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Votes vs Score

timeandspacecadet
Updated:

Hi new here and looking for some good reads, but I don't know if I should search for the best scores or votes, what's the difference?
ps at bottom of the search page is story size that says from ........ to ........... but doesn't say if its words pages chapters???

Thanks to anyone who can answer this for me.

Ernest Bywater

@timeandspacecadet

ps at bottom of the search page is story size that says from ........ to ........... but doesn't say if its words pages chapters???


total story size in kb you can set a minimum or a maximum or both - size in kb gives a good indication of story length, and nothing else.

Ernest Bywater

@timeandspacecadet

Hi new here and looking for some good reads, but I don't know if I should search for the best scores or votes, what's the difference?


votes is the number of people who've voted a score on the story.

Scores is the score rating as per the scoring system, for me detail, see this:

https://storiesonline.net/sol-secure/user/help.php?question=scoring&cmd=Search

and example of the figures is the current reading for my story Always a Marine is 34 kb (indicates it's a short story) - downloads 25105 (how many times it's been read) - 2779 votes (that's how many voted on the story) - score of 9.23 (score as per the system mentioned above)

ustourist

@timeandspacecadet

To add to the second comment by Ernest.
If the story has been posted over several days/weeks/even years as chapters, the number of downloads is misleading as it relates more closely to the number of chapters read, not the number of people reading it.
The scores are generally a better indication of reader appeal, but I think everyone would agree there are some good stories with low scores and some poor ones with high scores because of content matter rather than quality.
Try reading the reviews as well, they can give a lot of guidance at times.

docholladay

@timeandspacecadet

Adding to all of the confusion remember that all of us readers are a little different. What some find to be good others will find to be terrible. Use all of the information to help in deciding what to read you want. At the end it will come down to what you enjoy. Just be nice however, if something really jerks your bad vibes or whatever you want to label them. Don't cut the writer, just close the story and go to something else. This site I have found is very well balanced with something for everyone's taste in literature.

Switch Blayde

@timeandspacecadet

My 2 cents...

I find that if a score has a very low score it's almost always (maybe always) bad.

But the opposite isn't true. Many stories with high scores are awful (IMO) and many middle grade scores are some of the best stories.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I find that if a score has a very low score it's almost always (maybe always) bad.

One issue with scores is that it only measures mainstream appeal, rather than story quality, thus minority stories (gay, black or other themed stories) tend to rate poorly, and thus the scores tend to chase entire categories of stories away from the site.

Again, because not many people read those stories, they often don't notice the impact it has on the site's composition.

Replies:   Lugh  Switch Blayde
Lugh

@Crumbly Writer

Scoring certainly is informative, but has to represent compromises. When I see a story with mostly 9's and 10's, but several 1's and 2's, and indeed almost every value. I have to worry about statistical design.

I just wish there was more reader feedback, but I wish a lot of things, such as returning to reasonable wealth and having Allison Janney, sapiosexual MILF of MILFs, fall into passionate lust with me.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

One issue with scores is that it only measures mainstream appeal, rather than story quality


I'm talking really low overall scores. My experience is those stories, regardless of subject matter, are horrendously written.

I've read good stories with a 6 rating, but don't think I ever read a good story rated, say, 4. That was my only point.

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

I've read good stories with a 6 rating, but don't think I ever read a good story rated, say, 4.


Now there's a challenge! My latest is currently rated at 4.18 but it's not really a story. I recently enabled scoring on 'Man Bitch' but so far hobody has bitten :(

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

My latest is currently rated at 4.18


I stand corrected. My experience with a story with a 4 score was that it was unreadable (grammar, punctuation, etc.). That's not the case with your 4.18 story so it goes to show that you can't even rule out low scored stories. I rarely use the score when selecting a story to read.

btw, I can't read anything anymore without editing. You have:

"What did you mean, 'It's time'"? Prince Harold asked,


The question mark is in the wrong place. It should be:

"What did you mean, 'It's time'?" Prince Harold asked,

Lugh

@Switch Blayde

don't think I ever read a good story rated, say, 4.


In general, I agree, except for things in unpopular genres.

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

The question mark is in the wrong place.


Well spotted. Thank you for reporting the mistake.

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

btw, I can't read anything anymore without editing.

It goes with being an author/editor. Once you start nitpicking sentences, you can't turn it off.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

don't think I ever read a good story rated, say, 4


I never looked at a score before reading a story - the story blurb and the tags, yes, but never the score or the downloads.

Replies:   John Demille  sejintenej
John Demille

@Ernest Bywater

I never looked at a score before reading a story - the story blurb and the tags, yes, but never the score or the downloads.


I hole-hardedly agree, but allow me to play doubles advocate here for a moment. For all intensive purposes I think you are wrong. In an age where false morals are a diamond dozen, true virtues are a blessing in the skies. We often put our false morality on a petal stool like a bunch of pre-Madonnas, but you all seem to be taking something very valuable for granite. So I ask of you to mustard up all the strength you can because it is a doggy dog world out there. Although there is some merit to what you are saying it seems like you have a huge ship on your shoulder. In your argument you seem to throw everything in but the kids Nsync, and even though you are having a feel day with this I am here to bring you back into reality. I have a sick sense when it comes to these types of things. It is almost spooky, because I cannot turn a blonde eye to these glaring flaws in your rhetoric. I have zero taller ants when it comes to people spouting out hate in the name of moral righteousness. You just need to remember what comes around is all around, and when supply and command fails you will be the first to go. Make my words, when you get down to brass stacks it doesn't take rocket appliances to get two birds stoned at once. It's clear who makes the pants in this relationship, and sometimes you just have to swallow your prize and accept the facts. You might have to come to this conclusion through denial and error but I swear on my mother's mating name that when you put the petal to the medal you will pass with flying carpets like it's a peach of cake.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@John Demille


For all intensive purposes I think you are wrong


Everyone is entitled to their opinion on all things, as long as they don't try shoving that opinion down other people's throats. However, there's an extremely practical reason why I never read the scores or downloads before reading a story.

When you look at the story lists you have nice boxes that go across the page for each story. In the left column is the title, then the column with the author name, followed by the wide column with the blurb, then right across the page are the columns with size, downloads, votes, scores. When I look at the New Stories list, or any story list, I start reading at the left. By the time I've read the story blurb I've decided I'll read it or I won't read it. Thus the decision is made before I get across the page to the other columns, and thus never read those columns, due to having either used the link to go to the story to read it, or having skipped to check the next story in the list.

typo edit

John Demille

@Ernest Bywater

Everyone is entitled to their opinion on all things, as long as they don't try shoving that opinion down other people's throats. However, there's an extremely practical reason why I never read the scores or downloads before reading a story.


Seriously dude? You didn't get that the post was a joke since each phrase had a gigantic glaring misspelling?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

followed by the wide column with the blurb


That is why the blurb is so critical to getting a story read. A well thought out and written blurb will usually at least encourage a readers attention. Which will usually at least require opening the story. Next for me is usually the author's name: "Have I read other stories by this writer?" Last thing considered is the scores and downloads.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@John Demille


You didn't get that the post was a joke since each phrase had a gigantic glaring misspelling?


There were so many I simply assumed you were semi-literate, and that was how you normally spelled things.

edit to add: I haven't heard anyone use the word Dude in real life for over 30 years.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

Scores are a useful shortcut, if you're trying to eliminate whole swaths of potential stories, but if you rely overly extensively on it, you'll miss those stories which the majority are uninterested, regardless of the quality of writing. You may not enjoy gay or scat stories, but that doesn't change the fact they may still be well-written despite their low scores.

If you know your tastes, then feel free to avoid such stories. I'm just pointing out some inherent flaws in the scoring system, and the reasons why many story sites refuse to institute story scores. It's a know issue, and one reason why many authors avoid SOL like the plague. Why post to a site where your works aren't appreciated when they'll be snapped up by less judgmental sites?

And yes, I noted the cleverly worded 'typos', as well as the fact he never mentioned his objection to the 'moral issues' he points out. It was cute, but I didn't take it too seriously. By the way, we probably have fewer black authors on SOL than we do gays, and Hispanics and Asians aren't far behind. We've a pretty insular community. Me, I prefer a variety of viewpoints, both liberal and conservative, when it comes to literature. Give me something 'canned', and I'll generally avoid it. Give me something that turns what I believe on it's head, and I'll rate it a ten!

Replies:   Lugh
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I haven't heard anyone use the word Dude in real life for over 30 years.

Chill, Dude. You're harshin' my mellow! 'D

Lugh

@Crumbly Writer

At times, I wonder if a more extensive coding system would work, but I realize that's something that only authors would probably understand. Crumbly Writer, you mention author race. Take the "interracial" code. I don't like the concept of making sex between people of different ethnicities anything different than sex between people of the same one. Seems like the interracial code is a warning -- and I don't especially like people that would be triggered by it. In a current story, I have one character ask "why would you be considered a token?", at which point her friend pats her on the hand and says and says "that might have something to do with his being a Negro." (remember, this is 1963)

I'm not turned on by pure MM, although I can be fine with it when women are involved. Since they were short, however, I read a couple of recent gay stories, the name of which I can't remember but IIRC feature Speedos. They desperately need editing, which I could do.

A colleague of mine once had M2F transition surgery, with a frankly spectacular cosmetic result. Another friend asked if I'd date Carol, but my response was "no, she didn't also have personality reassignment surgery and remains a jerk." The point here is that I would hesitate before even flagging TG for a postop, although it's fair while in transition. Again, there will be people who are triggered and will mark down for it.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Lugh


I'm not turned on by pure MM, although I can be fine with it when women are involved.


It's funny, while I've enjoyed many stories by famous gay authors over the years, I've always skimmed over the sex scenes, feeling squicked. But after having spent time writing a few, and seeing they're all essentially tab b in slot a variants, they're now much easier to read and I have no problem reading the entire stories through. However, there's a big disconnect between erotic scene written from a male and a female perspective, and that's exaggerated when they're not regularly exposed to the other sex's perspective (i.e. gay author's writing is less affected by female complaints). Then again, for every female turned off by gay erotica, there are others turned on the same way we guys are by lesbian scenes. Which just goes to show, don't be too quick to judge. You never know which of your relatives just haven't come out to you yet!

As far as modifying the codes, we had more extensive codes on SOL before, and they never really worked. The problem isn't the codes, it's with the 'majority opinion rules' philosophy, rather than 'every voice has something to offer' which is more common in literature (assuming you don't talk about the traditional publishers).

As long as you have scoring, you'll have the same imposed-morality by the majority issues, and scoring does help readers select stories, but we need to be aware it also chases different voices away, so we're only hearing a choir of like voices. Often, understanding and recognizing the issue is half the problem--although rectifying the problem takes much longer!

ustourist

@Crumbly Writer

... for every female turned off by gay erotica, there are others turned on the same way we gays are by lesbian scenes.


Did you mean "we guys" or "we gays" ?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@ustourist

Did you mean "we guys" or "we gays" ?

Sorry, while not quite a Freudian slip, it shows where my mind is at (I like siding with underdogs as I argue for their inclusion).

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

for every female turned off by gay erotica, there are others turned on


One of the popular story types on wattpad is boyxboy (mm) stories. The readership is more than 90% teenage girls.

richardshagrin

@Switch Blayde

There are tags, like mm or scat that almost guarantee low scores. It helps if you follow particular authors. Almost any story by Rache or one of her pseudonyms like God of Porn will be worth reading, even though some of them have very low scores.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Almost any story by Rache or one of her pseudonyms like God of Porn will be worth reading, even though some of them have very low scores.

In those cases, the authors didn't just write about sensitive topics but generally went out of their way to freak people out. It's the general 'finger in the eye' school of literature. They like upsetting people they felt were too comfortable in their own shells.

Replies:   aubie56
aubie56

@Crumbly Writer

It's a post like this one that makes me wonder if I am the only person who was BORED by Rache's postings. Of course, I did not read them all, but I could never finish any that I started simply because they did not hold my interest.

I guess from what I read of the glowing reviews of her work that I am a freak. Oh, well.

sejintenej

@Ernest Bywater

I never looked at a score before reading a story - the story blurb and the tags, yes, but never the score or the downloads.

Ditto. Apart from following a limited number of specific authors I allow myself to be wooed by the heavy type on the Home Page which I check every day

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@sejintenej

Ditto.


Either the ditto makes me want to open the story or its bypassed for something else. Its surprising how much the blurb paragraph effects whether or not I even open a story.

Replies:   ustourist
samuelmichaels

@aubie56

It's a post like this one that makes me wonder if I am the only person who was BORED by Rache's postings. Of course, I did not read them all, but I could never finish any that I started simply because they did not hold my interest.

I guess from what I read of the glowing reviews of her work that I am a freak. Oh, well

I found several of rache's stories to be very moving. However, there were a larger number that I found clever and funny, but in the end not particularly interesting. I admired her creativity and style; in fact, have sometimes been in awe of her ability to make the most twisted and fantastical plots seem natural. But in the end her plots were often there to showcase her creativity, and did not appeal to me as stories.

ustourist

@docholladay

I think the blurb is probably the most important aspect, and it is surprising how many contain basic spelling errors that may create a negative opinion of the quality of the story or lead people to skip it entirely.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@ustourist

The blurb is the thing which tends to grab a reader's attention first. That is the first step in getting the reader's to want to read the story. There are a ton of stories which have any given codes but only one blurb (descriptive paragraph) per story.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@docholladay

The blurb is the thing which tends to grab a reader's attention first


Am I the only one who looks at the title first?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

@docholladay

The blurb is the thing which tends to grab a reader's attention first



Am I the only one who looks at the title first?


I look at the codes first most of the time.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Dominions Son

grab a reader's attention


The key phrase. Sure I notice titles and codes since I check it all before opening the story. But if the blurb doesn't sound interesting, I go on to the next story on the list. The codes will be similar for many stories. The titles can be the same or similar. The blurb makes the story a singular story. All of the rest just helps to narrow the options down before making a final choice.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@docholladay

The blurb makes the story a singular story. All of the rest just helps to narrow the options down before making a final choice.


I don't disagree, but since I am generally looking for particular types of stories, I generally make the first cut on the codes.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay
Updated:

@Dominions Son

I should have said that is the basis of the final decision. The codes, scores and/or reviews might be considered in order to narrow the range of stories. But the final choice is made based on the blurb. That is why I consider the blurb to be a vital paragraph.

edited to add: I also give a closer look at stories I find through the forums which I missed or overlooked. the cause of me missing or overlooking them could be any number of things.

unrealtime

@John Demille

AAAUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! It burns!!!

REP

I agree that the blurb is important in selecting a story to read.

What I find incomprehensible are the blurbs that state: 'Just read it', 'a continuation of XYZ', and similar blurbs that say absolutely nothing about the story.

That type of blurb results in me skipping the story entirely regardless of the codes and score.

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@REP

How would you classify this blurb? Is it saying something about the story or author?

Dumb Shit!

(From The Accident by Old Man with a Pen)

Not only does it put me off that particular story, it puts me off reading anything by that author.

Crumbly Writer

@ustourist

How would you classify this blurb? Is it saying something about the story or author?

Dumb Shit!

I think it's a helpful, informative story description. It's a Dumb Shit story by a Dumb Shit author! (No offense to Old Man with a Pen, but you were asking for it with that description!)

If you don't care enough about a story to describe it for readers, then why the hell should readers care enough about it to bother reading it?

awnlee jawking

@ustourist

Dumb Shit!


I took it to mean, in his self-deprecating way, that it was more of his usual type of story.

I quite like his stories but I find some of his vernacular difficult to understand.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I quite like his stories but I find some of his vernacular difficult to understand.

Ha-ha. Definition: Dumb Shit: Someone who is dumber than [a pile of] shit.

I too like his stories, but his self-depreciating humor sometimes works against him rather than helping him.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Dumb Shit


Maybe the blurb isn't so bad. It got people talking about him.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Maybe the blurb isn't so bad. It got people talking about him.

It's what people keep saying whenever Trump says something insane (like designing his Presidental logo to look like Pense is giving him a blowjob): he's either a complete idiot (in not knowing the rules) or an genius for flouting them so recklessly. As long as it's successful in selling your product, who really cares how or why it was designed that way?

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@Crumbly Writer

Agreed to an extent, but when it crosses the line from promoting your own idiosyncrasies to insulting the other authors in that universe (which the 'Dumb Shit!' comment could just as easily relate to), then that may be considered as going too far.

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

his self-depreciating humor sometimes works against him


Unfortunately I have to agree. While his regular readers will read 'Dumb Shit' and realise he's making a self-deprecating joke about the quality of his story plots, it's more a deterrent than a hook for potential new readers.

AJ

Replies:   REP
richardshagrin
Updated:

I am not a complete idiot, some pieces are missing. My tonsils and gall bladder, for example.

REP

@ustourist

I did see that blurb and it turned me off.

However, I have read Old Man with a Pen's works previously and liked his writing. The story actually was very good. I guess glurbs are like the covers of a book. They don't always give the right impression. It's the writer's laziness or perhaps rudeness that I find offense.

REP
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


realise he's making a self-deprecating joke about the quality of his story plots,


Dumb Shit is actually a reference to one of his characters in the story. If I recall it was his brother who just died and left him with a mess to cleanup.

Bondi Beach

@John Demille

a blonde eye


Potential here. Story prompt. Go.

bb

Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Lugh


I'm not turned on by pure MM, although I can be fine with it when women are involved. Since they were short, however, I read a couple of recent gay stories, the name of which I can't remember but IIRC feature Speedos. They desperately need editing, which I could do.


Second all that.

Funny. I read the blurbs on the stories you mention (the author's pen name is a giveaway) and didn't find enough interesting to open the stories. Don't remember if he labeled them "Stroke," but the blurbs implied as much.

(Nothing wrong with a good stroke story, but "good" is even more important than it might be otherwise, since there's not much to work with.)

bb

Bondi Beach

@aubie56

It's a post like this one that makes me wonder if I am the only person who was BORED by Rache's postings.


rache is an acquired taste—a cliché but no less true for being the fact. I've found some so off-putting I couldn't finish them. Others are excellent. If you're into romance, Mornings on Horseback is very good. Sci-fi: 25 Pairs, to name only two.

bb

Bondi Beach

@Crumbly Writer

But after having spent time writing a few, and seeing they're all essentially tab b in slot a variants


A story that depends on tabs and slots, if it aspires to anything more than stroke, is probably not going to work. Nothing wrong with the mechanics---that is a key element of erotica, or porn, or sex stories, take your pick---but it alone is not enough to carry a story beyond stroke. This applies whatever the combination of Ms and Fs and Qs and TGs the story holds.

bb

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
REP

@Bondi Beach

it alone is not enough to carry a story beyond stroke


I have lost count of the stories that I quit because they started with the makings of a good plot, and evolved into all stroke.

docholladay

His stories are the type I read whenever a good laugh is needed. I know he probably doesn't intend for them to have that effect. But all those wise cracks through out the stories tend to bring on a little laughter.

Don't read his work for serious topics instead read it for laughs.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Crumbly Writer

@Bondi Beach

A story that depends on tabs and slots, if it aspires to anything more than stroke, is probably not going to work. Nothing wrong with the mechanics---that is a key element of erotica, or porn, or sex stories, take your pick---but it alone is not enough to carry a story beyond stroke.

I understand that sentiment, but that wasn't my point (that sex needs to be rudimentary). Instead, I was stating that, once I started writing gay sex scenes, I lost most of my inhibitions about reading gay sex stories--an important point as I sometimes edit such stories. Before that, I had issues reading such stories. I'm not quite sure what the difference was, other than learning to see the sex as transient (or maybe more essential) to the story.

Bondi Beach

@docholladay

His stories are the type I read whenever a good laugh is needed


No quote on your post. Which author are you talking about?

bb

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Bondi Beach

No quote on your post. Which author are you talking abo


I was thinking about: Old Man with a Pen
http://storiesonline.net/a/Old_Man_with_a_Pen

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@docholladay

I was thinking about: Old Man with a Pen
http://storiesonline.net/a/Old_Man_with_a_Pen


Got it, thanks.

bb

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