off. Like I said before, I normally ignore it but that one got me.

Ernest Bywater

@Darian Wolfe

I understand Ernest. From my point of view, if I dislike a story that much I'm going to drop it like a hot potato. I won't bother to finish it much less rate it.


I'm the same way, but others will vote on a story they drop because they don't like the content. I've learned to live with it. You'll never know why unless they email you with a reason.

I've one person who read a lot of my stories and voted each on they read a 1 because they didn't like present tense stories. They would then email with a bitch about writing in present tense being wrong and that is why they give the story a 1, then they'd go and read the next story and do it all over again. Again, I ignore it and live with it.

I rarely look at the scores. I write because I want to write. If others enjoy what i write, well and good. If not, stiff.

Crumbly Writer

@Darian Wolfe

Such a slanderous vote is obviously made out of spite. The voter should crawl back up that vagina that has had more pricks than a dartboard and let honest writers be.

Careful about the venom. I've learned that often, those low 1 and 2 votes are often more political than personal dislike, as all of my 1 voters are loyal fans, who read each of my stories within days of their posting (I get so few 1 scores, it wasn't difficult tracking what and when they read it).

If someone ranks a story low, it doesn't mean they dislike your stories or you, but if you start saying ugly things, that could change. At this point, they might rate your stories a 2, but still talk about what a wonderful storyteller you are. If you make this personal, he's likely to start badmouthing you to everyone he meets. What's more, those who rated your story positively might decide that your an ass, and start avoiding your stories too.

Generally, when someone says something about a story, it's always best to ignore it and let it roll off your back. Ranting about it always makes you look bad. Readers know when a review is bogus. In fact, terrible reviews often lend credence to the other ratings, as it demonstrates they weren't ALL written by the author and his cronies (much as the ratings on Amazon, Apple and other sites often are, written by the app developer and their staffs).

It's not easy being the bigger man, but it's basic self-preservation. If you allow others to pull you into the gutter with them, you end up living in the same conditions they do.

robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

... all of my 1 voters are loyal fans ... If someone ranks a story low, it doesn't mean they dislike your stories or you ... they might rate your stories a 2, but still talk about what a wonderful storyteller you are ...

You took too many of your happy pills, methinks.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Darian Wolfe

I wouldn't have been angry if they had lowballed it but had said why.


That's a good point. How are writers supposed to improve if critics aren't obliged to justify their scores? Although all too frequently it's because the reader didn't bother to examine the story codes then encountered one of their squicks.

It's concerning that it's a 2. 1s and 10s are awarded frivolously but a 2 shows a degree of consideration. That's very frustrating.

AJ

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

How are writers supposed to improve if critics aren't obliged to justify their scores?


On the other hand, is there any to improve if the only reason for the low score was that they found the content of the story offensive?

Jim S

@Darian Wolfe


Such a slanderous vote is obviously made out of spite. The voter should crawl back up that vagina that has had more pricks than a dartboard and let honest writers be.

You might take solace from this quote from my favorite SF writer, Robert Heinlein

A critic is a man who creates nothing and thereby feels qualified to judge the work of creative men. There is logic in this; he is unbiased, he hates all creative people equally.

Darian Wolfe

@Crumbly Writer

I hear you Crumbly,

It was the fact he didn't say anything that pissed me off. I have no intention of publishing commercially. It's more work than I care to do. The marketing and cover design is a pain in the ass. I would rather focus on my stories.

I have been giving some thought to your idea of having some hardbound copies of stories made for my grandchildren. That was a grand idea.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

If the content that caused the offence was clearly signposted in the story codes, then no :(

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

You took too many of your happy pills, methinks.

Not at all. Before Lazeez started 'hiding' the outlying 5% of votes, we could actually see WHEN those votes were registered. They were registered by the same people (presumably) within the same time span for each of my stories. What's more, if they read a chapter they particularly liked, they'd 'up' their 1-vote to a 3, only to drop it back down to a '1' in the next chapter.

That clearly demonstrates that they were not only reading my stories, but that they were reading them as fast as I could post them. If they were doing that, it's safe to assume that they didn't despise my writing, but that they disagreed with a few minor points I made in the story.

Applying this Darian Wolfe's initial dilemma, it implies that that 2 vote likely had nothing at all to do with his writing skill, but instead was based on someone political or social biases (such as when the homophobic 1-bombs a story they've never read simply because it has gay characters in it).

You can learn a lot if you look beyond the obvious metrics. The obvious answers are for the oblivious, the deeper understandings take a bit more probing. I'm not saying that all of my observations are 100% true, but they provide a better understanding of what's happening than simply saying "He hates me because he gave me a 2!"

Replies:   robberhands
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

On the other hand, is there any to improve if the only reason for the low score was that they found the content of the story offensive?

It's often helpful to understand just how conservative a particular audience is. Knowing that SOL readers are traditionally homophobic (based exclusively on 1-bombing scores, rather than on individual readers), most authors learn to not post those stories, while gays learn to avoid the site at all costs!

My one gay romance was never posted on SOL, because I knew the response it would receive, and I didn't want to deal with the flak it would produce.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Darian Wolfe

It was the fact he didn't say anything that pissed me off. I have no intention of publishing commercially. It's more work than I care to do. The marketing and cover design is a pain in the ass. I would rather focus on my stories.

I have been giving some thought to your idea of having some hardbound copies of stories made for my grandchildren. That was a grand idea.

And the only reason I have for making these assertions are that my readers did explain why they 1-bombed me.

Typically, in most of my 'I quit reading you' letters, the expressed reasons are simply 'the last thing they saw. Generally, you have to talk with them and pull the real underlying concerns out of them. Those are where your real insights come from.

Typically, it's because your characters are doing something (or behaving in a way) which runs counter to what they're comfortable with. In that case, I typically have the characters admit the character in question is acting in an odd manner. In most cases, that buys the story time to expand on the character to better explain why they feel the way they do.

But, a simple 1 (or 2) bomb doesn't supply you with much useful information.

By the way, if you ever want to try publishing, or just want to preserve a story for your kids, talk to me. I've been doing this for years, and I often love design and formatting more than the actual writing process (design is easier, as it comes naturally for me. Writing is hard, as I'm not a 'natural writer'.

robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

Applying this Darian Wolfe's initial dilemma, it implies that that 2 vote likely had nothing at all to do with his writing skill, but instead was based on someone political or social biases (such as when the homophobic 1-bombs a story they've never read simply because it has gay characters in it).

Will these homophobic 1-bombers become loyal fans of an author of gay stories and talk about what a wonderful storyteller he is?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@awnlee jawking

1s and 10s are awarded frivolously but a 2 shows a degree of consideration. That's very frustrating.


That may mean the person rating the story know that the first 5% of the 1's and 10's aren't displayed to the author. The person may have wanted the author to see the low score, thus a 2 instead of a 1.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
REP

@Darian Wolfe

There are several things you need to understand and just accept.

1. Most readers rate stories without providing feedback. I suspect they don't want to expend the effort to tell you why they liked of disliked your story.

2. Most readers who rate a story take the time to assign it an appropriate rating. Unfortunately there are a number of readers who rate stories as good or bad. Good gets a 10 and bad gets a 1. Since most readers don't provide feedback, you will probably never know why you get low scores.

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

but a 2 shows a degree of consideration.


Not at all. He didn't give the story a 2. That's what authors see. The reader chose "I hated it" because he hated the story. Not that it was badly written. The reason is unknown.

I hated the movie "Get Out." Yet it was nominated for Oscars.
I hated the movie "Atomic Blonde" (and turned it off).

If I were rating the above movies with in 1–10 system, I wouldn't give them a 2. There were a lot of good things about those movies. But if the scale had "I hated it," that's what I would choose.

That's why I don't pay much attention to the scores. The TPA was a better attempt, but the readers weren't qualified to use it. Lazeez said most of the TPA scores were 10,10,10, 9,9,9, 8,8,8, etc. so he justifiably got rid of it.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Switch Blayde

@REP

That may mean the person rating the story know that the first 5% of the 1's and 10's aren't displayed to the author.


The top and bottom 5% are not displayed. They may be 2s and 9s or even 6s and 10s.

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

The reader chose "I hated it" because he hated the story.


That was kind of my point.

If the reader were trying to be deliberately vexatious, perhaps because of a personal disagreement with the author, I believe they'd choose 'You call this a story'.

AJ

PrincelyGuy

At times I feel it would be better to have individual scores like they do for reviews. Plot, Technical Quality, and Appeal to Reader

Most of the scores I leave are in the 7 or 8 range. A few merit a 9. Years ago, I scored mostly on appeal and gave a lot of 10s.

I will also admit that I am guilty of not providing much feedback on most stories that I read. I will attempt to do more of that.

A question for the authors....Would you rather have feedback on each chapter as they are read, when the story is complete, or when the reader abandons the story?

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

It's often helpful to understand just how conservative a particular audience is. Knowing that SOL readers are traditionally homophobic


I will strongly disagree with any suggestion that any story that is posted on SOL needs to be targeted at the entire site reader base.

It is perfectly acceptable to target a story at a narrower audience.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@PrincelyGuy

Would you rather have feedback on each chapter as they are read, when the story is complete, or when the reader abandons the story?


Yes.

Feedback by chapter helps some authors decide how to write the next chapter. Since I finish a story before posting it, that's meaningless to me. But if a reader finds an error in a chapter, I want to know right away.

The feedback at the end of the story is the most important to me.

I never got feedback on an abandoned story. I'd be very interested in that.

Replies:   PrincelyGuy
PrincelyGuy

@Switch Blayde

I never got feedback on an abandoned story. I'd be very interested in that.


TBH, I cannot recall ever giving it either. However, it seems to make sense to let the author know why you have abandoned their masterpiece. Thinking back on those I stopped reading, it was mostly due to repetitiousness within the plot. I liked the storyline for Three Square Meals and Arlene and Jeff, but then it just got to be too much of the same thing. The plot was great, just the sex became tiresome and the same story different characters.

Well, that is my opinion. Based on download counts, there must be a lot of others that do not share my opinion.

PrincelyGuy

@PrincelyGuy

I apologize for the bold. Must have accidentally hit the wrong key above. Honest, I was not shouting.

Switch Blayde

@PrincelyGuy

However, it seems to make sense to let the author know why you have abandoned their masterpiece.


Actually, I did get it once. The reader said the story was really well written, but he couldn't finish it because he worked with abused children and it was too real for him. (The story was about a drug addict mom who used her child to get drugs. My son was a drug addict so the story was about how using drugs would make you do unspeakable things.)

But the reason he wrote me wasn't to tell me he abandoned the story. It was to ask me if he should give it a 10 because it was so well written or a 1 because he couldn't read it.

PrincelyGuy

@Switch Blayde

But the reason he wrote me wasn't to tell me he abandoned the story. It was to ask me if he should give it a 10 because it was so well written or a 1 because he couldn't read it.


Scoring it a 1 just because you do not like it personally is wrong. Better to not provide a score. Maybe I am wrong to do so, but if I like a story that is not complete, I will score it with a 7 as the story could get better or worse as it gets closer to finishing.

The reason being I am not sure if the latest score by a reader is used or the highest score. I feel better scoring it higher later than I do lower. I am probably doing a disservice to the author by doing so. Maybe I should just wait until the story is done before scoring it.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@PrincelyGuy


Scoring it a 1 just because you do not like it personally is wrong.


Not according to Lazeez.

I asked Lazeez. His response was unexpected. First, he was more upset with the reader limiting it to a 1 or 10. There are 8 other options.

But, interestingly, Lazeez said a 1. The score is all about appeal, not technical merit. (Authors, keep that in mind.) Luckily for me, the reader ignored that and said he gave it a 10.

Replies:   PrincelyGuy
PrincelyGuy

@Switch Blayde

I asked Lazeez. His response was unexpected. First, he was more upset with the reader limiting it to a 1 or 10. There are 8 other options.


I agree that is unexpected. I would think it would be an overall score considering all aspects of the storytelling. Then again, what do I know.

awnlee jawking

@PrincelyGuy

Scoring it a 1 just because you do not like it personally is wrong. Better to not provide a score.


How does that help readers choose what to read?

AJ

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

How does that help readers choose what to read?


How does giving it a 1 because the nature of the story content offends you help other readers choose what to read.

Personally, as a reader I don't find the scores to be all that helpful.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
PrincelyGuy

@awnlee jawking

How does that help readers choose what to read?


Just because I do not like the subject matter or plot line does not mean that others will also. We all have our own squicks. So I find anything with x in it as a primary plot line distasteful does not mean it is a worthless story. I am honest enough with myself to say that it is better not to rate it.

Replies:   Darian Wolfe
awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Dominions Son

How does giving it a 1 because the nature of the story content offends you help other readers choose what to read.


I once read an article which I can now only vaguely remember.

Scientists conducted an experiment using one of those jars which contained an unknown number of objects.

An expert took the measurements of the jar and the objects and worked out an estimate of how many objects the jar contained mathematically.

Then a large number of lay persons were invited to guess the number of objects. Even though some of the guesses were clearly ridiculous eg 1 or a million, the average of the lay guesses was significantly closer to the actual total than the expert's estimate.

The lesson is that the outliers are very important towards providing the most accurate score. If readers feel inhibited from assigning a score of 1 to a story they absolutely abhor, they are helping to create a false rating.

AJ

Darian Wolfe

@PrincelyGuy

Lazlo Zalezac has many stories where homosexual behaviour plays a part. It just isn't my thing. It's actually fairly high on my squick factor list. Yet, I rate most of his stories a solid 9. The gay parts I go eww and keep reading. He has a solid craft. He is a better writer than me and deserves every bit of applause he gets.

For me, scores are about the craft and the storytelling. I don't have to love a story to rate it well.

awnlee jawking

@Darian Wolfe

Yet, I rate most of his stories a solid 9. The gay parts I go eww and keep reading.


If you rate the appeal of a story containing one of your squicks at 9, how would you rate the appeal of an identical story but without the squick?

AJ

Replies:   Darian Wolfe
PrincelyGuy

@Darian Wolfe

For me, scores are about the craft and the storytelling. I don't have to love a story to rate it well.


I agree with you on the John Carter series. Lazlo Zalezac is a great author. I found those sections to be not to my liking, but the great story overrode that.

However, if he wrote a story where snuff and kids are prominent in the description I would not read it. If he had one without those descriptors and I stopped reading it for those reasons, then I would not rate it. Personal preferences are personal.

Darian Wolfe

@awnlee jawking

I think it would be about the same. I'm reading the story from personal preference. The squick is a speed bump. I rate based on the execution of the storytelling and the technical side of the craft. In other words, If I was forced to read a story that was one quick after another for the whole story but was executed flawlessly. I would rate it high but then say how much I didn't like it in the comment section.

That's the approach I try to take.

Replies:   PrincelyGuy
PrincelyGuy

@Darian Wolfe

I think it would be about the same. I'm reading the story from personal preference. The squick is a speed bump. I rate based on the execution of the storytelling and the technical side of the craft. In other words, If I was forced to read a story that was one quick after another for the whole story but was executed flawlessly. I would rate it high but then say how much I didn't like it in the comment section.


If it is a story about something with my squicky points, why would I want to read it? Maybe with an author that I know and trust, I might give it a try.

I happen to not like vampire and zombie stories. Just my own thing. I have read all of Crumbly Writer's stories except for "Zombies" and found them highly entertaining. He and I have emailed about that and it still not on my reading list. Sorry CW.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Centaur

@Darian Wolfe

I found this while looking for other stories. and remembered this post. sorry for brining back an old topic, however the link fit the OP.

Advice to a Writer

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@robberhands

Will these homophobic 1-bombers become loyal fans of an author of gay stories and talk about what a wonderful storyteller he is?

Sorry for the late deluge of responses, but I'd been avoiding this topic for quite a while, and only accidentally ventured back in, finding several message 'spoke' to me.

Alas, the homophobic 1-bombers simply react to story codes, as I doubt they even read the story descriptions. Luckily, my 1-bombers seem to be a cut above the rest, though I tend to give them all the benefit of the doubt now. I at least try to discuss the issue with them, when they give me the chance, but they tend to issue ultimatums 'do it my way, or else', at which point I double down and make the story even more offensive to them when they won't respond to legitimate discussions.

Crumbly Writer

@PrincelyGuy

A question for the authors....Would you rather have feedback on each chapter as they are read, when the story is complete, or when the reader abandons the story?

I prefer it on a chapter basis, because if there's an issue with the story, it'll likely show up there, rather than on an up or down story summary. If readers seriously dislike a particular character, they'll react negatively to chapters that they're in. If there's a weak plot point, they'll object to the point, not to the entire story.

Replies:   sejintenej
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

I will strongly disagree with any suggestion that any story that is posted on SOL needs to be targeted at the entire site reader base.

It is perfectly acceptable to target a story at a narrower audience.

I never suggested that authors should target the entire reader base. Most authors choose stories that appeal and challenge them. Successful authors strike a similar cord with readers, but that's because they're more in tune with reader's thinking, rather than they 'targeted' those readers.

What I suggested was that authors understand how conservative a reader base is, so they're prepared for push back. Even though I have a very understanding fan base, I wasn't about to post my lone gay love story on SOL, because I knew it would tank the scores on ALL of my stories, and generate a legion of enemies for the rest of my time here. That's why few gay authors waste time here, as the site is simply not receptive to them. There are sites that cater to gays, and you'll note that few of them allow reader votes because reader votes tend to favor the majority over any minority interest. That's the same reason we've had so few black, Muslim or Hispanic authors here. The current voting system actively discourages their participation.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@PrincelyGuy


I never got feedback on an abandoned story. I'd be very interested in that.

TBH, I cannot recall ever giving it either. However, it seems to make sense to let the author know why you have abandoned their masterpiece.


Some of the most insightful feedback I ever received was from those selfsame 'I quit' letters, though the reason they quit is rarely the posted reasons. Generally, for each 'I quit' letter I respond to, the readers are more than happy to provide more information (though it's best to strike while the iron is still hot, rather than waiting until you've cooled down. But with a little probing, it provides real insight into how readers perceive the story, which often reflects on larger reader issues than just those expressed by a few isolated individuals.

In each case, when I put in the effort to understand why readers could read my stories, I've added a quick 'I realize this is an issue' within the story, to acknowledge reader's frustration and to buy myself time to address it later in the story when I can fit it into the story. That' generally keeps more from quitting, and when I finally address the issue, the chapters are largely well-received from everyone, even those who never had an issue with the point before.

You're never going to get meaningful feedback from a sycophant, no matter how much they loved the story. You need someone who's really angry enough to shout at you, but even then, they tend to mince their words so they won't offend you—which is why it pays to engage them—to encourage them to open up by letting them know you really want to know what they think, rather than what they think you want to hear.

Replies:   robberhands
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Actually, I did get it once. The reader said the story was really well written, but he couldn't finish it because he worked with abused children and it was too real for him.

I got a similar response for my Demonic Issues stories, because they dealt with mental health issues and homelessness, but I didn't get them from readers. Readers who are too involved with those issues generally won't even open the story. Instead, I got it from editors, who after reading only a couple of chapters, say "I'm sorry, but despite wanting to work on this, I can't due to personal reasons.

That's generally a sign that your writing is spot-on in addressing the issue, if it rubs readers' sore spots, you know it'll like reach the less sensitive readers. It's a sign that your writing (the particular story, at least) is reaching readers on a personal level, which is always a good thing!

Crumbly Writer

@PrincelyGuy

The reason being I am not sure if the latest score by a reader is used or the highest score. I feel better scoring it higher later than I do lower. I am probably doing a disservice to the author by doing so. Maybe I should just wait until the story is done before scoring it.

Although not everyone votes on a chapter by chapter basis, those that do fit into an established pattern. They'll vote on chapters that either excite or disappoint them, but will generally vote again on the last chapter with a 'whole story' vote. That way, authors get the detailed analysis they need for the story, while also not being penalized for particular chapters.

The big danger isn't the chapter by chapter voters, though they may adversely influence other readers, it's those who give up on a story midway, and then vote for the issue which 'killed the story' for them. Those tend to be overly harsh, for obvious reasons. Which is why, when you determine there's a problematic issue with the story, you alert the readers that you know it's an issue. If they think you're aware of it, they trust that you'll eventually deal with it, which gives you time to address it properly, rather than trying to 'patch' a particular chapter. Often, those issues take more time to reconcile than a quick patch offers.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

...synophant...

Careful with the 100$ words. That's sycophant.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

That way, authors get the detailed analysis they need for the story, while also not being penalized for particular chapters.

I view chapter by chapter voting a silly practice and it's totally wasted on me as the author. How would I know a reader changed his vote among the thousand other scores the story received?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@PrincelyGuy

I happen to not like vampire and zombie stories. Just my own thing. I have read all of Crumbly Writer's stories except for "Zombies" and found them highly entertaining. He and I have emailed about that and it still not on my reading list. Sorry CW.

Which I've always found ironic. I specifically wrote that story to address what I consider a major failing in zombie stories, so I wrote a story of hope rather than one of absolute horror. Yet, those who'd most appreciate that approach, are unlikely to read it. Instead, those who did read it generally voted it down precisely because it wasn't a 'standard' zombie story.

Still, I understand and can relate to readers who simply can't read something. I write what I have to write, and hope it reaches readers. If not, then hopefully the next one will.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Careful with the 100$ words. That's sycophant.

That wasn't a $100 word, it was steeply discounted due to manufacturing flaws, and is only worth $.98. 'D

I'll be more careful next time, but that's what Google assured me was the correct spelling, since I wasn't sure. Just shows, you should always check your spelling corrections with a dictionary first before posting them.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

I view chapter by chapter voting a silly practice and it's totally wasted on me as the author. How would I know a reader changed his vote among the thousand other scores the story received?

It's a practice. In order to use it, you can't just look at the overall score. Instead, you treat scores as an economist treats economic data. You don't look at the values, you instead examine the % change in the values, as a signpost of larger trends. Thus if a particular chapter drives the overall score up or down, it's a sign that readers either love or hate the chapter in question. If you want to understand what drives that response, then you've got to dig deeper. I understand why most wouldn't want to dig into that wasp's nest, but if you don't, then you're likely to be surprised by readers reaction to your story after it has completed posting, rather than address story issues when you can still sway opinions.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

It's a practice. In order to use it, you can't just look at the overall score. Instead, you treat scores as an economist treats economic data. You don't look at the values, you instead examine the % change in the values, as a signpost of larger trends.

I pity the economist who has to work with a statistic graphic where only the highest bar has a numeral value. My current story has 1511 votes and you think I could determine whether a few readers change their score?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

I pity the economist who has to work with a statistic graphic where only the highest bar has a numeral value. My current story has 1511 votes and you think I could determine whether a few readers change their score?

Again, it's not the total score you care about (in this type of analysis), instead it's the change in the current score for each chapter. Thus if the score moves up or down more than it normally does (or more than you were expecting), then it generally signifies something. But that's also why it works better on a chapter by chapter basis, because once you get near the end, your total votes tend to obscure more variations.

In my professional career (and yes, I was trained in college as an economist), I regularly worked observing statistical variations in business (mostly in technical fields), so I could pick up early warning signs that something wasn't kosher. My statistics knowledge is a bit rusty, but knowing what to look for never quite goes away.

The 'highest bar in the graph' has no real value, but is always the first thing that most look at. Instead, the real meaning in any graph are the outliers, as they represent real groupings of some significance, either your most productive or more disruptive elements. Thus a small outlier in the 3% area is often more meaningful when looking for problems than the 90% majority.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

Instead, the real meaning in any graph are the outliers, as they represent real groupings of some significance, either your most productive or more disruptive elements.

Do you mean the outliers I can't see at all because they are cut off by the 10% outlier measure?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Do you mean the outliers I can't see at all because they are cut off by the 10% outlier measure?

That was a more generic statistical graphing comment, unrelated to the minimalist graphing that SOL does. The main point was to emphasize that it's the outliers that indicate troubles, rather than the majority which simply says 'nothing to worry about here, Chief'. Again, economists generally look at trends, rather than how the economy is doing on any particular day.

sejintenej

@Crumbly Writer

I prefer it on a chapter basis, because if there's an issue with the story, it'll likely show up there, rather than on an up or down story summary. If readers seriously dislike a particular character, they'll react negatively to chapters that they're in. If there's a weak plot point, they'll object to the point, not to the entire story.

That would make partial sense (but the following applies only to a minority of other authors). Spelling, other typos should be noted on a chapter by chapter basis as PERHAPS should be gross errors of fact or logic.
A poor boring chapter can be acceptable if it is between good chapters so you need to see a run of chapters. I have previously commented that I look to see hooks - things unresolved which make me read on to see the outcome; you cannot have those in every chapter. Equally, in several stories I have seen hooks which were only resolved twenty or more chapters later. In conclusion give the author a chance by reading several successive chapters looking for a logical progression.
I could write to an author saying his story is boring but suggesting improvements is much much harder.

richardshagrin

There is room in "Statistics" for a lot of variation. It isn't only Economics that uses it. Insurance Actuaries also study it and there are lots of curves other than the bell shaped "normal" curve that can apply, especially with relatively small sample sizes. One actuary told me when I was looking for loss development factors to use "What numbers do you want? With three years data I can fit any of more than a dozen curves to the data." With scores constrained between one and ten and then adjusted so the average score is six, It is probable that the "normal" curve does not reflect the available data. Likely it skews to the high side, there are a lot more eights than fours, even if six is average. Dropping the top and bottom 5% of scores may also have an impact. Who reads the story and who votes also can impact what the score is. There are high scoring stories I won't read all of because the chapter(s) or portion I looked at defeated me. Be careful using statistics, figures don't lie but liars figure.

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