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Sex for sex sake

Darian Wolfe

While plotting my WIP (I'm never sure if that reminds me of Devo or not) I toyed with the idea of adding more sex to the story to pander to the readers.

In the end, I said fuck it. I write what I write and they can read it or not and like it or not. I'm not a whore. I want the sex in my stories to actually have some relevance and be in context to the story.

I like fan mail and good ratings. Who doesn't? I think it means more if I have artistic integrity than if I design a story for ratings.

I do have my readers in mind. I want the story to be well crafted and interesting. I want them to feel the time reading it was well spent. When sex is involved it should convey emotion. What I don't want is to feel the story has to be subservient to the spurting cock.

That's my evening rant. Good night everyone.

Replies:   Goldfisherman
Crumbly Writer

I think that's a decision that we each reach in our own time. It's not so much that we're pandering, as we simply write stories that captivate us and readers both, and that includes sexual situations, but we eventually realize that each particular story only needs so much sex, and forcing more into it just isn't a good fit.

Frankly, it's maturing as an author. Not that the other writers aren't mature, but it's more about the types of stories that each author tackles. As we mature as authors, we get better at picking our stories. Some focus on the more sexual themes (relationships, S&M, Incest, harams, etc.) while others eventually gravitate towards more serious topics. If the story fits more sex, then we don't have an issue with it, but the story demands what the story needs, not what readers may necessarily demand. Though, hopefully, the readers will appreciate the inherent drama in our stories without the secondary dramas.

Ross at Play
Updated:

I agree with CW. Your decisions should be based on what best serves your stories, not perceived wants of readers.

I'd add that your attitude sounds like the right one for your development as an author.

Is there an irony here? The time when authors should be ignoring scores is in the beginning, as they experiment and develop their craft. In practice, if it ever happens, it takes some time for authors to lose their obsession with scores and concentrate on writing good stories. :(

Ernest Bywater

I agree with CW as well. I'm currently trying to put the ends on some almost done stories from a decade ago when I worked with Cazna a lot. They're all heavy with sex scenes. Two of them have been improved by reducing the sex scenes, and one has them totally removed to be no sex. However, most of them the sex scenes are too integral to the story ion several of them, but cut down or cutting back on the scenes has improved those stories as well.

robberhands

I don't know why you even believe adding more sex scenes would mean pandering to the reader or that you'd receive a higher score.

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

Because, anecdotally, that's what happens.

A 'recent' chapter of my WIP resulted in a significant boost to its score, almost certainly because it contained an explicit sex scene.

AJ

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

Because, anecdotally, that's what happens.

I'm pretty sure I remember lot's of statistical data was provided, proving that stories with no sex are scoring better on SoL.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

I don't know why you even believe adding more sex scenes would mean pandering to the reader or that you'd receive a higher score.

Well, in my own case, my strongest feedback has traditionally been for my sex scenes. That's difficult to turn your back on. My stories may be stronger now, but I also don't receive the feedback I once did.

sejintenej

@robberhands

I'm pretty sure I remember lot's of statistical data was provided, proving that stories with no sex are scoring better on SoL.

Certainly I think that implication is usually far more effective. By implication there is the case where "he and she went to bed early but it was 2am before he got to sleep, exhausted". Repeated explanation of prongs and tabs gets boring

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

I'm pretty sure I remember lot's of statistical data was provided, proving that stories with no sex are scoring better on SoL.

Unfortunately, that's not a direct cause & effect situation. More likely, it's because the better writers tend to utilize sex less than novice authors, and the better writers also tend to score higher.

The discussion, as much as I recall, was more about 'don't worry about dropping the sex scenes as the stories with the strongest scores DON'T have sex scenes in them'. Nowhere was it stated that readers didn't appreciate sex scenes.

It may be a case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease (or the whinny slut getting the crisco in this case), but it's more likely turning your back on your most popular fans. It's NOT and easy decision for any author, but in the end, the story speaks for itself, and either stands on its own or it doesn't.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@sejintenej

Certainly I think that implication is usually far more effective. By implication there is the case where "he and she went to bed early but it was 2am before he got to sleep, exhausted". Repeated explanation of prongs and tabs gets boring

It isn't just the tab a into slut b dilemma, but when you keep introducing yet another woman into a continually growing harem situation, you've got to stop and ask 'what the fuck ever happened to the plot in this damn story?'. The sex, ultimately, begins to detract from the story, whether it's popular or not. And some stories are strong without the sex, while others are strong with it.

Even now, I'm contemplating another two teenager harem (including family members) stories, so the appeal of those stories never goes away, even for us 'serious' authors. Instead, it's more 'what's best for the story'. (That said, my new stories will have a LOT less sex than my earlier stories did!)

Replies:   Switch Blayde
robberhands

Whatever ... In AJ's case I'm already sure his readers mainly were expressing their relief that the sex scene they encountered wasn't gay.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Whatever ... In AJ's case I'm already sure his readers mainly were expressing their relief that the sex scene they encountered wasn't gay.

Who wants unhappy sex and romance? 'D

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

Who wants unhappy sex and romance? 'D

Etymology ignorants.

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

I have to admit the story title and description aren't exactly irresistible flypapers :(

AJ

Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

I'm pretty sure I remember lot's of statistical data was provided, proving that stories with no sex are scoring better on SoL.


Yeah that discussion comes up every now and then. When it came up several months back I spent many hours going through the top scores lists compiling stats on the various sex level categories and their scores. The results were in favour of the better scoring stories being no sex stories, however most were longer and all stories with better crafted story lines.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

The discussion, as much as I recall, was more about 'don't worry about dropping the sex scenes as the stories with the strongest scores DON'T have sex scenes in them'. Nowhere was it stated that readers didn't appreciate sex scenes.


I have to agree with this statement 10,000 percent. The scores tend to reflect story appeal, not sex scene appeal. I well written story will appeal to readers with or without sex scenes. However, poorly written sex scenes or repetitive sex scenes will result in a loss of appeal and a lower score. In some of my stories where I use the sex scenes to advance aspects of the story I fade them out once that job is done.

sunkuwan

There comes a time in long stories, where you don't care about the sex anymore.

Either the story holds up and you finish the story based on the plot itself, or you drop it when the story only revolves around the MC having sex, with the plot points just a feeder for sexual situations.

Doesn't mean that the MC shouldn't have sex anymore, just that the reader doesn't need an explicit account what happens in the bedroom.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

The conclusions that could be drawn from those stats related to very high scoring stories (and longer stories doing better too).

As I recall, the conclusions were that about the same percentage of No Sex, Minimal Sex, and Some Sex made it into the very high range, then there was some drop-off for Much Sex stories and a large drop-off for Stroke stories.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

As I recall, the conclusions were that about the same percentage of No Sex, Minimal Sex, and Some Sex made it into the very high range, then there was some drop-off for Much Sex stories and a large drop-off for Stroke stories.


True, and when the analysis was done on downloads only it was much the same with a few skewed points indicating a possible interest in lower scoring stroke stories at some level.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I have to agree with this statement 10,000 percent. The scores tend to reflect story appeal, not sex scene appeal. I[n] well written story will appeal to readers with or without sex scenes. However, poorly written sex scenes or repetitive sex scenes will result in a loss of appeal and a lower score. In some of my stories where I use the sex scenes to advance aspects of the story I fade them out once that job is done.

In my case, my 'sex scenes' have always been written to advance the story, as I find my characters themselves tend to open up more and admit things (to me, the author) that they won't otherwise, so my sex scenes tend to be unfolding discussion than 'tab A into slut B'.

While my reader enjoy my sex scenes tremendously, they're there to deepen the readers understanding of the characters, rather than catering to anyone's prurient interests.

I also often create a 'family friendly' version for FS (FineStories), even when the story deals with adult issues (say with incest themes), as I think most teenagers can deal with those issues, even if they aren't allowed to read about them. But even then, the stories are generally strong with the sex than without. Go figure.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@sunkuwan

Doesn't mean that the MC shouldn't have sex anymore, just that the reader doesn't need an explicit account what happens in the bedroom.

That's sorta like the '3 "s" stories', where each day they detail precisely how the character shits, showers and shaves. It's really more than we need to know the first time, but after the twentieth chapter, you're likely to dump the entire story because you're so sick of hearing the same ... shit, over and over!

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Because, anecdotally, that's what happens.
A 'recent' chapter of my WIP resulted in a significant boost to its score, almost certainly because it contained an explicit sex scene.

Actually, AJ, I thought about the score of your WIP when I wrote an early post on this thread (basically to suggest ignoring scores and being experimental early on was good for an author's development).

My impression had been that your WIP was scoring particularly well, for you. I tested that by sorting all your scores into the order you began posting them. My conclusion was the score for your WIP was not an outlier; it was part of an obvious progression - a very impressive progression. :-)

The only outlier was that one which probably everybody except me Rues you ever writing.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

The only outlier was that one which probably everybody except me Rues you ever writing.

As you say Ross, every author needs at least one or two of those stories (though hopefully no more than that), in order to stretch themselves as authors. While it helps them develop their breadth, they're not always fan favorites (who typically just want more of the same).

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

As you say Ross ...

My comment was an inside joke saying quite different. No problem. AJ will surely spot my not-so-cryptic clue.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

My conclusion was the score for your WIP was not an outlier; it was part of an obvious progression


I hadn't realised that. I suspect it's because my experiments are subconsciously deviating towards SOL-friendlier stories.

I want to keep this nym for experimental stories, so I'll probably steer clear of straight SciFi stories. Oh well, 'Nuns in Space' was on a backburner anyway :(

AJ

Ernest Bywater

@Ernest Bywater

Yeah that discussion comes up every now and then.


OK. I didn't bother looking for the previous thread, but I did find a spreadsheet of some of the stats I put together back then. It's from 12 July 2017 and I've made an image of the page which is available on my story DropBox folder with a direct link of:

www.dropbox.com/s/51wx2c3ak0c418v/SoL%20stats%20July%202017.jpg?dl=0

The info is the raw data from the Top 50 lists of the time.

Replies:   robberhands
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

But even then, the stories are generally strong with the sex than without. Go figure.


Easy to figure, CW. If the sex scenes are advancing the story line or plot or character development, then their removal will weaken the story to some extent.

Mind you, one of the old stories I'm revising is actually growing stronger with removal of some of the sex scenes. I had to amend more than just the scene to move the story along without the sex, but it is becoming a better story for the changes.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I hadn't realised that.

I suggest you have a look - to see some semi-objective confirmation you're doing something right.
Your typical scores started on one side of the peak of a normal distribution and are now well into the other side.

Ernest Bywater

Although I usually get heavily involved in the discussions on scores I don't worry about them. My attitude is to write the story I want to write and let the readers read them. If they like them, good, if they don't like them that's good too. I don't write to suit the readers, I write to suit me. I think my ignoring the scores and what readers want thing is allowing me to write better stories because I focus on the story and not what's happening with the scores or downloads. It also helps to finish the story before posting it, since nothing with the scores that happens will change it then. Reported typos etc will see a correction later, but that's all.

In the past I did do a couple of stories for readers, and they didn't like them, so I stopped doing that.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

However, poorly written sex scenes or repetitive sex scenes will result in a loss of appeal and a lower score.


Poorly written or repetitive gun fight scenes in a western story will have exactly the same effect. There is squat all special about sex scenes in this.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

I'll probably steer clear of straight SciFi stories. Oh well, 'Nuns in Space' was on a backburner anyway

Yes. Authors must remain vigilant and not descend into bad habits.

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

The data you presented made me curious for the two stroke stories scoring 9+, but I couldn't find any. Please don't tell they were removed from SoL!

The highest scoring stroke story I could find is a story with a sore of 8.64 and 1064 kb, which I perceive as very amazing as well.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@robberhands


The data you presented made me curious for the two stroke stories scoring 9+, but I couldn't find any. Please don't tell they were removed from SoL!


More likely the score has decreased due to the increasing number of votes since then. I don't know, as I don't know what stories they were. I simply got the top 50 lists and counted up the numbers for each group, then put them in a spreadsheet which i didn't keep, then I got together the figures for all of the stories then posted, which is what's in the image.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

As you may remember, the nuns didn't have any habits to get into ;)

AJ

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

you've got to stop and ask 'what the fuck ever happened to the plot in this damn story?'


My story "The Preacher's Wife" is about a sexually repressed woman. It originally ended with her sexual liberation. Conflict resolved. End of story.

But readers wanted more sex. This was when I was posting on my own site and ASSTR. So I added 5 more chapters to the original 5. Five chapters of more sex. It did nothing for the plot.

So when I revised the story to post on SOL, I got rid of those extra chapters. On SOL, the story ends where it's supposed to end and it's a stronger/better story for it.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@robberhands


The highest scoring stroke story I could find is a story with a sore of 8.64 and 1064 kb


I looked it up. I didn't read it, but is it really a stroke story? It has the "slow" story code which SOL defines as: "There is a story and plot development before any sex occurs. Not a stroke story."

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Switch Blayde

I looked it up. I didn't read it, but is it really a stroke story?

When you look at the size of the eight stroke stories listed on SoL with a score higher than 8, I doubt I'd view any of them as a stroke story.

richardshagrin

@Ross at Play

into bad habits

It is ok for nuns to kiss and hug, as long as they don't get into the habit.

Replies:   Darian Wolfe
Darian Wolfe

@richardshagrin

Didn't the pope say masturbating was ok as long as it didn't get out of hand?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP

@Ernest Bywater

That sounds as if the writers of no-sex stories are better story tellers or perhaps they just put more work into writing a good story than stroke story authors do.

sunkuwan

@REP

There are quite some steps between no-sex and stroke stories.
SoL has a few epic-length novels that have a score above 9.

I think long stories with "some sex" have a good pacing in that regard. "A well-lived life" is great in that respect.

Sex story authors have a big problem in regards to their fans. They expect sex, regardless of the need of the plot. Some authors may fear they lose too many fans if they didn't include sex scenes every so often. they then have to work around the plot to include sex.
A plot point could need several chapters and the whole attention of the MC/cast but was changed/cut/not-written because the author didn't want to agonize most of his fans.

Many stories are the victim of too much sex in impossible situations, bad timing, and generally just overdoing it.

Replies:   REP
REP

@sunkuwan

So what. I picked the 2 extremes for comparison. I recognize there are defined points between the extremes but chose to not address them.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

That sounds as if the writers of no-sex stories are better story tellers or perhaps they just put more work into writing a good story than stroke story authors do.


I'm not sure if either statement is true or false. What I feel I can safely infer from the data available is that the stories that score higher tend to be better written with better plots, even the ones with sex scenes. However, there appears to be more better written stories with no sex scenes than with sex scenes. Please keep in mind we're talking about the top 50 of over 40,000 stories, which is a very low sample quantity.

Ernest Bywater

@Darian Wolfe

Didn't the pope say masturbating was ok as long as it didn't get out of hand?


Thus you demonstrate one of the dividing lines between Papists and Christians - which are not the same thing.

Replies:   Darian Wolfe
AmigaClone

Here are some numbers I found for stories that scored over 9

23 No sex stories.
09 Minimal sex stories.
44 Some sex stories.
24 Much sex stories.
0 Stroke stories.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Darian Wolfe

@Ernest Bywater

I was referencing the pun in the statement only. I found it funny. No offense was meant towards anyone's religious sentiments.

For myself, I have had advanced theological training. When my brain fried the part of it responsible for religious sentiments was one of the areas that burned. To be honest, I miss it dearly. Now, religion other than in a Jungian sense is as interesting to me as watching paint dry.

Being that I am still dealing with the fallout from my illness the comfort of religion would be appreciated. I'm just out of luck. That's one reason I resonate with my Northern heritage. In the Sagas, even the Gods got fucked. It makes it all a bit bearable. :)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Darian Wolfe

No offense was meant towards anyone's religious sentiments.


None was taken, i was simply commenting on the differences between what the scriptures teach and what the church leaders teach - - which is a major disconnection in all of the organised religions.

Replies:   Darian Wolfe
Darian Wolfe
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

You'll hear no argument from me there. They even teach classes on it. I know, I took them. lol

Goldfisherman
Updated:

@Darian Wolfe

My thoughts exactly Darlan.

awnlee jawking

@REP

Although the sex scene resulted in a boost to the score of my WIP, overall there's actually quite a strong negative correlation between the scores of my stories and the amount of sex they contain.

Perhaps I'm really crap at writing sex scenes (ie a man) ;)

AJ

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

Perhaps I'm really crap at writing sex scenes (ie a man) ;)

I think that blaming your crappy sex scenes on your gender is a fallacy and somehow I think intentional. I have not read all of your stories, but I've rarely had the impression that you've written sex scenes for their erotic value, and even less often to elicit pleasure for your readers.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Perhaps I'm really crap at writing sex scenes (ie a man) ;)

The key to being a writer on SOL is that you are writing to a predominately straight white male audience, so while it may hurt you as an author, it's unlikely to harm you much on SOL. As I've said, I've largely given up on most of my sex scenes, even though they score better than my other chapters, largely because of a very small vocal minority (only 3 readers) who bitch about the story 'not making sense' after they 'skip over' the sex scenes.

My sex scenes DO advance the plot, so skipping them is clearly a foolish move, and I hate changing my writing style because of a couple morons, but it's just frustrating to deal with people who can't figure out that, if a story doesn't make sense after skipping a chapter, you should back up and reread the bypassed section which left you befuddled.

I guess that's a case of catering to the lowest common denominator—the moron class—to avoiding the issue altogether.

Now, when I write a story (like my current one) which has a strong incest theme, I largely avoid the entire driving impetus.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


I've largely given up on most of my sex scenes, even though they score better than my other chapters, largely because of a very small vocal minority (only 3 readers) who bitch about the story 'not making sense' after they 'skip over' the sex scenes.


Personally, my response to such complaints would be:

Then don't read the story. It bother's me not one bit that you don't like it because you refused to read the story I actually wrote. Go away and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Dominions Son

Then don't read the story. It bother's me not one bit that you don't like it because you refused to read the story I actually wrote. Go away and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

In this case, I'd view that as a well formulated and reasonable response.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

In this case, I'd view that as a well formulated and reasonable response.

It's much more a testament on the reader's capability, as those few simply don't know how to read a book.

I've been forced to bypass large sections of books before, as they sometimes drone on endlessly, but if you're mildly literate, you skim, you don't just bypass chapters and then expect the story to make a lick of sense.

That's what I meant by the 'lowest common denominator'. I don't consider them jerks, just semi-literate. Every serious student learns how to skim extensive research material, ignoring anything not relevant to their topic. Those who never learned that likely relied exclusively on Cliff Notes.

awnlee jawking

@AmigaClone

To be meaningful, those numbers need to be compared with the total number of stories in each of those categories.

AJ

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

My sex scenes DO advance the plot, so skipping them is clearly a foolish move, and I hate changing my writing style because of a couple morons, but it's just frustrating to deal with people who can't figure out that, if a story doesn't make sense after skipping a chapter, you should back up and reread the bypassed section which left you befuddled.


Which puts you in the 1% of SoL writers who do that. There's one SoL author who's work I like, but I find I can skip every damn sex scene he has and not miss a single word of the plot. Mind you, if you miss a single discussion over morning coffee scene you're in big trouble with lost plot action. However, I'm like you CW, the sex scenes are the to advance the plot or the characters.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

There's one SoL author who's work I like, but I find I can skip every damn sex scene he has and not miss a single word of the plot.


That's just bad writing and it could apply equally well to any particular kind of scene an author favors. It is not a problem unique to sex scenes.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

There's one SoL author who's work I like, but I find I can skip every damn sex scene he has and not miss a single word of the plot.


That's just bad writing and it could apply equally well to any particular kind of scene an author favors. It is not a problem unique to sex scenes.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

That's just bad writing and it could apply equally well to any particular kind of scene an author favors. It is not a problem unique to sex scenes.

That's almost the definition of 'gun porn' or the other multitude of 'porn' phrases. It's not that those passes aren't appreciated by a particular audience, but that they don't speak to the vast majority of readers, and they don't advance the plot.

If you include something exclusively for a particular segment of your readers, you're essentially just writing porn, whatever the topic. While great authors can make beautiful literature out of blatant sex scenes. There much more to great writing that playing to an established fan base.

Ernest Bywater

On the point of how well the various story types go I was again looking at the stats i put together last year and noticed that while the No Sex category only made up 10.13% of all the stories it made up 24.84% of all the stories that scored in the 9 - 10 range.

When I feel like spending the time on it I'll have to do that exercise again to see if the percentages have changed a lot.

robberhands
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

On the point of how well the various story types go I was again looking at the stats i put together last year and noticed that while the No Sex category only made up 10.13% of all the stories it made up 24.84% of all the stories that scored in the 9 - 10 range

There are currently 23 'no sex' stories with a score of 9 or higher on SoL. These are 7 rather very-short stories among these 23:

A Toast in an Empty Bar
Always a Marine
A Soldier's Prayer
Ode to a Soldier
Remembering the Fallen
An Aged Veteran Remembered
In Honor of D-day

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@robberhands

There are currently 23 'no sex' stories with a score of 9 or higher on SoL. These are 7 rather very-short stories among these 23:

Thanks. I now know what the subject must be to get a nine-plus score for a short story.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Thanks. I now know what the subject must be to get a nine-plus score for a short story.

Object lesson: honoring the fallen works better than gun-porn any day.

Ernest Bywater

@Ernest Bywater

When I feel like spending the time on it I'll have to do that exercise again to see if the percentages have changed a lot.


I just repopulated the spreadsheet with the latest stats and they're available at:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3h3e30rrfavko27/SoL%20stats%20April%202018.jpg?dl=0

There doesn't seem to be a huge shift in them. The only 9 score stroke story is title Cyber sex.

Replies:   robberhands  robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

The only 9 score stroke story is title Cyber sex.

That story doesn't display a score for me.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
robberhands
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

Your data appears faulty to me. You're counting 148 stories with a score 9+ but I assume you're counting 48 stories without a displayed score. There are only 100 stories with a score 9+. I didn't check any more of your data.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@robberhands


That story doesn't display a score for me.


The process I used was to use the Complex Category Search page to run 2 searches. On both pages I selected the score value and the sex level, on one I selected the category of + 2nd POV while the other had - 2nd POV, then I added the 2 results together. The only story to show for a 9 score Stroke was Cyber-sex. Because the search results gave all the stories for the score above the one selected I started at the top, added the two results together, then subtracted the values for the higher scored stories already counted to get the results for each lower level score.

Now, you have to remember the moment a story has a single vote is has a score within the system, however the system will not display a score until 20 votes have been registered for it. Thus Cyber-sex will have between 1 to 19 votes so it has a score, but being less than 20 votes it doesn't display.

Stories with no votes at all are in the group listed as None in the stats I provided. Those stories will either have not yet had a vote given them by anyone or the voting is turned off.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

The process I used was to use the Complex Category Search page to run 2 searches. On both pages I selected the score value and the sex level, on one I selected the category of + 2nd POV while the other had - 2nd POV, then I added the 2 results together.

Do that again but before you count the stories sort them by score. Then you'll see only stories with a displayed score.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@robberhands


Do that again but before you count the stories sort them by score. Then you'll see only stories with a displayed score.


1. Why?
2. He's probably relying on the system provided count of search results rather than trying to count them manually. That system generated result count wouldn't be affected by your suggestion.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Dominions Son

1. Why?

Because he's counting stories without any displayed score. Sorting by score eliminates the stories without score. 148 stories 9+ without sorting but only 100 stories when sorted. If you want to count stories without a displayed score, fine, but I view that as faulty statistic.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
sunkuwan

Also, it really could be just 1 score with a 9 from the author

Dominions Son

@sunkuwan

Why would an author vote on their own story and give it less than a 10?

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Dominions Son

Why would an author vote on their own story and give it less than a 10?

Modesty.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@robberhands

Modesty.


In which case, he wouldn't vote on his own story at all.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Dominions Son

In which case, he wouldn't vote on his own story at all.

I disagree. If an author would score his own story a 1, I'd say that's extremely modest.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@robberhands

I disagree. If an author would score his own story a 1, I'd say that's extremely modest.


If an author posted a story he thought so little of I would question his sanity and / or motives for posting it.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Dominions Son

Obstinacy is a far less pleasant than modesty.

sunkuwan

seriously, there ARE some individuals, who will bash their own work or are disgusted by the quality, later.

Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

Do that again but before you count the stories sort them by score. Then you'll see only stories with a displayed score.


And the counts would be out by those with one vote or more and less than 20 votes. There are 100 stories listed for any sex level with a score of 9 or more when sorted by score, but when sorted by name there are 148 stories because there are 48 stories with a vote but not yet enough to display a score.

Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

Because he's counting stories without any displayed score. Sorting by score eliminates the stories without score. 148 stories 9+ without sorting but only 100 stories when sorted. If you want to count stories without a displayed score, fine, but I view that as faulty statistic.


The stories without any scores at all are counted on the line None in the stats I provided. What you're arguing about are the stories that have a score but the score isn't displayed because there is 1 or more votes but less than 20 votes, which is the point the display of the score is triggered. To do the stats in the way you suggest would drop over 1,000 stories from the total.

Replies:   robberhands
Ernest Bywater

@sunkuwan

Also, it really could be just 1 score with a 9 from the author


A story with a single vote of 10 would be listed in the 9-10 group on the stats I presented. As would a story with 19 votes of 10 or 19 votes of 9. In all three cases no score would be displayed because it hasn't broken the 20 vote threshold for having it displayed, but the value would still be in the system.

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

To do the stats in the way you suggest would drop over 1,000 stories from the total.

Why do you want a story with less than sixteen votes (which is the threshold IIRC) listed in a statistic focused on scores?

For instance this story you count among the 9+:

Carree Loves Billy
Posted: 2.9.2002, 251 KB, 2741 downloads, no score displayed.

Do you think this story has any relevance for the statistic, apart from distorting the results?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

Why do you want a story with less than sixteen votes (which is the threshold IIRC) listed in a statistic focused on scores?


Because they have a score it's just not displayed. So do you make the cut after 1 vote, 20 votes or 200 votes.

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

So do you make the cut after 1 vote, 20 votes or 200 votes.

You don't cut anything. In a statistic centered on scores you only count stories which display a score.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

In a statistic centered on scores you only count stories which display a score.


Well, we'll have to disagree, because I've counted the stories which have a score, not just the ones that display a score. I analysed the scores, not the displays.

SoL has 41,880 stories.

There are 41,082 stories that have scores, thus there are 798 stories with a score which isn't displayed.

There are 35,592 stories which have scores displayed.

So that means there are 6,288 without displayed scores, with 5,490 stories being ones with no scores at all or they have the scoring turned off.

The stats I collected and presented show every story based on the score it has within the system with a total disregard of if it's displayed or not, because having the score places it in the scored category.

You can insist all you like about what should and shouldn't count based on what is displayed, but that varies with what the score is within the system If you want to do stats based on what's displayed, then feel free to prepare your own, but know you'll be dumping 768 scored stories and 5,490 unscored stories from the stats, thus you should base the percentages on the lower figure of the 35,592 of the stories with a displayed score and not the total number of stories on the site which is 41,880.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

Well, to end on a positive note, at least now I know how you collect your data and can estimate the value of the conclusions you derive from it.

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

I would have thought that stories should only be considered when they have enough votes for the murgling algorithm to kick in.

AJ

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

I would have thought that stories should only be considered when they have enough votes for the murgling algorithm to kick in.

Ha! Very good point.

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I would have thought that stories should only be considered when they have enough votes for the murgling algorithm to kick in.


the system for the vote calculating was established long, long ago when when every vote was included, but it didn't display until 20 votes were made. Over time a number of authors bitched about the voting system, so it's been changed at different points. The last time there were any changes Lazeez entered into a lengthy dialogue with the authors, but only a few were interested. As a result of that dialogue the system was changed, and most of the authors agreed with the changes. That change included the slicing out of outlier votes of 5% at both ends. The only thing that was changed was the algorithm, not the display process.

The end result is as soon as a single vote is cast the story has a vote, but it isn't displayed. Thus you know it has less than 20 votes if the score isn't shown. However, what you see is the same as if it has no votes at all.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

I may be wrong but it's my understanding that the algorithm doesn't kick in until 20 votes have been cast, one of the reasons the score isn't shown until then. And not only do the outliers get pruned, but the score gets rectified based on the median score of recent stories.

AJ

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


I may be wrong but it's my understanding that the algorithm doesn't kick in until 20 votes have been cast, one of the reasons the score isn't shown until then. And not only do the outliers get pruned, but the score gets rectified based on the median score of recent stories.


Lazeez would be the only person who can give you a clear answer on the algorithm. However, if I were writing that script it would have to have certain routines in it to get the best answer. I would expect the algorithm is in operation from the first vote, but it would have a zero affect until the 20th vote is cast due to it being a fractional value not being passed on.

I'm not saying this is how it works, but it is a way it could work.

The adjustment for the mean value could be done before all this or after all this, and is a lot more complex, so I'll leave it alone. Since it doesn't affect the process below.

Sub-routines would calculate the number of outlier votes to subtract, one routine for each end of the total list. Those routines would also have to round down to the nearest whole number to have it work right. Then it would identify the scores to match the number just calculated, and add up the sum of those scores. Those figures would be passed to the main routine.

The main routine would take the total count of the scores, add them up and also add up the total values of the scores. Then it would subtract the two outlier numbers from the sub-routines for both the number of votes and the values of scores at 5% of the total each. This would result in an adjusted value for the number of scores and the sum of those scores before calculating an average score.

Now if you call the values RV for Raw Vote, and OV for Outlier Vote you should have something along the lines of:

Subtract OV top and OV bottom counts from RV vote for New Vote Count.

Subtract OV top and OV bottom totals from RV score for New Vote Total

Divide New Vote Total by New Vote Count for score. Display if Vote Count is 20 or greater.

With this it will only use whole numbers for the votes it cuts, and it won't cut any votes until there are 20 votes because it won't get a whole number until then. Thus the figure passed from the routines to the main program would be zero until the total vote count reaches 20 votes. However, it will still provide you with a score value even thought there are less than 20 votes.

edit to add: And the next set of changes to the OV counts would be at 40 total votes.

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

I may be wrong but it's my understanding that the algorithm doesn't kick in until 20 votes have been cast,


I believe the story is scored, but the score isn't displayed until there are 20 votes. The author sees it in the stats, though, even if the general public doesn't.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

I believe the story is scored, but the score isn't displayed until there are 20 votes. The author sees it in the stats, though, even if the general public doesn't.


That has to be the way it's works, because stories with no score displayed will show up in a category search with a score greater than X criteria. If it wasn't computing a score at all until there were at least 20 votes, those stories would get excluded from the search results.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

If it wasn't computing a score at all until there were at least 20 votes, those stories would get excluded from the search results.

It computes a score from the first vote. The author can see that score on their stats page but it is not displayed anywhere the public can see until a certain number of votes is reached.
I am reliably informed, another hopeless writer checked and told me, that the minimum number of votes for scores to be displayed for the public is 16, not 20. I do not understand why. The number 20 is used as a different trigger point. That's when the top and bottom 5% of outliers are first eliminated from both scores and the stats authors can see.

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

Hypothetically, it occurred to me that a devious author might post a story with scoring switched off, wait until all interest tailed off, switch on scoring, award themselves a ten then switch scoring off again. The story would then come out top in searches, even though no score is visible.

I, for one, am definitely not going to test that theory, and I hope no-one else does either.

AJ

robberhands
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

The story would then come out top in searches, even though no score is visible.

I just checked; there are 27 stories on SoL with a perfect score of 10. Sadly, I don't know how to look for a story with a perfect score of 1.

ETA:

...award themselves a ten then switch scoring off again.


That won't work, apparently voting must be enabled or the story won't be listed.

Interestingly, the most recent of the perfect 10 stories is from 2009.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@robberhands


I just checked; there are 27 stories on SoL with a perfect score of 10. Sadly, I don't know how to look for a story with a perfect score of 1.


I just checked, the lowest displayed score in the system is 1.67

Category search with score of 1 or greater specified, sort by score ascending.

robberhands

@Dominions Son

I just checked, the lowest displayed score in the system is 1.67

Yeah, but there could be a story with a not displayed score of perfect 1; you just can't search for it.

Switch Blayde

@robberhands

there are 27 stories on SoL with a perfect score of 10


How did you find that? I did an Advanced Search with scores from 9 to 10 sorted by score in descending order and there were no 10s. The highest score is 9.62.

robberhands
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

How did you find that?

Simple, I searched for a score of 10.

ETA: Category Search not Advanced Search.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

How did you find that? I did an Advanced Search with scores from 9 to 10 sorted by score in descending order and there were no 10s. The highest score is 9.62.


Category search allows not a full sore range but score of x or more. Use 10 on category search and you will only get perfect 10s.

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

Hypothetically, it occurred to me that a devious author might post a story with scoring switched off, wait until all interest tailed off, switch on scoring, award themselves a ten then switch scoring off again. The story would then come out top in searches, even though no score is visible.


You could do that, but it would probably discourage readers. If they sort by score, that sort uses the visible score only, so if there is no visible score then it won't display. If the number of votes is below the display level and the reader sorts by any other options it will look to them as if no one bothered to score the story. So there is no gain, and lots to lose, by doing what's suggested.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Category search with score of 1 or greater specified, sort by score ascending.


advanced search allows you to search with a lower and an upper score value. stories with scores between 1 and 2 has 17 listed with only 4 being displayed, and two of them are 1.67. The largest is 25 KB, with eleven of 6 KB or less.

I also did a Category search for 9.9 or higher and got 27 hits, and none of them had a visible score displayed.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@robberhands

Simple, I searched for a score of 10.

ETA: Category Search not Advanced Search.


I did that with Category Search (a score of 10 or more) and got no matches (I put a - in front of 2nd POV to choose a category).

ETA: I think I found a BUG!

When I did my search, I sorted by "score" and found no matches.
When I did the same search, but sorted by "name," a list of stories came up with no score.

robberhands

@Switch Blayde

I think I found a BUG!

I tend to agree.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

sort by score will only ever display stories with a score available for display because it sorts on the visible score, also Category search will not run unless you select one category or more.

edit to add: I forgot to say when you run a search without asking it to sort by score it will show results with a score but not enough votes to display the score.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

When I did the same search, but sorted by "name," a list of stories came up with no score.


The sorting algorithm will filter out the undisplayed scores when you sort by score.

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

Category search will not run unless you select one category or more.


I did select a category. Actually, negatively selected it by checking the - for 2nd POV.

edit to add: I forgot to say when you run a search without asking it to sort by score it will show results with a score but not enough votes to display the score.


I did a search on a score of 10. When I sorted it by score, I got no results. When I sorted it by name, I got a bunch with no scores. Are you telling me they all have perfect 10s but not enough to display?

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Yes.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

Are you telling me they all have perfect 10s but not enough to display?


That's what it's implying. a few votes of 10 but not enough to break the display barrier. So if the only person to vote on the story votes a 10 then it will be in the list as a undisplayed 10 until there's enough votes to display the results.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

So if the only person to vote on the story votes a 10 then it will be in the list as a undisplayed 10 until there's enough votes to display the results.

Not anymore, the bug is fixed.

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