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Penalty for No Sex Stories

Lumpy

I know I know, scores don't matter. And yet I can't stop looking at them.

I've started writing more no sex stories and they seem to constantly get lower scores than my stories with sex in them (even when the story with sex is a lot better written than the one without). Do people vote lower because there's no sex in a story?

Dominions Son

@Lumpy

Possibly the type of people who prefer to read sex stories are less critical in general.

Replies:   robberhands
Ernest Bywater

I have to disagree with you about the sex level affecting the score much, unless you have something not quite right in the way you write. I have over 105 stories on SoL and only 19 of them have any sexual activity in them. Going by their scores, the stories with sex in them are in the following places: 6, 13, 20, 46, 67, 78, 79, 83, 87, 90, 92, 94, 97, 98, 99, 100, 102, 103, 105 (with a score of 5.88).

Replies:   robberhands
Switch Blayde

@Lumpy

Do people vote lower because there's no sex in a story?


I doubt it. Someone wanting to read a story with sex in it won't read a no sex story.

I do think people vote lower for short stories.

Replies:   sejintenej
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

I have over 105 stories on SoL and only 19 of them have any sexual activity in them. Going by their scores, the stories with sex in them are in the following places: 6, 13, 20, 46, 67, 78, 79, 83, 87, 90, 92, 94, 97, 98, 99, 100, 102, 103, 105 (with a score of 5.88).


I wonder what you think that chart proves. I guess I know what you would like it to prove, but it does not. Occam simply would conclude your sex scenes are not your greatest strength.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
robberhands

@Dominions Son

Possibly the type of people who prefer to read sex stories are less critical in general.


That statement made my day, and it's still early morning here. I just have to ask, do those people have any other abnormalities we should know about?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@robberhands

I just have to ask, do those people have any other abnormalities we should know about?


How do you know it isn't the one's who prefer no-sex stories that are abnormal?

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Dominions Son

How do you know it isn't the one's who prefer no-sex stories that are abnormal?


I don't, I thought the opposite is your theory, at least it's what you wrote.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@robberhands


I don't, I thought the opposite is your theory, at least it's what you wrote.


Less critical is not the same as abnormal. How do you know I don't think more critical is abnormal?

Although, truth be told, I don't believe that normal exists, so I don't believe in abnormal either.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Dominions Son

Fine, now you have ruined your joke and my day is back to be as lousy as it has been before I read it. I hope you're happy now.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@robberhands

Fine, now you have ruined your joke and my day is back to be as lousy as it has been before I read it. I hope you're happy now.


It wasn't a joke in the first place.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands
Updated:

@Dominions Son

Now we're back where we started.

Possibly the type of people who prefer to read sex stories are less critical in general.


If this is not a joke, what is it?

Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

I wonder what you think that chart proves.


It proves that No Sex stories can get good scores, it all depends on how well the story is written, regardless of the sex content. Which is the opposite of what the original post said. My highest score is 9.23 (no sex short story), lowest is 5.88 (much sex short story) with 89 stories scoring 7.00 or better.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

It proves that No Sex stories can get good scores, it all depends on how well the story is written, regardless of the sex content.

My impression is that scores are a much better guide for 'how well the story is written' for stories with little sex than for those with a lot.
Perhaps Lazeez could calculate for us the median scores for all stories with No Sex or Minimal Sex, and for Much Sex or Stroke Stories?

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

It proves that No Sex stories can get good scores,


That it proves indeed. I didn't think that fact was seriously in doubt, though. In principle I agree with the rest of your statement as well as with Switch Blayde's earlier note. Sex simply adds another part to a story, that readers may like or dislike, and they score accordingly.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
robberhands

@Ross at Play

My impression is that scores are a much better guide for 'how well the story is written' for stories with little sex than for those with a lot.


Care to elaborate?

Perhaps Lazeez could calculate for us the median scores for all stories with No Sex or Minimal Sex, and for Much Sex or Stroke Stories?


Sounds like a lot of work, but I'm sure he could, but why should he?
Those story types don't compete, as Switch Blayde mentioned before.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@robberhands

Care to elaborate?

No! I did say it was my 'impression'. My anecdotal evidence is the number of high-scoring stories with a lot of sex I've seen with writing styles I find too tedious to tolerate.

Sounds like a lot of work

It should only take him a few minutes if the required data can be easily dumped into a spreadsheet, but I'm sure he'll just ignore my suggestion if it would take a lot a time.

why should he?

Simply to satisfy the curiosity of us authors.

awnlee_jawking

@Lumpy

I've started writing more no sex stories and they seem to constantly get lower scores than my stories with sex in them (even when the story with sex is a lot better written than the one without).


Forgive my comprehension failure but that doesn't make sense to me. You appear to be objecting to a well-written sex story scoring better than a poorly-written no-sex story.

I would have expected the clause inside the brackets to read: (even when the story without sex is a lot better written than the one with)

AJ

Replies:   Lumpy  Crumbly Writer
KinkyWinks

I prefer stories with no sex because there is a story. Sex stories could swap several paragraphs and nobody would know the difference. There is no new way to screw and no new way to describe it. Like I said swap paragraphs and nobody will know.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

Sex simply adds another part to a story, that readers may like or dislike, and they score accordingly.


I suspect there's a strong element of truth in this quote from you. My stories with the least sex as part of the story are the highest scoring stories with sex, and in each of those the sex scenes are a part of the character development. The stories with the most sex where they're a major aspect of the plot itself are the lowest scoring of the stories with sex in them. Of the nine lowest scoring stories two are more background stories for their series and the others are all much sex stories where the sex is a key part of the story plot.

Lumpy

@awnlee_jawking

I misspoke. I meant to say the no sex story is written much better than the story with sex in it.

In the case of my stories, the no sex story has less proofreading errors and a tighter story than the story with sex in it.

Replies:   Joe Long  Crumbly Writer
Joe Long
Updated:

@Lumpy


fewer proofreading errors


FTFY

Replies:   Lumpy
Lumpy

@Joe Long

Well, I don't have editors and proofreaders checking over my forum posts....

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Lumpy

Well, I don't have editors and proofreaders checking over my forum posts....

... resulting in things like where you miswrote 'misspoke'. :-)

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee_jawking

orgive my comprehension failure but that doesn't make sense to me. You appear to be objecting to a well-written sex story scoring better than a poorly-written no-sex story.

He switched 'sex' and 'no-sex' in his description. He obviously meant that 'even when the story without sex is a lot better written'.

It's not uncommon for comments made in the forum to be thoroughly edited and proofread.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Lumpy

In the case of my stories, the no sex story has less proofreading errors and a tighter story than the story with sex in it.

Let me guess: that's because you write the sex stories using only one hand?

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

It's not uncommon for comments made in the forum to be thoroughly edited and proofread.

Died ewe miss-poke two?
Surly ewe meaned too ewes twiple-negatiff?
It's not uncommon for comments made in the forum to not be thoroughly edited and proofread.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Lumpy

So I guess instead of discussing the original topic, this thread is just going to be picking apart posts for errors or typos.

Good to know it's not a complete waste of time to post questions :(

Dominions Son

@Lumpy

Good to know it's not a complete waste of time to post questions


The first three replies did address the question.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Lumpy

I posted because I thought it was important enough to require complete clarity.

I have no idea why sex stories score more highly other than a) This is a sex story site (as it says on the front page) and that sets reader expectations and b) mummy porn stories are the most popular indie genre.

FWIW I'm an admirer of your work and I read your stories whether they contain sex or not.

AJ

Lumpy
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

You're fine. That error did change the entire meaning of what I was asking, and I didn't notice until you posted.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

It's not uncommon for comments made in the forum to not be thoroughly edited and proofread.

Yep, ye gotz me (which is why I made the comment, knowing just how often I screw up!).

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

The first three replies did address the question.

Are we going for a record?

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

This is a sex story site (as it says on the front page)

As has been discussed endlessly here, no it's NOT. It's a site that allows sex stories, as opposed to ASSTR, which ONLY allows sex stories (i.e. you not supposed to post non-sex stories, although a few slip by anyway, though they're few and far between).

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


a) This is a sex story site


When i first joined SoL, all those years ago, the front splash page had a lot less information on it did than it does now, and the main message in the big text was:

Stories are our focus, including sex stories and erotica.

Several years ago the splash page was changed to put more emphasis on the sex stories, probably due to hopes of getting more paying clients. But that message is still there on the splash page. Also, the main text near the top of the page reads, in a large bold font:

Storiesonline

We have the stories you want to read.

Come in and Enjoy!

The focus and emphasis is on stories - and they don't have to be sex stories.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

"Storiesonline: Free Sex Stories

Adults Only. You must be 18 years old or over to enter this site.
By clicking any of the links below, you are agreeing to the site's Disclaimers and Privacy Policy

Storiesonline
We have the stories you want to read.
Come in and Enjoy!
Tens of thousands of free sex stories in every category possible.
Great search engine and an easy to use and navigate interface."

The front page explicitly says "Free Sex Stories" and "Tens of thousands of free sex stories in every category possible."

While I'm comfortable posting no-sex stories here, I don't think there can be any doubt that sex stories are the primary focus.

AJ

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

for Much Sex or Stroke Stories?


Don't put "much sex" and "stroke" in the same grouping. Stroke is in a grouping of itself. It has no plot, etc.

Switch Blayde

@KinkyWinks

I prefer stories with no sex because there is a story.


Good erotica has a story and all the components of a story without sex. That's like saying a Stephen King novel with a violent maniac would be able to swap the violent paragraphs and doesn't have a story.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


Storiesonline: Free Sex Stories


That's just SEO stuff. More people look for 'sex stories' than 'stories', so we have to have it in the site's default page in order to get clicks on google and other search engines. We may attract them with sex stories, but they usually stick around for the other stories.

If the site were a 'sex stories' site for real we wouldn't allow non-sex stories and we wouldn't have a no-sex tags.

KinkyWinks

No, Switch Blade it is not the same. Stephen King does not write sex stories and I never said anything about switching other types of stories.

bajabuc

@Lumpy

My professor said..."Write what you know." Lame sex in my stories.

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

While I'm comfortable posting no-sex stories here, I don't think there can be any doubt that sex stories are the primary focus.


The one constant that Lazeez has insisted on all along has been the phrase Stories are our focus, including sex stories and erotica.

That's the key phrase and has been the key phrase since the site started, definitely in the over 15 years I've been here. In the last several years He's focused the advertising on the sex story side to gender more clients, but that doesn't mean he's made it a sex story site.

While the No Sex stories only make up 10% of the total at this time, and that's about the ration it has been since I first joined, they do bring a lot of other stories along to the site because many authors, such as myself, want to have a single location for their stories. 1.44% of stories are of the No Sex stories with a score of 8.00 or higher while 4.72% of the sex stories score 8.00 or higher. Thus the 10% no sex stories provide 23.38% of the high scoring stories. It would appear a well written No Sex story is more than twice as likely to get a high score than a sex story is. Which is an interesting statistic, but I seriously doubt it means a lot.

Ernest Bywater

I don't know if the statistics are easily available to do it, but what would be interesting to see is a break up of the stories by the groups with the number of stories and downloads for each group:

No Sex - - - - - - - total stories - - - total downloads
Minimal Sex - - - total stories - - - total downloads
Some Sex - - - - - total stories - - - total downloads
Much Sex - - - - - total stories - - - total downloads
Stroke - - - - - - - total stories - - - total downloads

That would provide an interesting insight into the reader trends of story types. Especially if it included percentages.

Replies:   Switch Blayde  REP
robberhands
Updated:

@KinkyWinks


No, Switch Blade it is not the same. Stephen King does not write sex stories and I never said anything about switching other types of stories.


It is the same.

I prefer stories with no sex because there is a story. Sex stories could swap several paragraphs and nobody would know the difference. There is no new way to screw and no new way to describe it. Like I said swap paragraphs and nobody will know.


What you describe and bemoan is redundancy. Sex is not the nemesis of a storyline, redundancy is. I once read in a story the seemingly endless discription of someone disassembling his pistol, just to reassemble it in the next paragrah. That was as reduntant as reading about him masturbating, what he kind of actually did.

sejintenej

@Switch Blayde

Do people vote lower because there's no sex in a story?

I doubt it. Someone wanting to read a story with sex in it won't read a no sex story.


Agreed. I simply don't want a ten chapter description of matching item A with item B. Some of the stories I mark high might mention Fred getting together with Freda and bloke d getting annoyed - I don't call that a sex story but IF it is well written it will get a good mark. Another reasonably well written serial has, I think, no sex though two of the girls did get married very early
For me it is the quality of the story and writing which is important and gets marks

Switch Blayde

@KinkyWinks

No, Switch Blade it is not the same. Stephen King does not write sex stories and I never said anything about switching other types of stories.


It's exactly the same. I just substituted violence for sex.

Now if someone were to write a killing story where there was nothing but killing and no plot, that would equate to how you think of sex stories on SOL.

It's not that the stories have sex in them, it's that they are poorly written stories. That's especially why I don't consider "stroke" stories in the same category as "much sex" stories. It's not that they are like "much sex" stories but with more sex. They aren't stories at all and the "stroke" category is to warn the reader of that.

Replies:   Joe Long
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

total stories - - - total downloads


Except downloads is by chapter not story.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Except downloads is by chapter not story.

Not only that, but because of 'read aheads', the total page counts are highly suspect (i.e. vast numbers of false positives (i.e. many more pages loaded that chapters or books read)).

REP

@Ernest Bywater

That would provide an interesting insight into the reader trends of story types.


Perhaps? The real question is why did the reader open the story. I would say the story's title and description had a lot to do with it and probably more than amount of sex coding.

If the description doesn't interest me, I'm not going to open the story regardless of how much sex is in the story. Amount of sex is not a prime consideration for me for I'm more interested in plot. I've lost count of the number of stories that I opened because the description sounded like an interesting plot, and then exited for the plot was never really developed.

The number of downloads is also a poor indicator for opening a story. The numbers don't mean the reader read the entire story.

Grant

@REP

I've lost count of the number of stories that I opened because the description sounded like an interesting plot, and then exited for the plot was never really developed.

The number of downloads is also a poor indicator for opening a story. The numbers don't mean the reader read the entire story.

I strongly agree with both points.

There have been quite a few stories with an interesting description, lots of downloads & good scores, but I haven't been able to get up to even the 5th chapter. Some I've bailed out of on the first page.
And these days I tend to shy away from stories with "Lots of Sex" in the tags, as apart from a few exceptions too many of those stories tend to use the lots of sex to offset the lack of editing, plot, or character development (or all 3).

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde


Except downloads is by chapter not story.


There are two download counts - one clicks for each chapter when you visit that chapter's page, - and the other clicks when you visit any page for that story. However, both will only count one click for a visit per day, so if you access 24 chapters on the same day each chapter will get a click count and the story will only get one click count. That's why the total downloads for a story never match the total of the per chapter counts you see in the author stats page.

Also, the same process works for all stories, so a total download count would be a fair and uniform comparison between all the stories.

The stats i suggested gathering, if it was possible, would give us an idea of which story grouping gets the most reader based on comparative percentages.

BTW CW - the read ahead would affect all groups the same way.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@REP


Perhaps? The real question is why did the reader open the story. I would say the story's title and description had a lot to do with it and probably more than amount of sex coding.


True, and no set of stats are going to be 100% spot on, but what I mention would give us an indication of what grouping the readers are preferring. Like the stats in the post I made before that, it's interesting that only 10% of the stories are generating 23.38% of the high scores - information gathered just before posting by using the Category search engine.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater

what grouping the readers are preferring.


You may have missed my point. Download count would only be an appropriate criteria to use in determining why the reader opened the story if the readers selected a story based on the code indicating the amount of sex in a story.

I suspect there are other selection criteria more important to a reader than the amount of sex in a story, and those criteria are why the reader opens the story.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

You may have missed my point.


I saw the point you were making, and I also saw it as irrelevant as it would apply equally to at least the first four story groups, if not all. Stroke stories may have people looking at them based only I story content, but I don't know if that's true.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater

I also saw it as irrelevant as it would apply equally to at least the first four story groups, if not all


Precisely my point. Most of the readers of all groups were opening the group's stories for reasons other than the amount of sex in the story. Therefore, the amount of sex cannot be used to define the readers' reading interests.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

Therefore, the amount of sex cannot be used to define the readers' reading interests.


It would still be a useful indicator of what group of sex stories were gaining the most interest. Some people will open a story file based on the story blurb and not go further, but they would be a minority of story hits. I'm not looking for absolute figures, but indicators.

Take the basic stats I gained on the high scores - 23.38% of high scores come from 10% of the stories when filtered by sex content level. It doesn't say anything absolute (reminds me I need another bottle of vodka to drink while on the forums) about the stories one way or another, but it does indicate that reader see the no sex stories (as a group) as being a more enjoyable story for some reason. That could be due to fewer errors, better plots, better writing, or anything else. But it does give an indication of reader interests.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
REP

@Ernest Bywater

I'm not looking for absolute figures, but indicators.


The readers are opening stories for reasons other than the amount of sex code. The fact they opened the story means one of the 5 code groups will have its download count incremented. Therefore the 5 codes are not valid indicators of why the readers opened a story assigned that code - they may not have even looked at that code.

Start with the assumption that none of the readers ever look at the amount of sex code. All of the codes will have download counts, but the counts don't indicate that the readers like that amount of sex in their stories.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

The number of downloads is also a poor indicator for opening a story. The numbers don't mean the reader read the entire story.

Which brings us back around to the original point, that no-sex stories tend to be scored higher (for whatever reason) than the stroke and much-sex stories.

We've long noted that most people come to SOL for the sex stories, but that once here, begin to gravitate to the stories with more involved plot/development. That's not limited to non-sexual stories, but I'm guessing it's not as easy skipping over them as it is for the stroke stories. So maybe the no-sex stories aren't scored higher, but the sex stories are just scored lower.

Replies:   Ross at Play  REP
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

BTW CW - the read ahead would affect all groups the same way.

The point is, the read-ahead butter causes ALL the counts to be inflated. What's more, for Premium users, they can download the entire story (even if it's over 500 chapters) with a single click, while it might take days, weeks or months to read it normally.

In short, you can compare downloads for different stories, but you can't make too many assumptions about what they mean.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

It would still be a useful indicator of what group of sex stories were gaining the most interest. Some people will open a story file based on the story blurb and not go further, but they would be a minority of story hits. I'm not looking for absolute figures, but indicators.

Maybe, but it won't answer why one group of stories gets scored higher than another group. Is it because the stories are actually better, the readers less critical, or that some readers just don't vote as often as others (ex: a particular authors rabid fans (pardon the expression))?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@REP

Start with the assumption that none of the readers ever look at the amount of sex code. All of the codes will have download counts, but the counts don't indicate that the readers like that amount of sex in their stories.

Maybe not, but we know that certain readers prefer stroke stories, while others prefer incest plots and others prefer harem stories. It makes more sense figuring out why one group of readers might score stories higher, or whether authors actually put more effort into another group of stories.

Then again, there are some stories which always get scored lower, such as MM, scat, etc. Some authors, like Rache, always got lower scores simply because they preferred more challenging or controversial topics. We know that fans of incest stories like incest, but that leaves all the other details open to speculation.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

a particular authors rabid fans (pardon the expression


Hey! Just because my fans foam at the mouth, that doesn't mean that they are rabid. :)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Hey! Just because my fans foam at the mouth, that doesn't mean that they are rabid. :)


It just means they eat too much soap, or have extremely strict mothers.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Which brings us back around to the original point, that no-sex stories tend to be scored higher (for whatever reason) than the stroke and much-sex stories.

The original point was the exact opposite. The impression of the original poster is that there exists a 'penalty' in scores for no-sex stories. That is my impression too, although I note EB's statistics suggesting no-sex stories are over-represented among the highest scoring stories, over 8.
I'm still curious about what the median score is for no-sex stories.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

Maybe not, but we know that certain readers prefer stroke stories, while others prefer incest plots and others prefer harem stories. It makes more sense figuring out why one group of readers might score stories higher, or whether authors actually put more effort into another group of stories.


This is probably the biggest part of it. You're probably dealing with different groupings of people as the codes/descriptions change. There probably is a LOT of overlap between them, but not as much as some may want to believe.

That said, the author-specific followings(good and ill alike) are probably a grouping unto themselves. ;)

The other matter is that there probably is a little bit of the whole "people score things differently when in different frames of mind" and their "frame of mind" IS probably going to be different when they're going after a "stroke story" rather than one flagged as "no sex" so the scoring will vary a bit from that alone.

Not_a_ID

@Ernest Bywater

It just means they eat too much soap, or have extremely strict mothers.


Or they otherwise consume large quantities of other substances known to be capable of that outcome as well. :)

REP

@Crumbly Writer

Which brings us back around to the original point

The point I am trying to make with EB is that you cannot determine a reader's preference for 'amount of sex' in a story by download count because most readers open the stories for reasons other than the 'amount of sex' in a story.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

The point I am trying to make with EB is that you cannot determine a reader's preference for 'amount of sex' in a story by download count because most readers open the stories for reasons other than the 'amount of sex' in a story.


While my point is the download counts, as a relative percentage give an indication of how the readers were looking at the stories.

Like the stats I got from the system on the top scores, they say nothing definite, but do give an indication of what the readers are reading.

Some stats I found easy to get with the category search engine were:

1. the number of no sex stories.

2. The number of no sex stories with a score of 8 or more.

3. The number of stories with a core of 8 or more.

4. the number of stories with a score of 9 or more (did this one a few minutes ago).

5. the number of no sex stories with a score of 9 or more.

There isn't enough data to give any definitive information, but they good indicators of some trends.

based on the 40,395 stories 10.13% are no sex stories. 6.16% (no sex = 1.44% - - sex stories = 4.72%) of stories score more than 8, and 3.87% (no sex = 0.09% - - sex stories = 2.92%) of stories score more than 9. When you split that as a percentage of the scoring group you get 23.38% of the 8+ scores and 25.36% of the 9+ scores from the no sex stories which are 10% of the total number of stories - - Which indicates the no sex stories score (on average) higher than the sex stories by a significant margin.

We all know the download counts aren't an exact count of how many people read a story, let alone finish it or score it - but every factor that affects one story's download count affects them all, thus the relative percentages are fair indicators of reader trends.

Replies:   robberhands  Dominions Son  REP
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

Some stats I found easy to get with the category search engine were:

1. the number of no sex stories.

2. The number of no sex stories with a score of 8 or more.

3. The number of stories with a core of 8 or more.

4. the number of stories with a score of 9 or more (did this one a few minutes ago).

5. the number of no sex stories with a score of 9 or more.

How 'easy' did you do that? All I get with these parameters is 'You Must Select at least one category'.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

How 'easy' did you do that? All I get with these parameters is 'You Must Select at least one category'.


I used the category search page in the Complex Form - slide to the bottom, select No Sex, then tick the (-) 2nd POV box and hit search, write count of stories down, then back up and repeat with the (+) box ticked instead, get count, add together. Then repeat with the other sex level story options. Percentage is simple calculation based on total site story count at time of doing the task. For the score I simply used the 'with a score of' box as well.

Replies:   robberhands
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

Which indicates the no sex stories score (on average) higher than the sex stories by a significant margin.


On the other hand, the single lowest score in the system (1.57) goes to a no-sex story, so, call me skeptical that your conclusion about the average score of no-sex stories is valid.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son


On the other hand, the single lowest score in the system (1.57) goes to a no-sex story, so, call me skeptical that your conclusion about the average score of no-sex stories is valid.


I did a search on stories with a score between 1 and 2 to find stories with the following scores

1.57 - no sex - 17 kb marked as humor
1.68 - much sex - 13 kb
1.72 - stroke story 17 kb
1.77 - much sex - 2 kb
2.00 much sex -15 kb

So no sex got last place and then sex stories got the next 4 bottom places places.

Moving to the 2 to 3 scores sex stories get the next 37 bottom spots.

You'd have been better to state the highest scoring story is a much sex story by Al Steiner with sex stories getting the top 5 spots.

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

That's clever!

I did a little research too after you showed me how easy it is. Of all the stories on SoL, 1,309 are bigger than 500 kb. That's 3.2 % of the available stories. Of those 1,309 stories, 722 scored 8 or more. That's 55.2 %, and 30.5 % of all stories scoring 8 or more. So it seems pretty obvious to me what the easiest concept to write a successful story is. It has to be a long story. Btw, only 95 of those long stories are no sex stories. That's a meager 7.3 %. Statistics can prove many things, practically anything you want to prove.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
REP

@Ernest Bywater

EB,
Assume that I read the descriptions of 20 stories and decided to read them without looking at or considering the 'amount of sex' code. When I open the stories the respective 'amount of sex' counters are incremented: 10 are coded Minimal Sex, 5 as Some Sex, and 5 as Much sex.

The rational you are using says I prefer Minimal Sex stories. That is invalid because at the time I opened the stories I had no idea of how much sex was in the stories I opened. The reason I open the stories was the Description indicated a Plot that sounded good to me and the description may or may not have mentioned sex.

Your rational is not valid. The fact that a Plot appeals to me is not indicative of my preferring Minimal Sex stories.

REP

@robberhands

Statistics can prove many things, practically anything you want to prove


If you ignore factors such as a good plot and good writing, then your conclusion might be true. If you conclusion is true, then all I have to do is string together 3 MB of words to create a story that has no plot and is written so poorly that the story makes no sense, and I will get a rating of over 8 for that garbage.

Replies:   robberhands
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

REP,

As I've said a few times, the stats I'm talking about would be indicators of trends only and they would have just as much validity to people as the existing scores and download counts do.

Using you point that it may not be 100% true for you can be applied to all the scores and other stats information and thus equate to having none of it there at all.

I mentioned the stats as a way of pointing out the reading trends of the site to show it's an - added here- any story site as against a sex story only site, as some people keep claiming.

edit to add the rest of the truncated post

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  REP
robberhands

@REP

If you ignore factors such as a good plot and good writing, then your conclusion might be true. If you conclusion is true, then all I have to do is string together 3 MB of words to create a story that has no plot and is written so poorly that the story makes no sense, and I will get a rating of over 8 for that garbage.


Do you really think that's my conclusion?

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@robberhands

So it seems pretty obvious to me what the easiest concept to write a successful story is. It has to be a long story.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

Have you ever heard of the concept of necessary but not sufficient?

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

Yep.

And if there are 5 factors affecting a conclusion and you base your conclusion on just 1 of those factors, you are likely to arrive at a wrong conclusion.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ernest Bywater

I suspect the high scores and downloads of many long stories is because the author took the time to write an interesting story with a decent plot and good characters, and that's appreciated by the readers.

Just did a search based on story size of 5,000 kb and up - got 22 stories with the lowest score being 5.62 and another 3 stories in the 6.xx range, 3 stories in the 7.xx range, 8 in the 8.xx range, and 7 in the 9.xx range. All were posted over many years with 9 still in progress and another as inactive and incomplete.

The highest scoring story is 2,849 kb. 2 of the top 20 highest scores are under 10 kb, only 4 are above 3,000 kb with one between 10 kb and 1,000 kb - the majority are in the 1,000 to 2,500 kb range. 2 of the top 20 high scores are still in progress

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

The original point was the exact opposite. The impression of the original poster is that there exists a 'penalty' in scores for no-sex stories. That is my impression too, although I note EB's statistics suggesting no-sex stories are over-represented among the highest scoring stories, over 8.
I'm still curious about what the median score is for no-sex stories.

I suspect that, as a whole, sex sells, and thus a strong sex story will be popular, whereas fewer readers are attracted to non-sexual stories strictly on that basis. However, as I've noted, most readers come to the site for the sex, and then move over to plot and development, eventually giving up on most stroke stories.

Reflecting that, you'll see the better no-sex stories doing well (possibly better than the middle-of-the-road sex stories). However, a quick sex-romp is likely to get more downloads than a complicated yarn spanning dozens of chapters, even though the non-sex stories may score well.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

The point I am trying to make with EB is that you cannot determine a reader's preference for 'amount of sex' in a story by download count because most readers open the stories for reasons other than the 'amount of sex' in a story.

To a point. For example, I won't search for 'stroke' or 'much sex' stories, but I'll almost always check out the latest incest story, just to see whether there's a decent story there or not. Thus sex plays a role, just not the one you're painting for it. Also, the story description determines whether they'll read it or not, but it's often the tags themselves which draw readers, rather than anything else.

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Of those 1,309 stories, 722 scored 8 or more. That's 55.2 %, and 30.5 % of all stories scoring 8 or more. So it seems pretty obvious to me what the easiest concept to write a successful story is.

It's long been noted that longer stories score higher than shorter stories (longer being 50+ chapters, rather than the traditional 10 to 20 chapters of most stories). With a longer story, the story is up longer, often by several years, and has more time to pull in more readers, also, those readers tend to become more attached to the story, turning to it each week and eagerly anticipating each chapter. That's not stats, that human behavior!

Replies:   robberhands
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I mentioned the stats as a way of pointing out the reading trends of the site to show it's an

Aside from the incomplete sentence, that's the whole point of stats, to highlight trends, rather than proving or disproving any particular point (since the numbers tend to get fuzzy the more you examine them).

It makes sense to talk about what types of stories appeal to certain readers, but it doesn't make sense to say that readers like one type of story more than another type.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Just did a search based on story size of 5,000 kb and up - got 22 stories with the lowest score being 5.62 and another 3 stories in the 6.xx range, 3 stories in the 7.xx range, 8 in the 8.xx range, and 7 in the 9.xx range. All were posted over many years with 9 still in progress and another as inactive and incomplete.

I wonder, based on that analysis, what the 'ideal' story size (in terms of chapters and chapter length) would be. Then again, I'd also wonder whether the amount of time the story displayed on the 'Series Updates' page isn't a bigger factor than the overall length.

In that case, your posting a 1 chapter each (or every other) day might be self-defeating, while mine, or posting twice-a-week, may not be 'milking' the story enough.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Switch Blayde

@REP

and you base your conclusion on just 1 of those factors, you are likely to arrive at a wrong conclusion.


I don't think he was saying the only thing that got the high score was the large number of words. I think he meant, everything else being equal, longer stories do better.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

but it's often the tags themselves which draw readers, rather than anything else.

Which tags - the content tags or the amount of sex tag?

There are a few, but I doubt that most readers use the amount of sex tags to determine if they want to read a story. EB's use of the 'amount of sex' code's download count to determine why a reader wanted to read a story would only be valid if most readers had no reason for opening the story other than the amount of sex the code implies is in the story. That means the plot describe in the description section, the content codes, and the author's history of good/bad writing would have No Bearing on their decision.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

It makes sense to talk about what types of stories appeal to certain readers, but it doesn't make sense to say that readers like one type of story more than another type.


True - thanks for letting me know the post got truncated for some reason, have posted an edit.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I wonder, based on that analysis, what the 'ideal' story size (in terms of chapters and chapter length) would be.


That's one area we don't agree, I see story size as a word count, not a chapter count. I read a story the other day 50 chapters of about 500 words each. I get 500 words on 6 x 9 inch print book page - that's a damn thin book for 50 chapters at one page per chapter.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

the stats I'm talking about would be indicators of trends only


Statistics is the use of data points to show a trend. But, data point are gathered for a specific purpose. The trend defined by the data point is only valid when defining the trend they were gathered to analyze. Download count for the 'amount of sex' codes indicates the number of readers that read a story with the respective code, and that is all it means.

It is not valid to say the specific code with the highest download count indicates that what readers prefer if readers did not use that code as their primary reason for opening a story.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

Statistics is the use of data points to show a trend. But, data point are gathered for a specific purpose


Few organisations set out to collect only a limited set of data points, what they usually do is set out to collect all the data they can, then to look at ways to analyse it to tell them something.

Looking at the relative percentage trends of scores / downloads / and stories will provide indicative trends of where people are placing the most focus as an overall group - but that point seems to be beyond your focus on only what you do and how you use the site.

Just like any statistics, the ones I mentioned would only be trend indicators.

richardshagrin

"Normal" can be a word of art, for example a Normal Curve is also known as a Bell Curve, with two thirds of the data within one standard deviation of the mean. It seems likely to me that normal stories and normal people would "normally" fall within the one standard deviation of the average, mean, mode of the population.

Looking at A B Normal, those scores would be higher than the average, getting A and B scores, while C scores would be average. D and F scores are below Normal. My theory is that scores in the 7s are B scores and in the 8s A scores 9s are A plus scores. We don't have to characterize scores of 10.0 because there doesn't appear to be any on SOL.

So if you are AB Normal you are certainly above average.

robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

That's not stats, that human behavior!

Usually I would just chuckle and go on, but I noticed that irony, sarcasm or simple subtlety is no admissible technique in this forum. So weirdly I feel the need to point out that the only reason statistics exist, is to predict human behavior.

I used the example of +500kb stories well aware that those stories score exceptionally well. Story length is a random parameter, just like the tags for the amount of sex in a story is. It hardly proves anything, but that is the whole point.

I'm pretty sure that people in general don't care about sex or no sex in a story. They simply want to read a good story. If they don't like sex scenes in stories it's easy to prevent it - don't read them. The same for people who prefer sex scenes, don't read stories with the NO SEX tag.

Sex scenes neither make a story better, nor do they make them worse. The same goes for the lack of sex in a story. Some people like them, some don't, and that's all. How stupid is it to give a lower score to a story tagged NO SEX , because there is no sex in the story? Of course the same goes for the opposite, although I noticed some people seem to believe that sex in a story somehow miraculously prevents the development of a plot. It's a matter of preferences, not of good or bad.

Replies:   Grant  Lumpy  Crumbly Writer
Grant

@robberhands

Sex scenes neither make a story better, nor do they make them worse.

Depends on how well or how poorly it's written, and how relevant to the story it is.
Well written & relevant, makes a story better. Poorly written and irrelevant, makes it worse.
And all the combinations of both.

although I noticed some people seem to believe that sex in a story somehow miraculously prevents the development of a plot.

With some authors it does, with other authors it doesn't.

Replies:   robberhands
Lumpy

@robberhands

How stupid is it to give a lower score to a story tagged NO SEX , because there is no sex in the story?


And yet, particularly disliked types of stories, even when labeled as such, get tagged with low scores regularly because they hit some peoples sqicks.

Replies:   robberhands
bajabuc

@Lumpy

Out of 68 stories I have 26 scores in the six to seven bracket. Two stories are in the eights everything is in the sevens. since five is average...I'm happy with what I get

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
robberhands

@Grant

Depends on how well or how poorly it's written, and how relevant to the story it is.
Well written & relevant, makes a story better. Poorly written and irrelevant, makes it worse.
And all the combinations of both.

That's true for every scene in a story, not just for the sex.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@robberhands

Depends on how well or how poorly it's written, and how relevant to the story it is.
Well written & relevant, makes a story better. Poorly written and irrelevant, makes it worse.

And all the combinations of both.


That's true for every scene in a story, not just for the sex.

Exactly.

robberhands
Updated:

@Lumpy


How stupid is it to give a lower score to a story tagged NO SEX , because there is no sex in the story?

And yet, particularly disliked types of stories, even when labeled as such, get tagged with low scores regularly because they hit some peoples sqicks.


Well, I intended to ask a rhetorical question, but to remove all doubt, I'll answer it myself:

Some people are stupid.

richardshagrin

@robberhands

Some people are stupid.

Based on the normal curve, half the population is below average. Well, some of the population is/are average so the below average are not quite half.

Put another way, if the average story is 6.0 and I believe management adjusts scores so that is the case, there are a few scores of exactly 6.00. Those stories are neither above or below average.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Usually I would just chuckle and go on, but I noticed that irony, sarcasm or simple subtlety is no admissible technique in this forum. So weirdly I feel the need to point out that the only reason statistics exist, is to predict human behavior.

Again, my point wasn't that statistics don't help identify issues, it was that you can't always lead them literally (as in "these readers will ALWAYS do this). Instead, you spot trends, and focus your efforts on those trends, which continue to shift over time. Thus you can't draw definitive conclusions about the people themselves, only about the trends in interest across the entire population.

THAT's the point I was making about "not stat, but human behavior". Of course, I phrased it badly in an attempt to halt the apparent thread drift into conclusions about what download counts meant about which story is more popular (since the data points are notoriously unreliable).

Crumbly Writer

@bajabuc

Out of 68 stories I have 26 scores in the six to seven bracket. Two stories are in the eights everything is in the sevens. since five is average...I'm happy with what I get

No way is a score of five 'average'. Basically, a score of five translates into 'barely readable' or 'something significantly wrong with the story'. Most stories with scores of 5 contain major squicks, like male homesexuality or feces ingestion.

Don't forget, few readers will vote for a story they don't think is a full ten! As a result, the scores are vastly over-rated to begin with. While they're 'normalized' it hardly moved the scores into a 'normal' bell curve.

8s are essentially an "A" score, 7s are a "B" and 6s are merely a "C". Essentially, 5s and lower are failing grades.

Replies:   robberhands
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Some people are stupid.

Most people are stupid, including incredibly intelligent people. Some people are stupid most of the time, while some are stupid only some of the time. By the same logic, many stupid people are incredibly perceptive some of the time. But, in the end, there's no limit to how stupid ANY human can be, given the right contest or motivation.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Most people are stupid, including incredibly intelligent people.

... and all those times I claimed you were being stupid were actually intended as compliments. :-)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

Don't forget, few readers will vote for a story they don't think is a full ten!

Do they only think it's a ten but give the story a lower score? Otherwise I can't understand why I have so many votes that are no ten. Or did you maybe vastly enlarge the range of 'few'.

As a result, the scores are vastly over-rated to begin with.

Compared to what?

While they're 'normalized' it hardly moved the scores into a 'normal' bell curve.

Actually that's what Lazeez's weighed score calculation is all about. So your statement is wrong.

I apologize if it seems like I'm picking on you CW, that's not my intention. Some of your lines are just too tempting for me to resist. I think that's a great talent, and I'm not joking.

Ross at Play

@robberhands

@CW
While they're 'normalized' it hardly moved the scores into a 'normal' bell curve.
@robberhands
Actually that's what Lazeez's weighed score calculation is all about.

For the one story I've posted the number of votes is less than 5% of the number of downloads.
The point CW was making is there's a lot of self-selection in who chooses to vote before the system normalises the scores to produce an average of six. It cannot be proven, but it seems a reasonable assumption that the group which chooses to vote would like stories more than the group which does not.

Replies:   robberhands  AmigaClone
robberhands

@Ross at Play

For the one story I've posted the number of votes is less than 5% of the number of downloads.

I assume that was a rather short story, otherwise the quotient would have been much worse. I'm at 1.3% for my first complete story.

It cannot be proven, but it seems a reasonable assumption that the group which chooses to vote would like stories more than the group which does not.

I agree, that is a very reasonable assumption, but the scores are only for readers on SoL, and only significant for stories on SoL, so what does it matter?

AmigaClone

@Ross at Play


The point CW was making is there's a lot of self-selection in who chooses to vote before the system normalises the scores to produce an average of six. It cannot be proven, but it seems a reasonable assumption that the group which chooses to vote would like stories more than the group which does not.


Personally, if after a few chapters I don't like a multi chapter story, I will abandon it without bothering to forward to the end so I can vote on it. I would not be surprised if that is not uncommon.

I have written a few stories and the one with the lowest individual votes appears as a single page on SOL.

John Demille

@AmigaClone

Personally, if after a few chapters I don't like a multi chapter story, I will abandon it without bothering to forward to the end so I can vote on it.


Well, you can use the history page to batch vote on stories you read or started.

Dominions Son

@robberhands

Actually that's what Lazeez's weighed score calculation is all about. So your statement is wrong.


Technically, the scores may follow a bell curve, but it can't be a proper normal bell curve.

When you say a normal bell curve, I presume you are referring to the Normal Distribution used by formal statistics.

The normal distribution model for statistics is a bell curve, but it isn't the only form of bell curve.

The normal distribution assumes infinite tails on both ends.

Nothing with a finite upper or lower bound can properly fit a normal distribution.

The story scores necessarily have finite limits on both ends. No story can score less than 0 or more than 10.

robberhands

@Dominions Son

Technically correct and practically with absolutely no meaning for this discussion.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

... and all those times I claimed you were being stupid were actually intended as compliments. :-)

Once again, the actions are stupid, not the people (who are merely 'insipid'). 'D

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Do they only think it's a ten but give the story a lower score? Otherwise I can't understand why I have so many votes that are no ten. Or did you maybe vastly enlarge the range of 'few'.

No. Once again, I exaggerated for effect, but if readers really enjoy a story, they'll often rate it high. However, if something took them out of the story, say a particular story device, plot hole or personal squick, they'll drop a story by several point.

Write a wonderful, moving novel, perfectly executed about two gay lovers, and I can almost guarantee it won't score higher than a 5 or 6. It has nothing to do with the quality of the story, and everything to do with the content.

Actually that's what Lazeez's weighed score calculation is all about. So your statement is wrong.

Many of us here simply won't read anything that's lower than a 7, definitely nothing 5 or below. If your supposition was correct, then easily 60 percent of stories would be 5s, and there wouldn't be as many higher rated stories.

Instead, Lazeez does the correct because the scores are out of whack. It helps, but they still don't fit into a classic bell-curve. What's more, Lazeez's correction fixes the issues with the earlier stories scoring higher, more than it adjusts the majority of stories.

However, Ernest can easily prove me wrong. If 60% of the stories on SOL are scored in the 5s, then I'll eat crow. But I'm guessing the 'average' story will be 6, with many more stories in the 7s and 8s than you'll find 2s and 3s.

Crumbly Writer

@AmigaClone

I have written a few stories and the one with the lowest individual votes appears as a single page on SOL.

Readers on SOL are quirky. They're used to long stories that go on forever, but they prefer individual chapters (their 'reading for the week' in any particular story) to be engaging, which won't happen is the chapter is only 1,000 or 2,000 words. Thus chapters of 6,000 to 10,000 words is more the norm, and receive much higher scores than do shorter stories.

SOL readers want to feel like each chapter is a complete story, making them feel the entire weekly/monthly allotment was worthwhile, rather than merely a 'tease'.

robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

Instead, Lazeez does the correct because the scores are out of whack.

How can the scores be out whack if their sole purpose is to give readers on SoL a comparative measurement to assess stories on SoL? The SoL readers made those scores, so saying they are generally too high, too low or not evenly distributed across the scale makes no sense whatsoever.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer


However, Ernest can easily prove me wrong. If 60% of the stories on SOL are scored in the 5s, then I'll eat crow. But I'm guessing the 'average' story will be 6, with many more stories in the 7s and 8s than you'll find 2s and 3s.


You asked, so I did the figures based on the current story count of 40,411 stories searches just on scores came out as:

less than 3 - 1.06%
3 to 4 - - 0.95%
4 to 5 - - 4.31%
5 to 6 - - 18.19%
6 to 7 - - 43.69%
7 to 8 - -25.91%
8 to 9 -- 5.50%
9 and up - - 0.39%

Out of interest I also checked 6 to 7.5 for 59.89%

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

You asked, so I did the figures based on the current story count of 40,411 stories searches just on scores came out as:

less than 3 - 1.06%
3 to 4 - - 0.95%
4 to 5 - - 4.31%
5 to 6 - - 18.19%
6 to 7 - - 43.69%
7 to 8 - -25.91%
8 to 9 -- 5.50%
9 and up - - 0.39%

Now we need someone to transfer the data into a Bell Curve. To me it doesn't look "abnormal".

Dominions Son

@robberhands

Now we need someone to transfer the data into a Bell Curve. To me it doesn't look "abnormal".


Actually, with scores 1-3 taking only 1% and scores 8-10 being nearly 7%, the curve skews high by quite a bit.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands
Updated:

@Dominions Son


Actually, with scores 1-3 taking only 1% and scores 8-10 being nearly 7%, the curve skews high by quite a bit.


According to my admitedly limited knowledge about Bell Curves I'd assume that the 1-3 scores have no great effect. The important part is the range where the mass of the data is located and its distribution on the scale.

P.S.: Just researched a bit and noticed my knowledge is more flawed than I thought. You are correct. The curve is not very smooth.

Dominions Son

@robberhands

According to my admitedly limited knowledge about Bell Curves I'd assume that the 1-3 scores have no great effect. The important part is the range where the mass of the data is located and its distribution on the scale.


My comment goes you to saying it doesn't look "abnormal"

"normal" for a bell curve distribution is about skew. Specifically, to be normal a bell curve has to be symmetrical (zero skew). This means that values n standard deviations below the mean are exactly as likely as values n standard deviations below the mean.

Here, at the range limits of the data set, values above the mean are more likely than values below the mean. The data set is asymmetrical with significant positive skew and is therefore, very definitely abnormal.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Dominions Son

Yep, I already corrected my earlier false statement.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

You asked, so I did the figures based on the current story count of 40,411 stories searches just on scores came out as:

May I ask for the divisions of those figures based on the Sex Content of the stories? Ideally, the figures for the 5-6, 6-7, 7-8, and 8-9 ranges each broken up into five different
We're up to 120 posts on this thread and I don't recall anyone coming up with any statistics yet giving some indication to answer the question in the OP: do no-sex stories tend to score less well than those with a lot of sex?

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

May I ask for the divisions of those figures based on the Sex Content of the stories?


I'll look at it in about 12 hours. Right now I'm dressing to go to court for another round with the Gestapo - it seems they don't want me to see what they don't like, and since some of the files they list as being an issue have no sex at all, I'm kinda interested in seeing what they're going on about - but they refuse to show me, so the court has to deal with the issue.

Replies:   Ross at Play
richardshagrin

@robberhands

Now we need someone to transfer the data into a Bell Curve

I am sorry to say the scores based on your data are not representative of a normal (bell) curve. If 6.0 is the mean, and I am under the impression that Lazeez adjusts scores so that that is the case, then one standard deviation (say for the point of argument is 1.0) in each direction above and below the mean would cover approximately 68% of population. Between one and two standard deviations from the mean would include 13.5 of all the population. From the mean to one standard deviation from the mean would cover 34% (both above and below, 68%) and the area between two standard deviations below and above would be 68% plus 27% or 95% of the sample. From the mean to two standard deviations above the mean would be 47.5%.

The number of stories that include 68% of the population does not fit the hypothesis as slightly less than 62% of the stories score between 5 and 7. Far more stories score from 7 to 8 than a normal curve would show (nearly 26% instead of 13.5%) and the amount between one and two standard deviations below the mean is far too low (less than 5% instead of 13.5%.)

The number of stories more than two standard deviations above the mean (8 to 9) is way too high for a normal curve. There are 5.5% of stories with those scores, while a normal curve would cover 1.25% more than two standard deviations above the mean.

Perhaps the standard deviation is not 1.0. Even with a different standard deviation the curve does not appear to me to be symmetrical enough to be a normal curve. There are too many high scores and not enough low scores.

It is clear to me that scores are not established randomly enough for a normal curve to work. There may be some other curve that better fits the information, my statistics courses date back 50 years so I can't remember any particular curve. I do remember an actuary telling me he can fit several dozen points into any curve I want and I can get any answer I want. This was to set insurance rates for the next year. Of course the insurance commission's office didn't care what math we used as long as we used some, they just had to approve rates that would be reasonably politically popular.

It is possible adjustments can be made to the mean, it might not be 6, and to the standard deviation, it might not be 1.0. However it is hard to get around the lack of symmetry with far more scores above the middle score (median, mode, mean, average, whatever you decide to pick than below it. About 25% of scores are below 6 and more than 31% are above 7. It is likely the mean is between 6 and 7. It would be the point where half the scores are below and half are above, but the scores above whatever the mean turns out to be still won't fit a normal curve as there are more high scores than low ones.

robberhands

@Ross at Play

We're up to 120 posts on this thread and I don't recall anyone coming up with any statistics yet giving some indication to answer the question in the OP

If the amount of sex in a story would be the only diverging criterion between stories those statistics woul help, but they are not. To every story here on SoL there is a multitude of tags attached. Picking radomly one of them won't get you any reliable results. The results would be as random as the tag you chose.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

I'll look at it in about 12 hours.

Thank you. I don't have Premier Membership to do it myself.
Waiting a day is fine with me. I've waited over three days already, since my first post on this thread when I asked, 'Perhaps Lazeez could calculate for us the median scores for all stories with No Sex or Minimal Sex, and for Much Sex or Stroke Stories?'

Ross at Play

@robberhands

Picking radomly one of them won't get you any reliable results.

I have not 'randomly' picked one tag. I've asked for the break-up, within each score range, for the Sex Contents tag, a tag for which every story has one, and only one, value.
The results will not prove anything, but they probably will be indicative if there is any marked tendency for readers to score average-quality stories more highly when they have a lot of sex.

awnlee jawking

@richardshagrin

If 6.0 is the mean


I've seen that assertion before but I don't know its origin. Based on perusals of Updated Serials page, the mean has always seemed to be above 6.0 and Ernest's data confirms that. About a third of stories are rated below 6.0 and about two thirds above. I'd guess the mean to be approximately 6.6.

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

How can the scores be out whack if their sole purpose is to give readers on SoL a comparative measurement to assess stories on SoL? The SoL readers made those scores, so saying they are generally too high, too low or not evenly distributed across the scale makes no sense whatsoever.

I was saying that the scores do not form a 'normal bell curve', not that the scores are meaningless. Instead, the curve is heavily balanced towards the high end. But then, the 'normal distribution curve' has fallen out of favor in the statistics field, as it's almost never as simple as that. Instead of a steady curve, the details stats actually reveal an bunch of peaks and drops as select groups hold one position while others hold other position. They're not even distributed.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

You asked, so I did the figures based on the current story count of 40,411 stories searches just on scores came out as:

less than 3 - 1.06%

I'm curious: were the 1 - 3 scores evenly divided, or heavily slanted towards 1?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Now we need someone to transfer the data into a Bell Curve. To me it doesn't look "abnormal".

Again, I never said "abnormal", merely skewed towards one side (6.5 instead of 5).

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

P.S.: Just researched a bit and noticed my knowledge is more flawed than I thought. You are correct. The curve is not very smooth.

That was my other point. The entire model of a traditional bell curve is flawed, and is no longer favored by statisticians. Once you get into the details, people tend to group among various data points, so you'll have various peaks, surrounded by NO ONE holding particular positions between them.

People like to group, picking people that agree with them, or adopting others opinions.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Again, I never said "abnormal", merely skewed towards one side (6.5 instead of 5).


That is the definition of abnormal when you are talking about bell curves. In statistics, the normal distribution (what is generally called a bell curve) explicitly assumes zero skew.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

It is clear to me that scores are not established randomly enough for a normal curve to work. There may be some other curve that better fits the information, my statistics courses date back 50 years so I can't remember any particular curve.

Statistics curves are primarily based upon Calculus curve, as they convey area. Thus they fit into standard mathematical models (equations) rather than standard shapes. Typically, if you've studied calculus, you can immediate figure out what the data means just by the shape of the curve, which saves time when you're trying to figure out what data means.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

If the amount of sex in a story would be the only diverging criterion between stories those statistics woul help, but they are not. To every story here on SoL there is a multitude of tags attached.

Not to mention the quality of the writing, lack of errors, plot, character descriptions, etc. As been noted, people don't just select stories based on the amount of sex.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Picking radomly one of them won't get you any reliable results.

I have not 'randomly' picked one tag.

I don't think he meant 'one tag', instead he means 'one isolated variable'. Few readers select stories by searching for the "Stoke" or "Much Sex" variable.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Dominions Son

That is the definition of abnormal when you are talking about bell curves. In statistics, the normal distribution (what is generally called a bell curve) explicitly assumes zero skew.

Which is why you won't find many statisticians referring to 'bell curves' anymore. They were useful before we had massive data collections, but now that we do, we've realized there's no 'normal' anything. There are standard models, but they're based on various calculus equations (ex: x2, Sin/Cos or Log), but few actual bell shapes.

By the way, I've always been a statistics junkie. I don't look for the medium of a curve, instead I look at where the outliers are (i.e. where are there unexpected groupings, and who do those represent, or what's the percentage change between each point, as they reveal more about what you're examining than 'where everyone is').

Knowing what everyone likes something tells you nothing at all, other than what to sell. Knowing WHY they make their purchasing/reading decisions tells you everything!

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

I'm curious: were the 1 - 3 scores evenly divided, or heavily slanted towards 1?

EB answered that about half-way through this thread.
There are only 5 stories with scores between 1 and 2, and 37 between 2 and 3.

richardshagrin

@Dominions Son

The story scores necessarily have finite limits on both ends. No story can score less than 0 or more than 10.


No story can score less than 1. (Very minor nit, since there are no stories I know of that are 1s.)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  joyR
robberhands

@Ross at Play

I have not 'randomly' picked one tag. I've asked for the break-up, within each score range, for the Sex Contents tag, a tag for which every story has one, and only one, value.
The results will not prove anything, but they probably will be indicative if there is any marked tendency for readers to score average-quality stories more highly when they have a lot of sex.

I give you a hypothetical scenario to show why a statistic based on a single variable is not reliable or of any significance.
Imagine every sex story on SoL would be correctly tagged: 'Gay', 'Cuckold', 'Scatology' (I don't want to discredit any kinks, I picked those because I assume they are some of the most hated by the scoring trolls); was written by the same chimpanzee; and it's a 1kb short story.

SoL's reader pool is the same as it is in reality, so every sex story on SoL will score between 1 and 3. The 10% NO SEX stories on SoL did not change at all, so they score significantly higher.

Now take your wish for a statistic, picking the amount of sex as the sole parameter. It will lead you to the conclusion that SoL's readers greatly dislike any amount of sex in a story and prefer NO SEX stories by a very large margin. In this scenario your conclusion would be correct, but only in such a scenario, which in reality is rather unlikely to develop.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

No story can score less than 1.


I thought that too, but there are nearly 700 stories that have no scores at all.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

Now for the flood of stats - do with them as you will - case got put back to November and I got through very early.

At the time these were done on 11 July 2017 at 13:00 hours my time there were:

No sex stories = 4,095 - - 10.13%

All sex stories = 36,316 - - 89.87%

Stories on SoL = 40,411

Stories per vote groups as a percentage to 2 decimal places - the percentages are a little out due to some stories having an exact x.00 score being counted in two groups by the system and a minor rounding adjustment.

All groups as percentage of total

No Vote = 1.47

1 -2 = 0.05

2 - 3 = 0.24

3 - 4 = 0.97

4 - 5 = 4.32

5 - 6 = 18.19

6 - 7 = 43.69

7 - 8 = 25 90

8 - 9 = 5.50

9 -10 = 0.39

The total is 100.72% which equates to 291 stories being counted twice.

.....................

No Sex as percentage of total

No Vote = 0.21

1 -2 = 0.02

2 - 3 = 0.05

3 - 4 = 0.11

4 - 5 = 0.46

5 - 6 = 1.34

6 - 7 = 3.51

7 - 8 = 3.36

8 - 9 = 1.05

9 -10 = 0.10

The total is 10.21% which equates to 31 stories being counted twice.

.....................

All sex as percentage of total

No Vote = 1.27

1 -2 = 0.03

2 - 3 = 0.18

3 - 4 = 0.86

4 - 5 = 3.95

5 - 6 = 16.85

6 - 7 = 40.18

7 - 8 = 22.54

8 - 9 = 4.45

9 -10 = 0.29

The total is 90.60% which equates to 296 stories being counted twice.

.....................

No sex as percentage of the no sex total

No Vote = 2.03

1 -2 = 0.20

2 - 3 = 0.51

3 - 4 = 1.12

4 - 5 = 3.57

5 - 6 = 13.21

6 - 7 = 34.65

7 - 8 = 34.14

8 - 9 = 10.33

9 -10 = 0.95

The total is 100.71% which equates to 29 stories being counted twice.

.....................

All sex as percentage of the all sex total

No Vote = 1.41

1 -2 = 0.03

2 - 3 = 0.20

3 - 4 = 0.96

4 - 5 = 4.40

5 - 6 = 18.75

6 - 7 = 44.71

7 - 8 = 25.08

8 - 9 = 4.95

9 -10 = 0.32

The total is 100.81% which equates to 294 stories being counted twice.

edit to add; It was only while doing this exercise I realised some of the number didn't make sense. After a little playing I discovered there are some stories that do not have any scores at all. Now, the system will not display a score for a story until after a set number of votes are cast for the story, but those stories do appear in the searches based on score value - they just have a (-) instead of an actual score displayed. Thus the no score stories don't even have a single vote, yet.

Replies:   Ross at Play  REP
Ross at Play

@robberhands

I am well aware there are many factors influencing the scores of stories.
I cannot be bothered explaining to you what, if any, interpretations I may make after seeing the results.

Ernest Bywater

One point on the scoring system. I don't know the exact weighting factor on the current score, however, over the years SoL has existed there have been a number of periods where the scoring system has changed for various reason, and while scoring within a period was sort of uniform, they weren't uniform between period. Thus, at one point, Lazeez too all the scores for each period and came up with a way to give a median score of 6 for all the scores in that period. He then adjust all thee scores for each period by the weighting factor for that period to make the scores of the different periods of comparable value. In past blogs on the issue Lazeez has explained it all. In the end it matters not much, because the biggest effect was to reduce the value of the older scores from way back when.

The current system works by adding up all the scores given to a story, cut the top 5% and the bottom 5%, work an average on the rest, and apply the weighting factor for the current period. Since it affects all scores, I don't see how it's done as being important at all.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

Thanks for the stats.
There are a two things I would have expected to see in the results assuming readers were mostly "fair" in the way they scored stories.
One is no-sex stories would be over-represented in the highest-scoring stories, say 8 and above, because the best authors are more likely to write no-sex stories.
The other is with-sex stories would be over-presented in the below-average range, say 4 to 6, because we know that stories with the "wrong" type of sex (e.g. MM, scat, ...) are consistently scored lower than their literary merit would warrant.
Both of those "trends" appear to be present in the data.
My conclusion is no-sex stories are probably NOT penalised by readers in their scoring, or at least not significantly enough to be apparent from the data.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ross at Play

the best authors are more likely to write no-sex stories.

Why?
Because they don't like to write sex scenes?
Or because their readers don't like them?
Or because sex scenes diminish the value of a story, so they wouldn't be best authors anymore?

Ernest Bywater

What is interesting to compare is the second and third set of figures where the Sex v No Sex percentages of the whole are listed. Since the Sex stories out number the no sex stories at about 9 to 1 you would expect the Sex Stories to have 9 times the percentage figures of the No Sex stories when looked at as a percentage of the whole. But that's not true in the highest score groups in the 9-10 the sex stories have nearly 3 times the number of stories as the non sex stories and not the 9 times if it was an even distribution, while the 8-9 is only 4 time the percentage. Yet when you get into the middle area scores, the sex stories have a higher claim than the no sex stories with the 5-6 group being 12 times and the 6-6 group being just 12 times instead of 9 times.

However, the best figure to look at is the last two sets when you assume the median is in the 6-8 range and you add the two groups together the Sex stories have 69.79% as a percentage of the sex story group, and the no sex have 68.79% as a percentage of the no sex group. Thus the peak area appears to be the same for both with the no sex stories having about double the percentage of stories above that in relation to the sex story group.

One day when i feel I have the time, I should do the same exercise broken up be each sex level group, but it's just too much effort right now.

Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

Why?


Probably because it's hard to write sex scene after sex scene without getting too repetitious, and thus boring. Thus you eventually move on to writing fewer sex scenes with a lot more in between and keeping the sex scenes for only where they help the plot and character development. That result in you putting in a lot more effort to the no sex parts of the story, and often you feel the story can get along better without the sex, but not always.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

I thought that too, but there are nearly 700 stories that have no scores at all.


Because of the nature of the scoring system, there is a minimum number of votes a story has to have before the system can show a score for it.

The stories with no displayed score could come out anywhere if the next vote pushes it over the limit. They should not be counted as 0 or anything else < 1.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@robberhands

@Me
the best authors are more likely to write no-sex stories.
@You
Why?

No-sex stories are about 10% of total stories, but 20% of stories with scores of 8 or more.
That is the type of result I expected because the best authors are capable of writing good stories about anything!
I do not care how you interpret that result in the data.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

Probably because it's hard to write sex scene after sex scene without getting too repetitious, and thus boring.


Another thing I would like to see is a break down by sex/no sex, score and length.

Long stories tend to score better than short stories, so if the sex stories are shorter on average, that would weaken the effect of having sex as some of the difference would be length related.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Dominions Son

Post deleted, because EB's next post proves what I thought was happening is not correct.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son


The stories with no displayed score could come out anywhere if the next vote pushes it over the limit.


Nope, there are stories in all scoring groups that have no scores displayed. That shows there are stories with scores in that group, but not yet enough votes to be displayed. While almost 700 is the difference between all stores and stories with scores above 1.00

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

Probably because it's hard to write sex scene after sex scene without getting too repetitious, and thus boring.

Well, an easy task woudn't need a 'best author'.
When I look at the SoL lists of classics and top stories I read many names I personally would count among the best author's on SoL, and most of them have sex in their stories.

Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

When I look at the SoL lists of classics and top stories I read many names I personally would count among the best author's on SoL, and most of them have sex in their stories.


True, and I've written stories with sex in them. However, the sex scenes in Finding Home are a lot less and very different to the ones in Ed's New Life and Debt Collection. In Finding Home the sex scenes are there to show aspects of the main character changing, while the sex scenes in Debt Collection are the focus of the story - that makes a big differences on how you write the story.

Replies:   robberhands
Ross at Play

@robberhands

When I look at the SoL lists of classics and top stories I read many names I personally would count among the best author's on SoL, and most of them have sex in their stories.

90% of all stories on SOL have some sex. 80% of all stories scoring 8 or more have some sex. There is obviously some reason for that difference, but we've no way of being certain what that reason is. What on earth is the point you are trying to make?

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

True, and I've written stories with sex in them. However, the sex scenes in Finding Home are a lot less and very different to the ones in Ed's New Life and Debt Collection. In Finding Home the sex scenes are there to show aspects of the main character changing, while the sex scenes in Debt Collection are the focus of the story - that makes a big differences on how you write the story.


I don't mean to discredit you or your stories, but you're not the only author on these lists.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
robberhands

@Ross at Play

What on earth is the point you are trying to make?


the best authors are more likely to write no-sex stories.


My point is to voice my dissenting opinion to that claim.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@robberhands

My point is to voice my dissenting opinion to that claim.

I would not object if that was what happened.
I did not claim it was so. I merely stated it was something I 'expected' to find, and why. I do not appreciate being asked to justify statements like that.

Replies:   robberhands
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

I don't mean to discredit you or your stories, but you're not the only author on these lists.


I never said I was, I was simply giving you a reason why an author varies what he's writing. It gives you one reason why you'll see authors write both types of stories. I mentioned it because your post indicated you couldn't understand why they would change or vary.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ross at Play

Thanks for the stats.
There are a two things I would have expected to see in the results assuming readers were mostly "fair" in the way they scored stories.
One is no-sex stories would be over-represented in the highest-scoring stories, say 8 and above, because the best authors are more likely to write no-sex stories.

If you don't appreciate being asked to justify your statements maybe you should abstain to make them.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@robberhands

If you don't appreciate being asked to justify your statements maybe you should abstain to make them.

Do you understand the difference between asserting something as a fact, and stating something something as an opinion?
If I believe something is probably true, but know it cannot be proven, I will write it as a statement of an opinion. It is the utterly pointless, and irritating, when someone asks me 'Why?' when they already know, if they have actually read what I wrote, that my statement cannot be proven.
I have no objection to you stating any contrary opinions or evidence - but you are just being negative when you ask me to justify something you already know cannot be proven.
BTW, do you have any alternative explanation for the over-representation of no-sex stories among the highest-scoring stories on the site?

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands
Updated:

@Ross at Play


Do you understand the difference between asserting something as a fact, and stating something something as an opinion?

If I believe something is probably true, but know it cannot be proven, I will write it as a statement of an opinion. It is the utterly pointless, and irritating, when someone asks me 'Why?' when they already know, if they have actually read what I wrote, that my statement cannot be proven.


You claimed 'the best authors are more likely to write no-sex stories' as reasoning behind your assumptions and expectations. So I think it's fair to ask how you came to that conclusion.

BTW, do you have any alternative explanation for the over-representation of no-sex stories among the highest-scoring stories on the site?


As I've repeatedly stated already, the 'over-representation of no-sex stories among the highest-scoring stories on the site' is of no significance, because every variable but one is ignored, and thus this statistic is meaningless.

Replies:   Ross at Play  Not_a_ID
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

I never said I was,

Neither did I, and I didn't imply it either.

I mentioned it because your post indicated you couldn't understand why they would change or vary.

Whatever gave you that idea?

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

90% of all stories on SOL have some sex. 80% of all stories scoring 8 or more have some sex.


I can propose a hypothesis. Long stories are proportionately uprated by readers. It is difficult for authors of long stories to continually come up with fresh and exciting sex scenes. So authors of long stories who don't risk including sex scenes might have a marginal advantage.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@robberhands

You claimed 'the best authors are more likely to write no-sex stories' as reasoning behind your assumptions and expectations. So I think it's fair to ask how you came to that conclusion.

I DID NOT CLAIM THAT!
I DID NOT ASSUME ANYTHING!

READ WHAT I ACTUALLY WROTE:

There are a two things I would have expected to see in the results assuming readers were mostly "fair" in the way they scored stories.
One is no-sex stories would be over-represented in the highest-scoring stories, say 8 and above, because the best authors are more likely to write no-sex stories.
The other is with-sex stories would be over-presented in the below-average range, say 4 to 6, because we know that stories with the "wrong" type of sex (e.g. MM, scat, ...) are consistently scored lower than their literary merit would warrant.

I anticipated what the results would be like, and that is how they turned out to be. I was stating nothing more what I had anticipated, and why.
Note the difference between the two statements I made. The second says 'because we know ...' That statement made it clear I was asserting something as a fact, which I'd be happy to justify if asked.

What does it take to shut you up when you're prattling on about rubbish I already know and have no interest at all in discussing?
You questioned the statistics I asked EB to extract from the system, stating:

To every story here on SoL there is a multitude of tags attached. Picking radomly one of them won't get you any reliable results. The results would be as random as the tag you chose.

I explained that the tag I chose was not 'random'. It was the one and only one tag for which every story has one and only one value.
I also made it clear I knew full well the statistics may still not be clear enough to draw any conclusions, stating:

The results will not prove anything, but they probably will be indicative if there is any marked tendency for readers ...

That's the ONLY THING I've been interested in during this entire exchange: are the statistics clear enough to draw conclusions to answer the question posed in the original post of this thread.
... You then come up with a lengthy, ridiculous scenario that proves nothing more than it's easy to read more into statistics than they actually show. Here's a newsflash for you. We're not a bunch of complete morons here. We already know statistics are very easy to misinterpret.
What made that post so irritating was being lectured to, as if I was a complete idiot, when the only thing you knew about how I intended to use the results was my statement I would treat them, at best, as 'indicative' if there was some 'marked tendency' in the data.
When the data did arrive, my conclusion was it was not possible to draw any conclusions from it.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I can propose a hypothesis. Long stories are proportionately uprated by readers. It is difficult for authors of long stories to continually come up with fresh and exciting sex scenes. So authors of long stories who don't risk including sex scenes might have a marginal advantage.

My hypothesis is similar to that. I'm not so certain that long stories are uprated by readers. I suspect at least some of the apparent uprating is the result of better authors being more ambitious, and writing longer stories.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

We'll have to disagree on that. A substantial proportion of highly-rated long stories have, in my opinion, disappointingly poor writing quality.

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

We'll have to disagree on that.

I'll agree with that. :-)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I have to admit that flinging nasturtiums at writing quality presents a dilemma. If I don't give examples, I'm not substantiating the claim. If I give examples, I risk a flame war. So a tactful disagreement is probably the least worst option.

AJ

Ernest Bywater

Looking at the current 10 highest scoring stories we have, in order, the following sex levels:

Much sex, some sex, some sex, some sex, some sex, no sex no sex, no sex, some sex some sex. = 1 much sex, 6 some sex, 3 no sex. - the some sex group makes up 22.33% of all the stories while the much sex group makes up 53.88% of the stories and the no sex group is 10.13% of the stories.

The story sizes are, in kbs, from the top down: 2,849 - 3,875 - 1,572 - 4,643 - 1,681 - 9 - 55,575 - 2,860 - 12,897 - 2,252

for a comparison 1,400 kbs is around the 270,000 word mark = saga. So 9 out of 10 are long stories while the 10 is a very short story.

Make of it what you will

Replies:   pappyo
REP

@Dominions Son

No story can score less than 0 or more than 10.

I think you meant less than a 1.

REP

@robberhands

To me it doesn't look "abnormal".


I think you are overlooking that EB's scores are not raw data. They are the scores that have been processed by Lazeez's normalization algorithm.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

In your flood of stats, you give No Vote a percentage. That assumes you have a means of determining how many people read the story but did not vote. The only stat I can think of for determining how many people read a story would be download count, and as we all know Lazeez has said that number cannot be trusted.

So how did you determine the number of people who did not vote?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@REP


So how did you determine the number of people who did not vote?


edit to add this paragraph: It wasn't people who didn't vote, but stories no one has yet voted on.

The bulk of the numbers I used for the stats came from using the Advanced Search engine by entering numbers in the field to find stories with scores between x and y. I did this for the total numbers of all groups in each set of stats. Then I did fourth run where I could break it down into the Sex Level types (can't do that in the Advanced Search).

The fourth time around I used the Complex Category Search engine and did a search on (+) 2nd POV then (-) 2nd POV for each Sex Level type and added them together for a number. However, this would only allow me to enter a low end number and counted everything above it. So I started with 9, got the 2 figures and added them together, then when I got the figure for 8 and deducted the figure for 9 and above to get the figure for the 8-9 group. After running the search for 1 and above I noticed it didn't match the total from the other search engine. So I ran it with no number in the score field and got a new number and got a matching number, I noted the difference between those figures as being the stories without any votes.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater

Thanks. The percentage makes more sense as stories without votes.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


We'll have to disagree on that. A substantial proportion of highly-rated long stories have, in my opinion, disappointingly poor writing quality.


As the expression goes, sometimes quantity is a quality of its own. The quality may be low, but the imagination/creativity behind it may have been high, and thus the higher score. Remember, one of the main scoring criteria is "how interesting" you found a story to be.

In that context, a story seemingly written by a 3rd grader could earn a high score in the right circumstances. It's highly unlikely for a range of reasons, but it can happen.

The "other factor" going for the "high imagination"/long story theory is many of them were first/second stories by authors, often written without much of an outline if any, and posted as they progressed serial style. Which tends to result in both "story sprawl" and the infamous "meandering story" that moves "very slowly" in some respects because of how much it's covering. (Even if "very slow progress" in some cases is because the author expends 100k+ words on a single day in a story which is focused on something that plays out over days/weeks/months or even years.)

Complaints about a "poorly focused story" are one thing. Saying a story is "uninteresting" because of that flaw alone is another.

Not_a_ID

@robberhands

You claimed 'the best authors are more likely to write no-sex stories' as reasoning behind your assumptions and expectations. So I think it's fair to ask how you came to that conclusion.


While I wouldn't have phrased it that way, I would generally agree with the sentiment. "High quality Authors" tend to write better focused stories, which means they "don't wander" very far from the "core" of the story they're trying to tell.

Which means if a scene fails to provide either a needed context for the story, or fails to advance the plot in any significant way(that can be easily done elsewhere), then it gets cut.

How often does sex advance a storyline outside of stories "specifically geared that way" to include it? Interest in sex obviously plays a significant role in normal life. The actual sex itself? Not so much.

In the context of "art imitates life" that means most sex acts are inconsequential in and of themselves. Which means most sex acts in the context of a story will be inconsequential to the plot of the story. Sure it happened, but the details don't matter. A good writer will realize that, and consequently, the sex gets excised from the story.

Replies:   robberhands
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

G'day All,

I just finished working out a lot more statistics and am too lazy to retype them here. There in a spreadsheet available at DropBox as:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/e221x0rw0o7fcmu/zzSol-stats.ods?dl=0

This is an Open Document Spreadsheet and should be able to be opened by any spreadsheet program if it doesn't display for you and you have to download it.

The methodology was to use the Complex Category Search form to get a figure for each group using the 2nd POV category in both the (-) and the +9) options, and add the together. I started with the score of 9 and up, and then worked my way down calculating the value for each new group by deducting the value of the higher group - thus there is no duplication of numbers anywhere. The counts are by Sex level group and score value.

The only info not in the spread sheet that may be of interest is when i did the checks for the score of 9 and higher I also noted hoe many stories didn't yet have the minimum number of votes to display the score - so that means the total votes for those stories was 19 or less.

No Sex - 39 stories with 15 No score displayed

Minimal Sex - 15 stories with 6 No score displayed

Some Sex - 56 stories with 10 No score displayed

Much Sex - 45 stories with 18 No score displayed

Stroke - 2 stories with 2 No score displayed - both by the same author.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

I just finished working out a lot more statistics

Thanks, EB, for those statistics.
I was surprised by the results. I had thought, like the original poster, that readers "penalised" stories with a low sex content, not giving them the credit they deserved based on the quality of the story and writing.
The curve of scores is very similar for No-Sex and Minimal Sex stories. The peak is fractionally lower for Some Sex, significantly lower for Much Sex, and very much lower for Stroke stories.
My guess, which I cannot prove, is the general quality of low-sex stories is higher than for high-sex stories - but I did not expect that to be reflected so clearly in the scores.
I no longer think readers penalise low-sex scores. If anything, it appears they tend to penalise stories with too much sex, and not enough story.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

If anything, it appears they tend to penalise stories with too much sex, and not enough story.


There's not enough information available to make conclusive statements, but I suspect the readers tend to penalise stories with a lot of repetitive sex scenes and excess gratuitous sex scenes. I've read a story where there were three of four sex scenes in every chapter, I found you could skip right over them and not miss a single part of the story or plot, I also found that the author only wrote about four sex scenes and rotated them through the story so the same scene turned up over 20 times in the story with only the names of the participants changing for each scene. That sort of crap is boring. I've also seen some stories with a lot of different sex scene, but they're rare.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

Yeah. I think my statement should have read, 'they tend to penalise stories when the story suffers because of too much sex' ... but I'll keep the 'If anything' part to avoid sounding too conclusive.

The results kind of restored my faith in human nature.

I expected the average score of stories with sex to be slightly lower because of what the trolls do to stories including MM sex, about 6% of the total. However, if it was just that then the Some and Much Sex stories would suffer as much the Stroke stories. That is not so; the downgrading becomes stronger as the level of sex increases. It does appear it's excessive sex that becomes boring that they will penalise.

robberhands

@Not_a_ID

I don't disagree with anything you said. It's a straight-lined argumentation and very reasonable. But I think it's just one kind of 'high quality author'. I prefer another kind. The kind of author who focuses on the enjoyment of his readers. About 90% of the stories on SoL are 'sex stories', so obviously there is a request for that kind of stories. I greatly enjoy a well written sex story, and that includes an interesting plot and well painted characters. In other words a good story plus sex. Luckily there are many excellent writers on SoL providing these kind of stories. I don't like to see their efforts discredited, or unfairly rated second best, simply because they write what many people enjoy to read.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

It does appear it's excessive sex that becomes boring that they will penalise.


I think that statement is the key. Of the 105 stories on my page the one with a lot of sex that scores the highest is the one with the most differences in the graphic sex scenes. It's not conclusive, but it is indicative of the variety heading toward a better score.

Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

I greatly enjoy a well written sex story, and that includes an interesting plot and well painted characters. In other words a good story plus sex.


I agree that such authors writing such stories should be recognised by high scores - and I think they are. However, the sad thing is a great number of the sex stories on SoL miss out on the interesting plot and well painted characters. Way too often what is presented in the sex stories is a bunch of sex scenes strung together with a mediocre plot. The other problem area is a good story littered with mediocre sex scenes because the author feels the story has to have sex scenes to be on SoL - and the sex scenes aren't as well done as the rest of the story, thus pulling the story down.

I think it comes back to what's been said quite a few times - a good plot with well developed characters results in a good story, regardless of there being sex in the story or not.

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

However, the sad thing is a great number of the sex stories on SoL miss out on the interesting plot and well painted characters. Way too often what is presented in the sex stories is a bunch of sex scenes strung together with a mediocre plot.

That's not sad, it's just the way it is. It's the same with movies. Do you also bemoan the existence of porn movies, just because there are movies with excelent stories and interesting characters and without any sex? Both genres have a publicum, so I can't see a reason to feel sad about it.

I think it comes back to what's been said quite a few times - a good plot with well developed characters results in a good story, regardless of there being sex in the story or not.

Absolutely.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

However, the sad thing is a great number of the sex stories on SoL miss out on the interesting plot and well painted characters. Way too often what is presented in the sex stories is a bunch of sex scenes strung together with a mediocre plot.

Why be sad? Without all those stories, the scores for your stories would be lower. :-)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

Without all those stories, the scores for your stories would be lower. :-)


I didn't think of it that way, because I'd rather have more good stories to read than so many with serious faults clogging the works.

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

The other problem area is a good story littered with mediocre sex scenes because the author feels the story has to have sex scenes to be on SoL - and the sex scenes aren't as well done as the rest of the story, thus pulling the story down.

There are also authors with a great talent to write excititing sex scenes, but their talent to write interesting plots or create enchanting characters isn't as well developed. Their stories become better because of the sex. I hope that thought will feel comforting, and might ease your worries.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


I agree that such authors writing such stories should be recognised by high scores - and I think they are. However, the sad thing is a great number of the sex stories on SoL miss out on the interesting plot and well painted characters. Way too often what is presented in the sex stories is a bunch of sex scenes strung together with a mediocre plot. The other problem area is a good story littered with mediocre sex scenes because the author feels the story has to have sex scenes to be on SoL - and the sex scenes aren't as well done as the rest of the story, thus pulling the story down.


Another comparison basis would likely be many of the "recent" HBO (and other subscription networks) titles that have "pornographic" or at a minimum, overtly "sexual content" in them.

Compared to their counterparts on either side of the spectrum relative to them. Where on one side you get almost pure porn, with practically no plot or story, just sex(and still makes decent money). While on the other side you have productions that tend to pretend sex and the assorted "naughty bits" don't exist. Although more than a few of those programs may play with "sexual tension" actual sex is a no go.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

'they tend to penalise stories when the story suffers because of too much sex'


In my opinion, too much sex is one of the lesser faults of that ilk that a story can have because the sex scenes are relatively safe to skip over. Compare that with too many meetings, too much technical or mechanical detail, too many shopping lists, too much of the author's political and economic theories, too many descriptions of the protagonists having breakfast - there's more danger of the author slipping in a gun above the mantlepiece.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play  Not_a_ID
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

In my opinion, too much sex is one of the lesser faults of that ilk

I agree and you make a valid point: there are many things besides excessive sex which can clog up an otherwise interesting story.
My comment was an observation about how readers tend to score stories, not the kinds of things that are better left out of stories.

there's more danger of the author slipping in a gun above the mantlepiece.

Maybe some American authors will slip on guns above their mantelpieces and help clear away some of the chaff for us. :-)

joyR

@Crumbly Writer

Many of us here simply won't read anything that's lower than a 7, definitely nothing 5 or below.


If that statement is correct it means that the 'many' allow the few to dictate what they read.

Every story posted starts with a score of 0 so you are saying that you will only read stories that are judged to be at least a 7, by people who read stories regardless of how low they score.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@joyR

Every story posted starts with a score of 0

Stories actually start with no score, and the system will not display any score until some minimum number of votes have been cast.

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@richardshagrin

No story can score less than 1


Any story with voting turned off will score 0

joyR

It's a pity that download figures are not to be trusted, because a far more accurate indication of which types of story are more popular with readers would be the total number of readers, rather than the scores achieved.

Ignoring the fact that statistics can be used to prove anything. It's really a matter of which gives greater satisfaction to an author. Having a story read by 20 people and voted a 9.5 or having a story read by 20,000 people and voted a 6

Would the author with the 9.5 score really be the better author..?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
joyR

@Ross at Play

Stories actually start with no score, and the system will not display any score until some minimum number of votes have been cast.


And your personal definition of the meaning of 0 is...?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@joyR

And your personal definition of the meaning of 0 is...?

My personal definition is the one I learned while majoring in Mathematics at university, and I regard zero and non-existent as entirely different things.
How would you define the score of a story if everyone who has voted for it so far has voted 10, but there are not enough votes yet for the system to display a score for readers?

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@Ross at Play

How would you define the score of a story if everyone who has voted for it so far has voted 10, but there are not enough votes yet for the system to display a score for readers?


In exactly the same way as I define a story with voting turned off. Both score 0 until such time as the system displays a higher score.

Granted the system needs a certain number of votes before a score is displayed, but other than you voting and therefore knowing the score you awarded, without the score being displayed, you cannot know what score a story has, other than what is displayed.

Congratulations on the maths major, did you pass?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@joyR

Would the author with the 9.5 score really be the better author..?


This is something that has worried me too. I think the number of votes is a better indicator than the actual score.

For a story posted in one go, if as many as 10% of the readers vote on it, you can expect a very good story no matter what the score.

AJ

Not_a_ID

@awnlee jawking

In my opinion, too much sex is one of the lesser faults of that ilk that a story can have because the sex scenes are relatively safe to skip over. Compare that with too many meetings, too much technical or mechanical detail, too many shopping lists, too much of the author's political and economic theories, too many descriptions of the protagonists having breakfast - there's more danger of the author slipping in a gun above the mantlepiece.


In the case of what is being demonstrated regarding "stroke stories" in particular, is a problem not much unlike a "pure porn/no plot" video. The author's chosen mission as it were, is to generate as much sexual content as possible in as little time as possible. So there is basically no plot, no foreplay, it's "just sex."

And surprisingly enough for a website which caters to sex stories. Those stories get penalized for being uninspired, or really having anything that sets them apart from the hundreds that came before it. Except the matter that theirs is the newest one posted.

Replies:   REP  pappyo
REP

@Not_a_ID

Those stories get penalized for being uninspired,


Which would appear to indicate that SOL readers want a good plot with their sex over just sex.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@REP

Which would appear to indicate that SOL readers want a good plot with their sex over just sex.

Perhaps there are times when a stroke story is so good at doing its "job" that readers forget to give it a score afterwards. :-)

awnlee jawking

@joyR

Congratulations on the maths major, did you pass?


What sort of question is that! You should be asking how he picks his lottery numbers ;)

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

You should be asking how he picks his lottery numbers ;)

Out of other people's pockets. The nett return from lotteries is typically very low compared to other forms of gambling.

Ross at Play
Updated:

I have a question for Lazeez.

As I understand the scoring system, during every period the system calculates weighting factor(s) that result in the mean of all votes being six. The scores of stories are then the mean of their weighted votes, after discarding some outliers.
Some statistics EB has compiled suggest the mean score of all stories is roughly 6.5.
It seems safe to assume that higher-scoring stories tend to receive more votes than lower-scoriing ones, which would produce a mean of all stories a bit below six.
Do you have an explanation for this apparent anomaly?
One possible explanation I can think of is that more low-scoring stories have been removed from the system over the years.
Another is the system does not include in the calculation of weighting factors stories from the public domain you add to the site, and presumably tend to score highly. Doing that would make sense to me, because otherwise some author-supplied stories may end up unfairly downgraded if they were posted at the same time as many votes were being cast for a newly loaded set of public-domain stories.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Why?
Because they don't like to write sex scenes?
Or because their readers don't like them?
Or because sex scenes diminish the value of a story, so they wouldn't be best authors anymore?

How about: 1) they write based on plot, rather than the amount of sex, and 2) they have more confidence, and won't force into a story where it doesn't fit.

Replies:   robberhands
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

My hypothesis is similar to that. I'm not so certain that long stories are uprated by readers. I suspect at least some of the apparent uprating is the result of better authors being more ambitious, and writing longer stories.

Another hypothesis (opinion) is that some authors write long stories, not because of their skill level, but because that's the type of story they prefer. From what I've experienced, most LONG stories are an authors first, and often only, story, and since most new authors on the site start with sex stories, these longer stories tend to be in the Much Sex category, thus skewing the results as well.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

We'll have to disagree on that. A substantial proportion of highly-rated long stories have, in my opinion, disappointingly poor writing quality.

If you think the scores have no relations to story quality, then WTF are you arguing? Why would you friggin' care what the scores are in that case?

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

Some statistics EB has compiled suggest the mean score of all stories is roughly 6.5.
It seems safe to assume that higher-scoring stories tend to receive more votes than lower-scoriing ones, which would produce a mean of all stories a bit below six.


In the help page on Scoring Lazeez says:

1. The system calculates a story's raw average vote after dropping the top 5% and the bottom 5% of the votes to eliminate outliers.

2. The system knows all the stories raw scores and knows the median of these raw scores.

3. The score weighing formula figures where the story's raw score sits between this median and the extremes of 1 and 10. Then it calculates the same relative location for a median of 6.00. So if a story's raw score is equal to the raw scores median, it will end up with a score of 6. if it has a perfect 10 score, it remains at 10. If it has a raw score of 1, then it stays at 1. Stories with raw scores closest to the raw median are moved the most on the scale. Stories closer to the extremes are moved less. The raw scores median is calculated twice per day.

4. The weighed score gets used as the story's score for display on the site.

This weighing algorithm preserves the relative order of the stories. So if you sort the stories by raw score and by weighed score, you'll get the exact same line up of stories.

To put it simply, the score weighing algorithm shifts scores to create an artificial median of 6.00.


I could be wrong, but to me it would seem the weighting system doesn't shift the 1s or the 10s at all. Thus, if there's a tendency to more 10s than 1s, the mean score would be above the median of 6.

Also, when I look at stats, like those for Mike's stories where there are the number of votes / score of: 3,030 / 8.93 - 1,751 / 8.16, 2,218 / 8.54, 1,849 / 8.05, 1,022 / 7.40 - I chose Mikes because 5 stories is easier to look at than 105. I then go look at the bar graph for them to see the first story has 1,471 10s, and half as many 9s then half that as 8s and a line for 7 The lowest score on any story is a 6, and damn few of them. The total of votes cast is 9,859 with about 3,700 10s, about 2,500 9s, and about 2,500 8s. That's a heavy lean toward the top end, and his graphs are very much like a lot of my story graphs.

Of course, there's also the difference between the median and the mean - see the image at

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Comparison_mean_median_mode.svg

from

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

Thanks for identifying the explanation of the scoring system.
The method of calculation is not what I thought, but there still appears to be an apparent anomaly to me.
Certainly, I was wrong in suggesting the curve of scores may be affected by a tendency for high-scoring stories to receive more votes.
I would now expect the median score to be (almost) exactly six. I calculate (which will be very close, but not exact) a median score of 6.69.
I'll wait for Lazeez's explanation. I'm sure there's a rational reason for what I see.

robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

How about: 1) they write based on plot, rather than the amount of sex, and 2) they have more confidence, and won't force into a story where it doesn't fit.

So the 'best authors' avoid mistakes every good writer should avoid. That's just stating the obvious, but no argument why the 'best authors' are more likely to write stories without sex. Exchange sex with violence or drama and your statement stays true for stories without sex, too.

1) They write based on plot, rather than the amount of violence or drama, and 2) they have more confidence, and won't force violence or drama into a story where it doesn't fit.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Ross at Play
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@robberhands


So the 'best authors' avoid mistakes every good writer should avoid. That's just stating the obvious, but no argument why the 'best authors' are more likely to write stories without sex. Exchange sex with violence or drama and your statement stays true for stories without sex, too.


When most normal people, that aren't assholes, are having sex, their attention tends to be focused on just that. So not much else is likely to happen.

While in a "dramatic situation" or "violent situation" any number of permutations are available that don't result in your characters coming off looking either very abnormal, or assholes.

Edit: That isn't to say you can't create a setting in which casual/indifferent sexual activity is considered "normal" for the people involved. It just means you're going to have a harder time trying to "sell" that to the reader.

Of course, I guess there is always the under the desk/table hijinks that can be employed, but there's only so much that can be done there.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Not_a_ID

I don't object anything you said, I just can't see the point you want to make. Good authors should avoid redundancy in their stories. That's pretty obvious and true for every kind of story. Do you want to say that sex in its very nature is redundant and therefor has to be avoided in a story at all times? I don't think that's what you wanted to say and you didn't, but if it's not, what is your point?

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Ross at Play

@robberhands

Are you and CW arguing about a statement that I originally made? - 'the best authors are more likely to write no-sex stories'.
May I constructively suggest you discuss instead my assertion - 'the best authors are less likely to write stories with a lot of sex'. I think you are more likely to reach some sort of agreement about that: there are now statistics available which clearly show a trend exists.

When I first asked EB to compile some statistics, I asked for a breakdown of scores for each of the five values for Sex Content. He only had time to produce results comparing no-sex stories to all others in the first set of statistics he produced.
I anticipated the results would show some drop-off of very high scores for stories with a lot of sex. The only reason my original statement mentioned 'no-sex stories' was that was the only data available at that time.

The full data is now available and it very clearly shows a trend in the highest-scoring stories. These are my calculations for the score at the first decile for the five levels of Sex Content:
None Min. Some Much Stroke
8.12 8.21 8.02 7.63 7.25
These results will be close enough to show the trend quite accurately, except for the Much Sex value, which is slightly higher than it should be.
The trend is very clear: it's very hard to write a story with a lot of sex that scores very well, and increasingly hard as the level of sex increases. I might not consider these results statistically significant if they were based on only 400 scores, but with over 40,000 stories I do think it's reasonable to assert that the trend exists.
It's obviously not possible to be certain about the cause(s) of this trend - there are so many variables affecting scores - but I think those here should be permitted to hypothesise about probable causes without being challenged about their opinions. I would imagine most theories those here might propose would be partially, but not completely, true.

So, robberhands, will you please reconsider the statements CW has been making that you object to? I think he would concede those comments are not restricted to no-sex stories, but would also apply to stories with some sex - just not to those with too much sex. They may not be provable, but they seem to me to be opinions it's quite reasonable for him to hold.

To both of you, please don't bother responding to this post. I won't answer anything either of you say!

pappyo

@Ernest Bywater

The scoring is set up to toss out the highest and lowest 5% of votes and then to regress that mean to a prior. Therefor, a story with the same actual vote distributions but a higher number of votes will rate well. The longevity of a story is correlated to it's quality (as people still want to read it) but the score will naturally rise as it hangs around and gets more votes. The actual vote totals for my stories average about 8.3 while it's reported as 7.0 due to the regression with the comparitively small number of votes.

Replies:   Ross at Play
pappyo

@Not_a_ID

I posted my two recent stories here as a writing challenge, to post a single chapter 'stroke story' of three to four thousand words, that has character development and a plot as well as a payoff. I wanted to sexual situation in the story to be as plausible as possible. Isn't the thought that taboo sex might actually occur something that makes reading about it more exciting?

Ross at Play
Updated:

@pappyo

The scoring is set up to toss out the highest and lowest 5% of votes and then to regress that mean to a prior. Therefor, a story with the same actual vote distributions but a higher number of votes will rate well. The longevity of a story is correlated to it's quality (as people still want to read it) but the score will naturally rise as it hangs around and gets more votes. The actual vote totals for my stories average about 8.3 while it's reported as 7.0 due to the regression with the comparitively small number of votes.

You've misinterpreted something. The number of votes does NOT affect the score. If you had exactly ten times the number of 10 votes, and 9 votes, ... and 1 votes, your score would be exactly the same.

This is a trivial point. It is possible for a score to change without any extra votes being cast for it. If your score is currently showing as 7.00, but its actual value is 7.0049, a sudden surge in low votes for other stories could push your score up a fraction, and the system would then show it as 7.01.

Isn't the thought that taboo sex might actually occur something that makes reading about it more exciting?

You've actually done well to get a score of 7 with a stroke story, especially one that's very short. If you look at the lengthy post I made just above, I calculated an estimate that only 10% of all Stroke stories have a score of 7.25 or better. :-) I'm sure your story scored well because you included a plot and character development as well.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ross at Play


The number of votes does NOT affect the score.


This is not exactly true. The number of votes doesn't have a linear effect but it does have some effect.

The effect will be more pronounced when the total number of votes is less than 100.

The system always throws out the same number of votes at the top and bottom and it can only throw out a whole number of votes.

So lets posit a story with 99 votes,

Vote(count)

1(5)

8(89)

9(1)

10(4)

The raw total is 766 and the average is 7.73

5% of 99 is 4.95 but the system can only remove whole votes, so the top and bottom 4 are removed and the adjusted average is 7.93 ((8*89) + 9 + 1)/91

If you add 1 more vote of 7 to push the total to 100, what happens?

The new score is below the raw and adjusted averages, so the first impression is that the score would drop slightly.

But that's not what happens. Since the number of raw votes is now 100, the system will remove the top and bottom 5 votes and the score actually jumps to 7.99 (7+(8*89))/90

Not_a_ID

@robberhands

I don't object anything you said, I just can't see the point you want to make. Good authors should avoid redundancy in their stories. That's pretty obvious and true for every kind of story. Do you want to say that sex in its very nature is redundant and therefor has to be avoided in a story at all times? I don't think that's what you wanted to say and you didn't, but if it's not, what is your point?


Not so much that sex is redundant, more that sex is typically superfluous to development of the plot in most stories aside from the fact that it happened. Because generally speaking, it doesn't matter if he's taking her doggie style, or she's riding reverse cowgirl. Now if an assassin(or angry spouse/ex) is going to take pot shots at them from behind the one "on top" it becomes somewhat relevant to the story. However, that doesn't necessarily mean we need a detailed accounting of their successful exploration of 6 positions from the Kama Sutra prior to that.

I'm all for sexy context, and gratuitous inclusion of related things even when it may not be strictly necessary. But there is a point where it becomes "too much" and the story suffers because of it.

It isn't that I am arguing(or wanting) for less sexual content in stories. It is that good stories with large amounts of sexual content are hard to write, because once more, actions(rather than events unrelated) that occur during sex rarely advance or impact a storyline. Obviously there are ways they can, but it gets back to an author can only do that so many times in a story before it starts coming off as blatantly contrived by the author--and the story suffers because of it.

Replies:   robberhands  Joe Long
robberhands

@Not_a_ID

It isn't that I am arguing(or wanting) for less sexual content in stories. It is that good stories with large amounts of sexual content are hard to write, because once more, actions(rather than events unrelated) that occur during sex rarely advance or impact a storyline. Obviously there are ways they can, but it gets back to an author can only do that so many times in a story before it starts coming off as blatantly contrived by the author--and the story suffers because of it.

If it's hard to write, or better let's say difficult because of the lewd context, wouldn't that also imply that a very good author might be able to pull it off, whereas a mere mediocre author would fail? Remember we were talking about the 'best authors'.

Replies:   Ross at Play  Not_a_ID
Ross at Play
Updated:

@robberhands

If it's hard to write, or better let's say difficult because of the lewd context (sic) ...

So you want to play Who's the Most-Annoying Nitpicking Arsehole?
Game on!

Nitpick #1

Why is difficult 'better' than hard?
The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary gives this as it's second definition of the adjective hard:

difficult to do, understand or answer

It then provides this example:
quote}
hard for somebody (to do something) It's hard for old people to change their ways.

How "old" are you???
Difficult is not 'better'; they mean exactly the bloody same thing!

Nitpick #2

You should have a comma after difficult?
These words in your sentence, 'or better let's say difficult', are what is called a 'parenthetic phrase' (and various other names).
It is actually two parenthetic phrases, 'or better' and 'let's say difficult', but they are linked closely enough that it's reasonable to treat them as one.
Parenthetic phrases interrupt the main body of a sentence. The test for them is whether what's left if they were deleted still makes grammatical sense. You're sentence does.
The usual way to punctuate parenthetic phrases is with a comma before and after them, but you can often get away with not having a comma at either. The one thing you cannot do is to use a comma to introduce a parenthetic phrase and then not have some punctuation to close it.
Your sentence has a 'dependent' phrase, 'because of the lewd context'. That has been separated by your single comma from the clause it is dependent on, 'If it's hard to write'!

Nitpick #3

The word context does not make sense to me. I think that should be content.

Nitpick #4

You should also have some punctuation mark to show that the words hard and difficult in your sentence are being quoted from another source. That is usually achieved by either enclosing them in single quote marks or putting them italic font.

By the way, I have a "friend" I can't wait to introduce you to. He uses the name Dominions Son here. I can just tell that you two are going to get on like a house on fire ... I just hope the supply of houses is large enough to cope.

* * *

To Dominions Son:
I apologise for dragging you into this like that. I trust you'll understand I intended no offense, to you.
May I say that I've noticed you have been very "good" for quite some time now, and I have appreciated that. :-)

Not_a_ID

@robberhands

If it's hard to write, or better let's say difficult because of the lewd context, wouldn't that also imply that a very good author might be able to pull it off, whereas a mere mediocre author would fail? Remember we were talking about the 'best authors'.


That's the issue with speaking in generalities. "Best authors" probably could write very good "stroke" or "much sex" stories. But the reality is, due to that same difficulty issue, which impacts them as well, they'll tend not to do so. Because people generally prefer "easy" over "difficult."

Which also isn't even touching on the matter of "forcing the muse" in such scenarios. As that brings us back to the amount of work/creativity involved in both keeping the sexual context unique/"fresh" and also relevant to the plot, rather than something that can be skipped or edited out without being missed.

So while they could do so, generally speaking "Best authors" will not do so. Resulting in their tending towards production of works with less sexual content rather than more of it. But being a generality, that's just speaking to the odds of what they'll write at a given time. You never know, their "muse" may drop a "stroke" story in their lap next week.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Not_a_ID

But being a generality, that's just speaking to the odds of what they'll write at a given time. You never know, their "muse" may drop a "stroke" story in their lap next week.

Personelly I don't care for stroke stories, so I'll hope it will be a "much" or "some sex" story that drops in their lap. Looking at the top stories lists on SoL those seem to drop fairly often, and I'm very satisfied with their authors and their quality.

Ernest Bywater

This is definitely intended as a personal observation, and may not apply to any other author at all. However, I've found that in some stories it's easy to include good sex scenes that contribute to the story, while in others they would be totally gratuitous and do nothing but get in the way of the story. When I do include sex scenes I try to keep them varied and interesting, but it's not as easy as you would think off hand. Then, again, the same comments can be made for a fight scene or a shoot-out. All three have a lot of potential to get repetitious and boring, and I need to avoid that sort of problem.

In Odd Man in College I started with a basic concept which I thought would result in a 'Much Sex' story - a guy in a girls dorm is a classic for that type of story. However, once I got started on the story I found the several sex scenes I wrote were getting in the way of the development of the characters and the general plot, so I pulled them, and the story developed much better after that. NB: That's why the weird gear in the fancy bed was there, but never got used; they were a sideline I removed and I didn't go back to delete the gear being there ,because it added a bit of humour in a few places when people saw it.

The sad part is the sequel got held up by the Gestapo, and then when I started to re-write it I had to hold off while some of the world events got themselves sorted out. I now need to go back to finish the sequel, but that requires a lot more research since the old research is not only gone, but void, now. It will be done.

I've got two other works in progress where they can go 'No Sex' or 'Some Sex' or 'Much Sex' but they're at plot problem where I can't make up my mind on which way to go, and once I do the sex level will be a major part of that decision. With delays like this it's a good thing I usually have a couple of dozen stories wandering around in my mid trying to sneak down the arms to the keyboard and the computer. I'm working on them, but life has a bad habit of getting in the way of what i want to do.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

When I do include sex scenes I try to keep them varied and interesting, but it's not as easy as you would think off hand.

I wouldn't think that at all, and it becomes more difficult the longer the story continues, at least for me. I couldn't even imagin to write one of the 5k+ epic 'much sex' stories. I admire the perseverance and determination of their authors.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

I couldn't even imagin to write one of the 5k+ epic 'much sex' stories. I admire the perseverance and determination of their authors.


When you see my most common story length is 45,000 to 60,000 words with a few up in the 200,000 word range it do take a while to put together a good yarn - be it with or without sex.

NB: Longest is 275,000 words with the next 2 stories at 268,000 and 269,000 words.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Ross at Play

I'll wait for Lazeez's explanation. I'm sure there's a rational reason for what I see.


I'm not discussing the scoring system again.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

I'm not discussing the scoring system again.

I can live with that, and thanks for the response.

Joe Long

@Not_a_ID

CW mentioned to me recently about using a sex scene as a trust building exercise. There will be sex, but what's important is what they say to each other before and after.

In the scene after the one I'm writing now, they are cuddling but she's been distraught and won't let him stick it in right away. She wants to talk. She needs to trust his motives.

She says, "What if I told you I don't like sex anymore?"

"I'd think you were lying."

"Okay - what if we stopped having sex? Would you still love me?"

He gives a good answer and she lets him slide it in for some nice, slow, passionate lovemaking. It's also a setup for a sequel scene with a girl who has only average looks and doesn't believe in premarital sex. Is she still someone who he can love?

Back to the original couple, later they are in bed and she asks him about his previous girlfriends, eventually teasing him that, "You're not that good" which gets into a discussion of whether it's good to be able to compare your current partner's performance in bed to past partners. Just enjoy it for what it is or be thinking that the ex gave better blow jobs? Again, is sex necessary part of loving someone, and can it get in the way?

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Joe Long

CW mentioned to me recently about using a sex scene as a trust building exercise. There will be sex, but what's important is what they say to each other before and after.


This cycles back to "generally speaking" such encounters are not needed, not relevant, and whatever plot advancement that may happen could easily be done elsewhere.

There are always going to be cases where the "general expectation" doesn't hold true. A good writer will know the difference, a mediocre one won't(and probably leave it there).

Also of note in that specific example is the "plot relevant parts" happen either just as the sex starts, or after its concluded. Making it not too difficult to "just skip over" most of the sex from there.

Replies:   Joe Long  Joe Long
Joe Long

@Not_a_ID

This cycles back to "generally speaking" such encounters are not needed, not relevant, and whatever plot advancement that may happen could easily be done elsewhere.


It is true that in my examples sex was not necessary to make the plot point. However, do we expect them to have a relationship without sex? That's a different type, which I will also write about. If they are having sex, to what level of detail do we portray it? As time goes by I'm editing the sex scenes in my WIP to be less graphic, but also to my example, that she only lets him proceed in a certain circumstance is important to the plot. I don't have a lot of scenes. They get intimate every couple of weeks on average - but I make sure that scene has story value just like any other.

Joe Long
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


Also of note in that specific example is the "plot relevant parts" happen either just as the sex starts, or after its concluded. Making it not too difficult to "just skip over" most of the sex from there.


You won't need a thousand word blow by blow description, just the flow of action, the emotions and the conversations.

Mental draft -


She ran down the hall to her room, clad only in her panties and bra. I followed her in to find her on the bed, facing away from the door. Out of her sight, I slipped off my shirt, leaving only my socks and boxers, and asked, "Can I lay down with you?"

"Yeah - but don't go stickin' that thing anywhere. I just need you to hold me."

I snuggled up from behind to spoon her. When my hand slipped from her shoulder to her breast she lightly smacked it away. "I told you - no touching until I say so."

"Okay."

"Shh. Let me think."

She held my hand and it wasn't until several minutes later when she whispered, "Tell me about your girlfriends..."

"...and two weeks later I met you."

"Okay, I'm ready."

I lifted up her leg and nudged forward. Upon feeling me enter she rolled away and said, "Aren't you forgetting something? You better go get that rubber."

Latex encased, I started the process over. As I worked my way deeper, she cooed. "Oh, yes, that's what I need."

I kept it slow, nibbling at her neck and fondling her breasts from behind, the only sounds her moans and the gentle slapping of our thighs. When I was getting close my pace naturally picked up, and she slipped a hand down there to rub herself to climax as I stiffened and filled the condom which was deep inside her.

After I pulled out she rolled over, held my face, and kissed me. "Thank you."


Her emotions and general state of mind, testing whether she could trust him to follow directions and be devoted to her in the long term, the use of the condom, the pacing - all these are the kinds of things that can be shown that are important to the plot while describing the sex but not in "intimate" detail

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands
Updated:

@Joe Long

I can't shake off the feeling that behind all those reasonable sounding explanation lurks a lot of hypocrisy. No one has to hide shamefaced in a dark corner because he enjoys to read about a dogfight between two pilots; a gunfight between gunslingers; a lengthy description of a difficult break-in; but to read about people having sex is superflous. Although all those scenes have the same potential to add to a story in regards to character development or to the plot. Or they don't add much, and a reader just enjoys the scenery.

Replies:   Ross at Play  REP  Not_a_ID
Ross at Play
Updated:

@robberhands

I can't shake off the feeling that behind all those reasonable sounding explanations lurks a lot of hypocrisy

I don't see the scope their explanations as going far enough to result in hypocrisy.
If I thought their meaning was to suggest others should limit explicit content, I'm not sure what word I would choose to describe that - but it would be insulting.
I interpret their comments as being only a discussion of what they do (plus why, its effect,...) to achieve the results they find most satisfying when they choose to limit explicit content.
There is an equally valid question that could be being discussed here: how can authors employ gunfights to enhance the way they show the development of their characters,

REP

@robberhands

Or they don't add much, and a reader just enjoys the scenery.


It becomes a problem when the scenery (sex) is 50+ percent of the content, and the plot is not about having sex.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@REP

It becomes a problem when the scenery (sex) is 50+ percent of the content, and the plot is not about having sex.

I agree, but it also would become a problem if 50% of the scenery were dogfights, gun fights or break-ins, and that's the point.

Not_a_ID

@robberhands

I can't shake off the feeling that behind all those reasonable sounding explanation lurks a lot of hypocrisy. No one has to hide shamefaced in a dark corner because he enjoys to read about a dogfight between two pilots;


Forget what the jargon term is for such stories, but there actually is something of a "genre" for this kind of thing. And it basically could be described as "excessively detailed act by act accounts of fighter dog fights"

a gunfight between gunslingers;


"Gun porn" is a thing.

a lengthy description of a difficult break-in;


Depending on the story and genre(crime), that may be a very appropriate thing to include. It's kind of like a "hard SciFi" story going into a very detailed description of the mechanics behind how a particular thing is possible/happening in the story.

but to read about people having sex is superflous.


If the story's major focus has little or nothing to do with sex, then having detailed blow by blow(literally!) accounts of sex acts is very likely to be superfluous.

It's either that or the author went "I think this story isn't going to do well on its own merits. So I better throw in a lot of sex scenes for good measure, and then market it under the erotica sub-genre as well." It still doesn't make the sex scenes relevant to the story line, it just makes the sexual content relevant to the specific genre the author was targeting.

Although all those scenes have the same potential to add to a story in regards to character development or to the plot. Or they don't add much, and a reader just enjoys the scenery.


Not going to argue that point, but in more than a few cases, it gets to the point with some authors, when those types of scenes come up, it's time to skip ahead a few paragraphs, check in briefly, and probably skip ahead several more, rinse and repeat, probably several times, until you find yourself 15 pages further into the book, at which point the story continues, and you've missed nothing for having just skipped over nearly all of those 15 pages.

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

and you've missed nothing for having just skipped over nearly all of those 15 pages.


Or maybe you have, but you'll never know for sure because you skipped over them.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
robberhands

@Not_a_ID

I simply don't see a reason sex is especially to mention when talking about redundancy or disutility in stories. It's like every other theme or activity in a story. Not a special detriment in need of extra caution. Cause and effect is the same in every story, no matter if sex is a part of the story. Use the scenes in your story to develop and progress plot and characters, and you get a good story (potentially, an interesting storyline is needed as well).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

I simply don't see a reason sex is especially to mention when talking about redundancy or disutility in stories.


By itself, it isn't, except a number of authors and readers keep pushing the incorrect statement a story on Sol has to have sex in it. Thus some authors insert repetitious boring sex scenes to meet that false statement. Anything where the same thing is repeated time after time is boring, but a boring gratuitous sex scene is about the classic example of wasted text.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

By itself, it isn't, except a number of authors and readers keep pushing the incorrect statement a story on Sol has to have sex in it.

Since there are hundreds of no sex stories on SoL, and they even have their very own tag, I thought that should be obvious.

Thus some authors insert repetitious boring sex scenes to meet that false statement.

That sounds pretty silly to me. Do 'some authors' do it as some sort of misguided revenge for the injustice they had to endure? Or are they trying to pull a nail out of a wall with the only tool they own; a hammer.

Anything where the same thing is repeated time after time is boring, but a boring gratuitous sex scene is about the classic example of wasted text.

I thought the classic example is a school lesson (not a lesson in the NiS universe, of course).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

Or maybe you have, but you'll never know for sure because you skipped over them.


If the story still makes sense after skipping something either in whole or in part, whatever was skipped probably wasn't essential to the story. So if the objective is to write "a tight story" then that content would be up for the chopping block. Without regard to what that specific content was.

Sexual content was given "special attention" in this discussion because
1) The subject matter of the OP.
2) The theory that higher-scored low to no-sex stories were getting higher scores on average due to being "tighter stories" in general
3) SOL being considered a "sex stories site" by many, many authors do, as Ernest Bywater mentions, decide that the story must have sexual content in it, and pursue including gratuitous amounts of it into their stories because of it. Which in turn results in their being downrated for containing "repetitious, boring, and uninspiring/uninspired content."

Basically, the author potentially decided to pander to their audience, and that's a bad idea if taken too far.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@robberhands


Since there are hundreds of no sex stories on SoL, and they even have their very own tag, I thought that should be obvious.


So would I, but you'll find many still making that claim if you check all the thread posts.

As to the gratuitous sex scenes, I suspect some authors do it because they've been told or believe they must have sex scenes so they toss them in, but since it's a throw-away seen they don't do any real work on it, thus it isn't well done.

Regular repeated scenes with no or little changes are boring, be they sex scenes, gun fights, or (as is in one story I'm reading) how they cook breakfast each day and how they cook dinner each night - after the first couple of times you get into the habit of skipping such scenes.

robberhands
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


Basically, the author potentially decided to pander to their audience, and that's a bad idea if taken too far.


That's actually a good summary of my thought process before I wrote a story and submitted it to SoL. I am a part of the audience and like being pandered to. So I thought I could try to contribute as an author as well. Since every idea is a bad idea if taken too far, that thought didn't detain me.

Edited to correct the spelling error pointed out to me.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@robberhands

That's actually a good summary

That was my reaction to the entire post by Not_a_Id.
I thought the post was very well stated, managing to achieve a non-inflammatory tone about a topic which often inflames the passions of many here. :-)

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

I suspect some authors do it because they've been told or believe they must have sex scenes so they toss them in, but since it's a throw-away seen they don't do any real work on it, thus it isn't well done.

Although an internet search for 'Storiesonline' reveals that the site's advertising leans heavily to sex stories, it also mentions stories in general. Maybe Lazeez could make it more explicit, that sex is no requirement for stories to be published on SoL, but I doubt that would have much, if any, effect at all. Bemoaning the reality doesn't alter it either, so I guess there isn't much you can do about it. If an author is willing to compromise his story by adding half-arsed scenes, I wouldn't put too much faith in his abilities anyway.

robberhands

@Not_a_ID

If the story still makes sense after skipping something either in whole or in part, whatever was skipped probably wasn't essential to the story. So if the objective is to write "a tight story" then that content would be up for the chopping block. Without regard to what that specific content was.

I think you focus a bit too much on the storyline. A good story is more than straight lines from point A - to B - to C. An author also has to create the world his characters are living in. Painting pictures and showing emotions to help the reader's imagination and enjoyment of his story. That doesn't further the plot, or tighten a story, but it adds to its quality nonetheless. Maybe it's just a matter of preference, but I surely prefer such a story.

Replies:   Ross at Play  Not_a_ID
Ross at Play

@robberhands

That doesn't further the plot, or tighten a story, but it adds to its quality nonetheless. Maybe it's just a matter of preference, but I surely prefer such a story.

You're not letting go, are you? But I think 'matter of preference' is something no one here has problems agreeing to.
I think CW explained how often, not always, everything up to it starting and after it's finishing is adding to plot and character development, but the Tab-A-in-Slot-B parts in between are not. While not objecting to some needless "scenery", I gather his preference is to limit the descriptions of mechanics to a level which does not become repetitive and boring. Surely some readers like the choice he makes, but some would prefer more.
I cannot agree with 'adds to its quality', but I'd certainly agree with 'adds to the appeal to some readers'.
Perhaps the words of Ricky Nelson are apt for this situation:

You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

So if the objective is to write "a tight story" then that content would be up for the chopping block.


Why should that be "the" objective?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

Basically, the author potentially decided to pander to their audience, and that's a bad idea if taken too far.


A meaningless statement without an objective criteria for how far is too far.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


Regular repeated scenes with no or little changes are boring, be they sex scenes

Edited per advice from Ross:

Agreed, and I think that most of the "too much" or "gratuitous" are really about "boring". In which case, the objection should be stated as "boring sex" rather than "too much sex" or "gratuitous sex".

Say what you mean, mean what you say.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Why should that be "the" objective?

He said 'if the objective', not 'should', and I think the answer is to please himself.

Dominions Son

EB did not object about "too much sex" or "gratuitous sex".


No, but others are stating it as "too much sex" or "gratuitous sex" when as EB states, what they probably are really objecting to is "boring sex".

I was not misquoting, misrepresenting, or objecting to what EB said, I was adding to it.

Not_a_ID

@robberhands

Painting pictures and showing emotions to help the reader's imagination and enjoyment of his story. That doesn't further the plot, or tighten a story, but it adds to its quality nonetheless. Maybe it's just a matter of preference, but I surely prefer such a story.


There are stories where the setting is more important than the characters themselves, in fact the characters may simply be the vehicle through which the author explores the setting. Tolkien does this with Lord the Rings and the associated additional materials.

However, as fun as exploring the labial folds of Tauriel may or may not be, her vulva doesn't really have much relevance in regards to the overall setting of Middle Earth.

Replies:   robberhands
Not_a_ID

EB did not object about "too much sex" or "gratuitous sex".
He said precisely what he meant: "Regular repeated scenes with no or little changes are boring."


And further, the way he expressed it, it was very clear he wasn't just talking about sex scenes. For that matter, he went a step further and provided the additional context of the author in the particular story he was reading at the time having the MC constantly retelling, in detail, how they went about preparing their meals.

Now if he's talking about the story I think he is, I can agree with the author's grounds for having included it. But as it may not be that particular story, I cannot be certain. So this is an example of sometimes such "Excess detail" is situational and part of a larger context where things get fuzzy, and regardless of what you do as an author or editor, you're not going to please everyone.

robberhands

@Not_a_ID

However, as fun as exploring the labial folds of Tauriel may or may not be, her vulva doesn't really have much relevance in regards to the overall setting of Middle Earth.

It's a fantasy story, you never know! Maybe Middle Earth was designed as a likeness of her vulva, and we never heard about, because no one explored it attentively enough.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@robberhands

It's a fantasy story, you never know! Maybe Middle Earth was designed as a likeness of her vulva, and we never heard about, because no one explored it attentively enough.


Lo and behold, her vulva was actually a scale replica of Mount Doom. If only Frodo knew.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Not_a_ID

Lo and behold, her vulva was actually a scale replica of Mount Doom.

In that case I've to revoke my former comment. Someone obviously was attentive enough to explore.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Dominions Son

I do not think you took care to say what you meant on this occasion.


You may be correct. I'll make the change.

Not_a_ID

@robberhands

In that case I've to revoke my former comment. Someone obviously was attentive enough to explore.


And Frodo can rest easier knowing that Tauriel doesn't exist in the books written by Tolkien.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Not_a_ID

And Frodo can rest easier knowing that Tauriel doesn't exist in the books written by Tolkien.

That was simply mean! I was wondering who the fuck is Tauriel. I even googled the name but didn't realize she was invented only for the movie.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@robberhands

That was simply mean! I was wondering who the fuck is Tauriel. I even googled the name but didn't realize she was invented only for the movie.


To be fair, when I was hunting for a name, I just ran straight to the cast list for The Hobbit and pulled her name from there, not knowing she was invented for the movie. I found that out later when I went back to check to see if she was even still alive when Frodo made his journey. Imagine my surprise to discover she didn't exist when those movies were made.

Joe Long

@Switch Blayde

Now if someone were to write a killing story where there was nothing but killing and no plot, that would equate to how you think of sex stories on SOL.


The Hitcher?

Joe Long

@REP

The number of downloads is also a poor indicator for opening a story. The numbers don't mean the reader read the entire story.


True, but I'm a numbers nerd so I have a spreadsheet for my story. Last time I check, My 1st chapter has 15580 downloads. 2nd chapter was 10272, or 66% of the 1st. As stated, there's lots of "extra" 1st chapter downloads.

What I found important is that 3rd chapter was 82% of the downloads for the 2nd, then 4th 99% of 3rd, 5th 84% of 4th, 82%, 82%, 63% (after a posting layoff), 106%, but then only 38% for the most recent after a long layoff.

On average 5 of 6 readers went on to the next chapter.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Joe Long


True, but I'm a numbers nerd so I have a spreadsheet for my story.


I never thought about using a spreadsheet to evaluate my story numbers. I know the first chapter's value of a multi-chapter story is bogus from what Lazeez has said about it. I haven't bothered considering the validity of the rest of the numbers.

Assume I'm reading a story that is being posted 1 chapter per week. I finish reading the chapter and go back to my library to select a different story. Next week I see a new chapter has been posted. When I click the link to read the next chapter, the chapter I read last week is uploaded, which means I created 2 upload counts for the same chapter.

The double upload count isn't true of all readers' chapter uploads for some readers start reading the story when it partially or fully posted. Depending on how many sittings necessary to read the whole story some chapters will have double upload counts while others will have single counts.

I have also noted that when I click a link to load the story so I can read the newly posted chapter, the new chapter is sometimes loaded instead of last weeks chapter. I don't understand why that happens and the chapter opened, prior or new, seems to be a random thing. I would expect the same thing would occur regardless of author and story.

I'll have to play around with my numbers and spreadsheet. I wonder if there is a trend based on the number of chapters in a story.

a few minor edits

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@REP

I'll have to play around with my numbers and spreadsheet. I wonder if there is a trend based on the number of chapters in a story.

Trying to imagine what kinds of trends may exist, without any facts to support my guess, I'd expect:
* The absolute value of download counts for all chapters is meaningless
* The download counts for the first chapter of a long story is grossly inflated
* But I think the rate of decay of download counts from one chapter to the next, after perhaps the third chapter, may be closely proportional to the numbers reading those chapters.
While various things may be distorting the counts, it's hard to imagine those are not distorting adjacent chapters to very similar extents.
I expect drop-off rates would be relatively high in the early chapters. Some readers may persevere until Chapter 3 with a story they aren't getting into before giving up, while others last until Chapter 5. However, as an author, I'd want to see the rate of decline becoming quite low further into the story. Still, I would expect there to always be some drop-off. There are many reasons readers might stop reading a story after only getting so far, but it's hard to imagine anyone starting to read at a point deep into the story.
One factor affecting the counts may be varying chapter lengths. For comparatively long chapters it seems likely readers will stop reading part way through a chapter and need to download it again to finish it later.

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