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Don't trust scores

doctor_wing_nut

I apologize in advance for this post, because I suspect some people will absolutely hate it.

How do you decide what stories to read? If they're not by an author you know, do you use the description, or the subject matter? I would humbly suggest that, whatever you do, do NOT use the score to make your decision. I did that regularly, but I don't think I can anymore.

I just finished a story that got high 8's, so I was hopeful it would be good. As it turns out, I should get a frickin' medal for surviving to the end. The plot was very interesting, the story moved along at a reasonable pace, and the characters were somewhat engaging.

Sounds good, right? What's to complain about?

Technically, this story is an abomination. I could not find a single page that did not have a spectacular error in spelling, grammar, and punctuation - usually all three. There wasn't even any consistency to the mistakes. People stayed in a Hotel suit, and wore suites (neat trick). There were severing gills bringing food, instead of serving girls (I shit you not). Forget 'to' vs 'too', of course there were a ton of these, but 'was' when you mean 'was not' takes a little more translating than enjoying. Missing words added to the 'fun', like it was some sort of audience-participation event. And, to top it off, this story was said to have TWO editors!! If a twelve-year-old turned this in as an English assignment, there would be so many red marks on the returned effort that it would look like it had been used as a blotter underneath a butchered hog - and this got high 8's.

Part of the reason I'm posting this is because I know some writers, especially newer writers, hope to get good scores when they share their hard work with the class. They put a lot of effort into their work, in the hopes that it will be received well, and recognized. I'm here to tell you that whatever score you get here at SOL has very, VERY little to do with the quality of your work. It's a total crap-shoot.

There is no planet in the Known Universe where this story deserves high 8's, when well-written works routinely get 6's and 7's. No amount of interesting plot twists can make up for the spectacularly bad execution I saw.

I don't want to mention the name of this abomination, because I do not want to cause anyone else to have to endure it. I did write to the 'author' (sorry, I use that word in place of 'perpetrator', please forgive me), and I used a much more conciliatory tone than this because I had not finished it at that point, but of course they did not reply.

I was shocked when so many of my fellow citizens voted for Punkinhead, but now I see it's actually an epidemic of poor decisions and bad choices.

Woe Is Us.

To sum up - don't trust scores.

Switch Blayde

@doctor_wing_nut

To sum up - don't trust scores.


I agree ... to a point.

When a story gets a score in the 4s or lower it's typically bad. Other than that, I agree with you.

Do you remember the TPA scoring? From what you said about this story, it would get a low T (technical) and a high P (plot). Now if you enjoyed the story (excluding the technical aspects) then it would receive a high A (Appeal). The reason I bring this up is because it was only the A that contributed to the score.

So the score is basically how the story appealed to the reader. That's all you can expect from it.

Wheezer

@doctor_wing_nut

I've lost count of the number of stories I've started, but could not get past the first page or two because of the poor grammar & spelling, homonym abuse, etc. The only thing I can think of to account for the high scores of some of these stories is that the ones doing the voting either do not care about the errors, or are too poorly educated to recognize them. I suspect the latter.

REP

@doctor_wing_nut

I rely on description, amount of sex, and story codes. The rating is nothing more than reader appeal and I generally don't care for what seems to appeal to most readers.

Even then there are problems. There is one story in particular that I like, but the grammar is atrocious, I estimate it at over 100 errors per chapter and they aren't long chapters (i.e. not broken into pages). There had been no acknowledgement to an editor, so I thought the Author didn't have an editor.

I mentioned my 100 errors per chapter estimate in feedback to the Author, but forgot to mention he get an editor. When he responded, I learned that he had 3 editors go through it in addition to himself. That many errors after being reviewed by 4 people says something is not right.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Wheezer
seanski1969
Updated:

Well as one of those people who has an idea of the story in which you speak I agree with Switch Blayde that it comes down to appeal.

It also can be attributed to contempt in the scoring system. I will admit to hating it so much that if I even think the plot shows some imagination or joy to read I give it a 10.

Sorry Lazeez!

We need scoring which shows the breakdown so people can use their own judgement and see the raw data and ignore the trolls. Oh Wait!! Am I a troll because I give mostly 10's if I vote?

Yes the story is cringe worthy with the spelling errors, missing words, homonyms, bad grammar, bad punctuations, etc.

I also would be embarrassed to be listed as an editor but the plot was decent until another rush job to finish it way before it should have been.

Just the opinions of a reader who wishes he could write but is instead an engineer.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@seanski1969

We need scoring which shows the breakdown so people can use their own judgement and see the raw data and ignore the trolls.


The vast majority of readers wouldn't have then necessary knowledge or skill to properly score a story in such a system.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
seanski1969

One other IMPORTANT reminder. I give 10's as I enjoy a story. Remember that the authors here are not paid for their work. They should be applauded for sharing their efforts with us not denigrated.

While I agree that I can be a grammar Nazi and get upset when I see poor grammar and spelling, the things that really get me when reading is the difficulty in deciphering which character is speaking when multiples speech sections between characters are run together. Also when items are used when not existing in the time period of the story bother me a lot more.

But back to the purpose of this rant. Remember that authors have pride and I can't count on my hands the number of rants from authors that they're going to pull their stories because of bad reviews or scores.

I would rather have all stories scored 10's then lose the chance to enjoy someones imaginative writings for FREE!!!

So here is my BIG THANKS to all of you WONDERFUL authors writing here!! Thank you for your efforts and please continue to share your wonderful imaginations with us.

Sean

Replies:   REP
seanski1969
Updated:

The vast majority of readers wouldn't have then necessary knowledge or skill to properly score a story in such a system.


I know you didn't just insult all the readers here?

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@REP


I rely on description, amount of sex, and story codes. The rating is nothing more than reader appeal and I generally don't care for what seems to appeal to most readers.


Pretty much this in my case, the only exception would be the vote tally for a story, and if I'm split between one story or another. But at this stage, I don't encounter that very often, of course I haven't gone on any fishing expeditions within the archives in some time.

Edit: And even then, it'll probably come down to a choice of something I probably remember reading before, or something I haven't. In which case, there is no tie to break.

Not_a_ID

@seanski1969

I know you didn't just insult all the readers here?


He didn't insult all of them, just the vast majority of them. :)

It's about on par with something like 85% of all drivers polled rate themselves as "above average"/"well above average" drivers. It's everybody else on the roadway that's an idiot that needs to get out of their bleeping way.

gruntsgt

When I first started here, I looked for subject matter and for whatever caught my eye. But, as time as progressed, I have found favorite Authors, been referred Authors from these very Forums, and also searched Authors Favorites from their pages.I know I haven't the talent or persistence to write, but I do commend those who do.

Wheezer

@REP

When he responded, I learned that he had 3 editors go through it in addition to himself. That many errors after being reviewed by 4 people says something is not right.


His mother, his drunkard uncle, and the 5th grade kid next door?

Replies:   Switch Blayde  REP
Switch Blayde

@Wheezer

His mother, his drunkard uncle, and the 5th grade kid next door?


Hey, don't pick on the kid.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
richardshagrin

Management probably would be happy to give you reviewer status, then you could do your reviews to include plot, technical and appeal with scores from one to ten. Include suggestions you think might improve the story. Probably its best not to review stories you didn't like, the review is supposed to be written to encourage people to read stories, not warn them away from one. But if you explain the appeal would be much higher if the technical were not so low, very likely Lazeez would let you get away with an occasional 5 for appeal. Just because a story doesn't appeal to you does not mean it might not appeal to others. And ones you really like might not appeal to others. Its a judgement call. Particularly if its an older story that hasn't been reviewed before, reviews give it exposure on the front page again. Somebody liked it, if only the author and his editors.

REP
Updated:

@Wheezer


the 5th grade kid next door?


Most 5th graders would have no problems spotting the majority of these errors (i.e. missing words, words left in that may don't fit the sentence, words in order inverted :), etc.)

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

words left in that may don't fit the sentence


Doctor heal thyself. :)

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
REP

@seanski1969

I would rather have all stories scored 10's then lose the chance to enjoy someones imaginative writings for FREE!!!


We Authors like being appreciated. Personally, I would rather that one of my readers give me less than a 10 if they have a problem with my story and send me feedback so I know what I may be doing wrong. If I am not aware of a problem, I can't fix it.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
REP

@Dominions Son

Yeah, it got my point across without having to post a sentence from the story. :)

StarFleet Carl

@REP

If I am not aware of a problem, I can't fix it.


You can put in my agreement with that comment.

I only have the one story on here (so far), and I've kept every e-mail I've received from feedback going back the full year since I've started posting it. The only 'complaints' I've received were two when I used the automatic updating feature on here and it showed that it had posted, but didn't. Which enabled me to contact Lazeez and get it fixed quickly.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@doctor_wing_nut

The plot was very interesting, the story moved along at a reasonable pace, and the characters were somewhat engaging.


And that's all most people vote on, or are expected to score on.

The other aspect is many people wouldn't notice the technical errors today.

From what you say it may well be the story was written using a poor quality voice to text program.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Jay C

We also have to factor in the fact that some writers aren't fluent in English or it is a second or third language for them.

I might be different but I assess plot and character development far higher than technical merit. I have given my opinion on those expecting professional quality at an amateur price so I won't revisit it.

I include the errors in my stories at no additional cost to the reader.

Bondi Beach

@Ernest Bywater

@doctor_wing_nut
The plot was very interesting, the story moved along at a reasonable pace, and the characters were somewhat engaging.

And that's all most people vote on, or are expected to score on.


Second this, except add a reasonable amount of nicely done sex.

bb

Replies:   REP  Ernest Bywater
REP

@Bondi Beach

reasonable amount of nicely done sex.


About 10-20% sex and the rest plot sounds like a nice ratio to me. When it get up to 60-90% sex there isn't enough plot to hold the sex scenes together. :(

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Bondi Beach


Second this, except add a reasonable amount of nicely done sex.


To me, it matters if the sex is part of the plot or character development, gratuitous sex in a story just to have sex in a story wastes the writer's and the reader's time. I've written stories with no sex through to much sex, but I try to keep the sex down to what's relevant for developing the story.

I've read lots of stories on SoL where sex scenes are dumped in simply because the writer thinks he has to have sex scenes, but the story would be better without the sex scenes.

Take my story Finding Home there are sex scenes at the start to show the main character's attitude to life and people, and the sex scenes change has his attitudes change; they're there to show his changing attitudes and behaviours. After they serve their purpose the sex scenes aren't included again, despite there being later places where they could be added, they wouldn't advance the story, plot, or characters, so I don't have them.

edit due to half the post being cut the first time around.

Grant

@Jay C

I might be different but I assess plot and character development far higher than technical merit.

As do I, but if the errors are so significant or numerous that it significantly impacts on the readability of the story, then it impacts on my enjoyment of it. And I score it accordingly.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
sunkuwan

I have no problems with a bunch of errors if the story is real good or intriguing. One of my favorite stories has all the "your" and "you're" switched. Every. Single. One. The story has probably a million words and the author spent years on it.
AND the your and You're issue is one of the most annoying grammar issues a story can have. But i grit my teeth and powered through because of the plot.

It would be great if there would be 2 scores, one for plot and one for grammar.
I read many +9.x or 5star stories that had horrible grammar but good plot.
And I read many +9.x or 5star stories that had superb grammar but a boring or nonlogical plot or hair-tearing character decisions because the plot demands it.

Ernest Bywater

I dun tink we dun dis one ta death, folkes.

Many years ago I was sitting in the classes for a third year Advanced English college class for high school English teachers - I was paid wheelchair pusher for a student with a broken leg. After the class a discussion broke out, as was usual with that group, and the subject one day was on why you see a lot of text books by English Professors, but almost no fiction stories by them. The professor was the subject head, and she said it was very simple, and most English professors can't write entertaining stories because they focus on the grammar too much, which makes the story stilted and boring, while text books require exact grammar. Few English professors can set aside the exact grammar enough to write and interesting story, was her final statement on it. In the decades since then, I've come to think she was spot on with her diagnosis.

While good grammar helps tell the story, we do need to be careful not to become too hung up on it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  Joe Long
Michael Loucks

On having multiple editors and still having errors (even bad ones).

For my stories, I have a regular editor, two proofreaders (sequentially), and about 300 early readers (about 1/3 of those via Patreon). I STILL end up with some glaring errors when I post them to SOL! And that's after I've read them all through AGAIN after editing.

Sigh. ;-)

Replies:   red61544  EzzyB  Crumbly Writer
StarFleet Carl

@Ernest Bywater

After they serve their purpose the sex scenes aren't included again, despite there being later places where they could be added, they wouldn't advance the story, plot, or characters, so I don't have them.


I'm finding that myself in my Skyrim story. Early on, it was a major part of the development of the main character for her to have a decent amount of sex with, well, lots of people. Now, not so much. She'll still have sex, just only in her committed relationship. As you said, the MC has had an attitude change.

Oh, and I hope you don't mind, I made a blog post on Memorial Day that referenced two of your stories. They're quite appropriate.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
red61544

@Michael Loucks

Try reading each chapter aloud for your final edit. You'll find that reading them out loud causes you to trip over mistakes that you missed before.

Replies:   REP
EzzyB

@Michael Loucks

For my stories, I have a regular editor, two proofreaders (sequentially), and about 300 early readers (about 1/3 of those via Patreon). I STILL end up with some glaring errors when I post them to SOL!


Same here. I always beg people to report errors in a blog post when I post a new story. I doubt I have a single chapter that isn't at least version 1.02 even with three of four editors.

No mistake is harder to catch than one you make yourself.

EzzyB

@doctor_wing_nut

As for scores in general you have to understand the voters on SOL somewhat.

For instance any story that is largely Sci-Fi will have around a full point higher score than average. The longer the story, the higher it scores. SOL readers tolerate stories with male gay content, but just including it will definitely drop the score a helf-point or higher.

These are just some general observations. There are exceptions, of course, but they generally hold true.

REP

@red61544

Try reading each chapter aloud for your final edit.


When I have problems with a story's grammar, that is usually one of the things I suggest to the Author.

When you read a story from start to finish, you tend to develop momentum and that momentum can lead you to overlooking errors; especially if you subvocalize what you are reading.

My suggestion to Authors is to read the story out loud, without subvocalizing it, and to read the story one paragraph at a time from End to Start. That prevents momentum from being developed.

Ernest Bywater

@StarFleet Carl


Oh, and I hope you don't mind, I made a blog post on Memorial Day that referenced two of your stories. They're quite appropriate.


Perfectly OK. If any of my stories suit a blog entry, then feel free to mention them. There are some stories I've written I'd gladly give newspapers and magazine approval to reproduce them free, if they wish to. They only need to ask, as has happened with some others in the past.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

The vast majority of readers wouldn't have then necessary knowledge or skill to properly score a story in such a system.

What happened, previously, is the vast majority of readers would use the TPA system to vote 7:7:7, meaning it's essentially the same as it is now. Only a tiny handful would rate each independently. But I agree, I'd prefer at least some acknowledgement of errors.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Hey, don't pick on the kid.

The 5th grade kid next door undoubtedly knows more about grammar than the others. At least they've studied it sometime in the last twenty years.

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Management probably would be happy to give you reviewer status, then you could do your reviews to include plot, technical and appeal with scores from one to ten. Include suggestions you think might improve the story. Probably its best not to review stories you didn't like, the review is supposed to be written to encourage people to read stories, not warn them away from one. But if you explain the appeal would be much higher if the technical were not so low, very likely Lazeez would let you get away with an occasional 5 for appeal.

I tried to appeal for reviewers to rate stories strictly on appeal, but then to provide a final qualifier about 'issues with the story', where they list what hampers the story (which you don't get now).

That way, you could be as truthful as you want, without being penalized. Unfortunately, I was derided for the suggestion on the editors forum—not because editors wanted to report these things—but because the editors wanted to rate stories poorly based merely on pet-peeves (i.e. using serial commas or not using contractions).

I'd rather see reviews which clearly state: Wonderful story, but the author doesn't know what the frig he's doing, than one that says, This jerk doesn't use the Style Guide I prefer, and I don't care how good the story is!

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Doctor heal thyself. :)

There's a major difference between recognizing you have a problem, and work to correct it, than those who have no clue what they're doing wrong, and blithely blunder on.

Replies:   Wheezer  Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@StarFleet Carl

I only have the one story on here (so far), and I've kept every e-mail I've received from feedback going back the full year since I've started posting it. The only 'complaints' I've received were two when I used the automatic updating feature on here and it showed that it had posted, but didn't. Which enabled me to contact Lazeez and get it fixed quickly.

Part of that is encouraging (training) readers that you want feedback. That's often done—not by stating "corrections encouraged"—but by reporting on your blog how and which errors you've fixed in the story, thanking the readers for pointing them out to you.

Wheezer

@Crumbly Writer

There's a major difference between recognizing you have a problem, and work to correct it, than those who have no clue what they're doing wrong, and blithely blunder on.


Or do not give a rat's ass..(cough,cough*cropo*cough, cough...)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Jay C

We also have to factor in the fact that some writers aren't fluent in English or it is a second or third language for them.

I know at least one author like that. For instance, while his English is fine, he refuses to use contractions—which make his writing appear stilted. Often, foreign language speakers can read English fine, but will get subject/objects reversed, or who can't figure out the subtler aspects of English construction or the beauty of nuanced writing.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

To me, it matters if the sex is part of the plot or character development, gratuitous sex in a story just to have sex in a story wastes the writer's and the reader's time. I've written stories with no sex through to much sex, but I try to keep the sex down to what's relevant for developing the story.

Even when the sex is part of the plot, many authors approach it as something to tack onto an existing plot. The story will go along, until the sex start, and then you could literally lift the entire sex scene without losing anything in the story. It's the literary equivalent of 'Wham, bam, thank you, Ma'am!"

On the other hand, I've largely quit include sex in my stories, because I prefer continuing the story through the sex scenes—having the characters discuss their histories, or what's bothering them (story related), but had to quit when many readers would bypass entire chapters if they encountered a single sex scene, and then bitch the story 'made no sense' afterwards.

Replies:   kov170
Crumbly Writer

@Grant

As do I, but if the errors are so significant or numerous that it significantly impacts on the readability of the story, then it impacts on my enjoyment of it. And I score it accordingly.

Promising readers can always learn how to write better. If more people read those promising stories, the authors are more likely to get offers from qualified editors. However, if you rate any story with typos or grammar errors poorly, the promising author has NO incentive to continue, learning what they don't know at that moment in time.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

While good grammar helps tell the story, we do need to be careful not to become too hung up on it.

That's why those of use who barely understand English grammar hire grammar Nazis to rip our story to shreds before we painstakingly put it back together again.

I agree, authors shouldn't focus on grammar and typing, instead concentrating on story development and plot issues. However, they then need to work overtime during the editing stage to make up for it.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


he refuses to use contractions—which make his writing appear stilted.


In the past, contractions were not used in the narrative. They're not used in formal writing and the narrative part of a novel was formal (of course dialogue was how the character spoke).

When I started writing fiction, I followed that "rule." Then I realized modern fiction (at least genre fiction) uses contractions so I switched.

It's funny you used the word "stilted." A while back my wife decided to re-read an old classic (remember, she was an English Literature major). I think it was "Madam Bovery." She put it down saying the writing was stilted.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Only a tiny handful would rate each independently.


Largely because that tiny handful were the only ones with the skill/knowledge to understand the differences between them.

Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

I STILL end up with some glaring errors when I post them to SOL! And that's after I've read them all through AGAIN after editing.

For me, it's those 'last-minute corrections' which get me into trouble. While I can spot a LOT of issues reviewing chapters long after I've written/edited them, but I inject almost as many errors as I correct.

When I posted a story with NO last-minute corrections at all (i.e. no last-minute reviews), I only got a single correction send in by a reader, along with a note that the story was 'much cleaner than the majority I read'.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

There's a major difference between recognizing you have a problem, and work to correct it, than those who have no clue what they're doing wrong, and blithely blunder on.


Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Yes, those things are very different. That said, if you want to go on public rants about other peoples grammar problems without looking like an idiot, you had best make sure that there are no obvious problems with your own grammar.

Crumbly Writer

@Wheezer

Or do not give a rat's ass..(cough,cough*cropo*cough, cough...)

That was the implied double-meaning, that it's wanting to improve that helps authors, not the authors who say 'Screw you, it's MY story!'

Some authors don't know what they don't know, and then there are those who simply don't care what they don't know!

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

In the past, contractions were not used in the narrative. They're not used in formal writing and the narrative part of a novel was formal (of course dialogue was how the character spoke).

The change (in writing styles) occurred because fiction authors used to believe in 3rd-person omni stories as being 'told from the voice of God, who knows all things'.

That approach has fallen out of favor, and now many view formal writing to be a reflection of an upper-class education and background (i.e. wealthy whites only, others need not apply). Instead they started writing with different narrators (other than God), and they gave each narrator a more informal speaking style.

doctor_wing_nut

Thanks folks, I appreciate all the replies, and I'm glad this discussion has remained civil and on-topic.

For the record, I realize we're amateurs here, and I do overlook most mistakes as a rule - even my personal 'favorites', which set my teeth to grinding. However, I believe anyone that's familiar with this particular story will agree that the gross tonnage of errors is truly impressive in scope. I just cannot see how anyone can overlook so many errors and still find enjoyment in the tale. I admit I finished it out of sheer stubbornness. But the thing that offended me the most is the lack of caring by the writer and their editors. When I think about all the writers here that actually try to produce quality work, and put in the effort to get things right, it chaps my ass to see their work get much lower scores than this slipshod mish-mash. It just ain't right.

I know we will never get the scoring to everyone's liking, and I don't want to belabor that point. I guess I'll just have to ignore it. By the way, there was no 'on-screen' sex in this thing, which is a little disappointing because the potential for delightful errors there would have at least been amusing.

One can only imagine the hilarity that would have ensued.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Yes, those things are very different. That said, if you want to go on public rants about other peoples grammar problems without looking like an idiot, you had best make sure that there are no obvious problems with your own grammar.

You're missing the entire point of the post (which was written in response from a similar post from you!). Rather than castigate someone for not doing everything perfectly, it helps if you encourage them to improve, rather than throwing them off a cliff at the git-go.

People who aren't perfect can improve—or in my case rely on my editors—but those insist in perfect forum posts merely get boring discussions, and even worse stories.

Authors need to focus on telling their stories, as you can't edit a blank page!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@doctor_wing_nut

When I think about all the writers here that actually try to produce quality work, and put in the effort to get things right, it chaps my ass to see their work get much lower scores than this slipshod mish-mash. It just ain't right.

The flip side to all my previous posts about 'giving new authors a chance' is based on the desires of the author in question (which readers can't really know). If an author wants to improve, they can. If they have no desire to improve, then they won't. However, if an author 'doesn't know what they don't know', then they'll never understand that they need to improve.

That's why it's important to call people on specific errors. Point out that an author confuses "your" and "you're" and see whether they improve. If they don't, you have my blessing in writing them out of your writing cannon.

Likewise, criticizing someone with 'let he is without sin' on a forum post is overly critical (as they likely aren't editing their posts), while pointing out their mistakes i considered fair game.

It's considered 'gentleman jousting' when you make fun of another's typos, but insisting that no one is ALLOWED to make typos is typically beyond their control!

Crumbly Writer

@doctor_wing_nut

One can only imagine the hilarity that would have ensued.

That's why Hillary never had sex with Bill, and why he then got in trouble for whoring around with interns!

Sex has a definite place in fiction, and those who poo-poo sex are doing themselves a disfavor, just as those who criticize others for their personal failings do. It's not your initial limitations which define you, it's you're inability to progress beyond them that do!

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

That said, if you want to go on public rants about other peoples grammar problems without looking like an idiot, you had best make sure that there are no obvious problems with your own grammar.


Just the other day someone on wattpad threw out the "Never use adverbs." Someone wrote back that they checked out her story and the 1st paragraph contained 4 adverbs.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

That's why it's important to call people on specific errors.


I was enjoying a story that kept switching tenses which drove me crazy (Ernest, is that "drived me crazy"? being factitious so no need to reply).

So I sent the SOL author feedback and got a very nice thank you the next day. There are plenty of authors wanting to improve.

Bondi Beach

@Switch Blayde

being factitious so no need to reply


Does this mean "full of facts"?

bb

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Bondi Beach

@Crumbly Writer

If they don't [improve], you have my blessing in writing them out of your writing cannon.


I'd be more likely to fire them out of my writing cannon. Probably using adverbs in place of gunpowder.

bb

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


it helps if you encourage them to improve, rather than throwing them off a cliff at the git-go.


Sure, that helps, no disagreement here, but that is not what is happening on this thread.

Here there are multiple posters bitching about grammar errors in unnamed stories by unnamed authors. That helps no one.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

There are plenty of authors wanting to improve.


Yep, but endless bitching about grammar problems in unnamed stories by unnamed authors accomplishes nothing.

And if they did name the stories / authors, public shaming is more likely to drive them away than to encourage them to improve.

richardshagrin

@Jay C

I include the errors in my stories at no additional cost to the reader.


And we appreciate it. Its a rush to hit the link at the bottom of a chapter and suggest a correction. Some authors aren't happy to get those suggestions, but amateur proof-readers enjoy the opportunity.

Crumbly Writer

@Bondi Beach

being factitious so no need to reply

Does this mean "full of facts"?

Nope: It means "face full of tits"! 'D

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Sure, that helps, no disagreement here, but that is not what is happening on this thread.

Here there are multiple posters bitching about grammar errors in unnamed stories by unnamed authors. That helps no one.

Have you read ANY of my posts in this thread? I've been arguing the counter point, that you want to encourage authors, encouraging them to get better by pointing out errors, but if they're uninterested in growing as artists, then casting them aside.

Everyone has some errors—many but not all of which are caught during editing.

PotomacBob

@Jay C

As a reader (but not a writer) I agree that plot and character development are far more important than technical merit. If I care about the story and characters, I can easily overlook errors.

Replies:   Grant
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Have you read ANY of my posts in this thread? I've been arguing the counter point, that you want to encourage authors, encouraging them to get better by pointing out errors, but if they're uninterested in growing as artists, then casting them aside.


I have, but you apparently haven't bothered looking at the comment I originally replied to with "Doctor heal thyself" or any of the comments above it.

ETA: That comment, by REP, included a complaint about wrong word choices from an unnamed story and itself contained an obvious wrong word.

Replies:   REP
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Everyone has some errors—many but not all of which are caught during editing.


Very true, but the OP on this thread and well over half the replies to it are rants about errors in unnamed stories by unnamed authors, this helps no one.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Very true, but the OP on this thread and well over half the replies to it are rants about errors in unnamed stories by unnamed authors, this helps no one.

Again, exposing and humiliating someone doesn't "help them". Writing and suggesting corrections or things they haven't noticed, does, which is why it's better focusing on an author's strengths (and helping them improve their writing).

I was simply suggesting that authors 'turn the other cheek' rather than seeking to destroy their competition. Your seems to be 'if you never let beginners write, there will eventually be fewer bad authors.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Dominions Son


but the OP on this thread and well over half the replies to it are rants about errors in unnamed stories by unnamed authors, this helps no one.


The OP was not ranting about the author. It was the high score of a story that he didn't think deserved it because of its unreadability. The author wasn't named to protect the author.

Replies:   Dominions Son
StarFleet Carl

@Crumbly Writer

That's why Hillary never had sex with Bill


Chelsea?

My brother was married to a woman who ended up leaving him for another woman after four kids. He complained that the only time they ever had sex was when she was drunk.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Switch Blayde

I was enjoying a story that kept switching tenses which drove me crazy (Ernest, is that "drived me crazy"? being factitious so no need to reply).


Depends on when you dove into the deep end.

Not_a_ID

@StarFleet Carl

Chelsea?


https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/04/how-the-first-sperm-bank-began/361288/

Considering the first human babies born from frozen sperm cells were born in the 1950's according to that. We cannot rule out Chelsea being an artificial insemination. Given she was born over 20 years later. ;)

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Your seems to be 'if you never let beginners write, there will eventually be fewer bad authors.


No, mine is stop airing this shit on a semi-public forum. Doing this helps no one, it will scare away beginner authors and there will be fewer authors period.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

The OP was not ranting about the author.


Except he spent more words on how awful the quality of the story was then on how the scoring system works.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

No, mine is stop airing this shit on a semi-public forum. Doing this helps no one, it will scare away beginner authors and there will be fewer authors period.

Well, then we agree, to a certain degree, at least. Instead of trying to shut down the conversation, I was instead trying to get everyone to see it from the side of the struggling author. But ... there are also certain authors that certain readers just won't be able to abide. I want people to be reasonable, not unrealistic. If an author shows no pride in their work and isn't interested in correcting their errors, then it's acceptable to say 'this is too much for me."

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Except he spent more words on how awful the quality of the story was then on how the scoring system works.

He was speaking out of frustration, thus I'll ignore most of his rant. He'll probably be more reasonable tomorrow—especially after having watched everyone else pile on!

It sounds like the author in question was in a rush to publish—that it was never clear why. Without that little detail, it's hard to understand his decision to post an inferior work with several editors working on it. That reflects poorly on him, and it's his right to keep his private life to himself, but he's hurt his professional brand in the process.

If he's in the process of writing something else, I'd suggest he put it aside and clean up this story instead, lest fewer people read his next. He should also reconsider finishing and editing his stories before publishing them.

However, it should come as no surprise to new authors that readers don't appreciate types and simple mistakes in stories, though sometimes it helps reminding them that there is help available.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

Except he spent more words on how awful the quality of the story was then on how the scoring system works.


Read the first post again. It's all about the quality of the story (or lack of it), not the author. The point was that a story written so poorly still got a score in the high 8's and that's why the name of the thread is "Don't Trust Scores."

I don't think it was a rant about the author. Not even the story as much as the score the story got.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

I don't think it was a rant about the author.


I never said it was a rant about the author. I described it as a rant about grammar problems in an unnamed story by an unnamed author.

Grant

@PotomacBob

If I care about the story and characters, I can easily overlook errors.

If it's a really good story, then certain errors can impact it more severely than if it wasn't such a good story.

joyR

@doctor_wing_nut

Didn't you get the memo...?

For a number of residents here scoring is far to difficult for members to be trusted with, because apparently our readers are not qualified to vote correctly...

Some of those who make such statements go on to spout things like, "adverse scores discourage new writers", without ever considering that telling readers they are to "unqualified" to vote might just be taken as insulting...

It is pointless to bitch about the scoring system here, because whatever system is used, there will be factions who dislike it, and those who therefore subvert it. For example, those who would prefer a simple "thumbs up/thumbs down" system might simply vote any story either a 1 or a 10, if they vote at all.

My sympathies go to our poor webmaster for the thankless tasks involved in running this site and who probably has the "You can please some of the people....." etc, sign prominently displayed somewhere.

To sum up - don't trust scores.


Damn right...!!!

Is it better to blindly follow the opinions of others, or judge for yourself..?

After all, depending upon which faction you listen to, either the scoring system does not reflect the true worth of a story, or the voter is too stupid to vote correctly.

This site is by no means the only place to read stories for free, but in my opinion it is the best platform by far, by which I mean that the reader is better able to find, bookmark, download etc than on other sites.

BUT

When it comes to appreciating a story, which is after all a SUBJECTIVE opinion, the scoring is as wildly inaccurate as anywhere else.

"Mrs. Holmsteader picked up a piece of paper and drew on it. She placed the paper down on her desk and asked, "What number is on the piece of paper?"

"Six."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes. It's a six," Danny said.

She spun the piece of paper around 180 degrees and then asked, "Are you still sure it is a six?"

"I get the point," Danny said looking at what was now a nine. "Sometimes it is a matter of perspective."

Excerpt From: Lazlo Zalezac. "The Future of Miss Powers." iBooks.


Lastly a few thoughts;

If a poorly written story moves me enough to laugh out loud and to shed tears, how should I mark it on a scale of 1 to 10 ??

Can you look at the top twenty list of "best sellers" and honestly say that they all deserve to be there on merit. ??

When a reader makes his or her vote, are you really arrogant enough to believe that their vote shouldn't count. ??

REP

@Dominions Son

itself contained an obvious wrong word


True.

I felt that deliberately making the types of errors I observed in the story was far better than posting one of the Author's sentences. I couldn't figure out how to do the first error type I noted in the story in the same sentence as the other errors.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

I felt that deliberately making the types of errors I observed in the story was far better than posting one of the Author's sentences.


Sorry, in my opinion, the way you did it isn't smart or clever it makes you look idiotic.

REP

Just a reminder. The rating system is intended to allow the reader to provide an indication to the Author regarding their opinion of the story, and feedback messages allow the reader to explain why they liked or disliked the story.

Since the rating and feedback is intended to help Authors improve, it doesn't help us when a reader gives every story they like a 10, as indicated by Seanshi1969 in his earlier post - no offense intended Sean.

Readers should differentiate between hate, dislike, like, good, and outstanding; but many don't seem to do that. I think that is what doctor_wing_nut was trying to say in his original post.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
seanski1969
Updated:

@REP

Not offended so don't worry. :)


Since the rating and feedback is intended to help Authors improve, it doesn't help us when a reader gives every story they like a 10


I thought scoring was for readers to find quality stories and feedback is hints to authors what to improve or what was great about a story. Now I find that I prefer long stories and I haven't found any rated under a 7.5.

So I use ratings to pick my stories. Could not care less about any codes or if there is even sex. just good storytelling. So if I laugh, cry, smile or just have an emotional response to the story it gets a 10. Believe me I will complain about grammar and spelling too myself but as long as I am entertained I will continue to read.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@seanski1969


readers to find quality stories and feedback is hints to authors what to improve or what was great about a story.


Ratings help readers find good stories and let the Author know your level of satisfaction with the story. Think of it this way, if you went to a movie that had a poor plot and poor acting but you found it entertaining would you give it a 10, when a 10 means the movie is entertaining, has a good plot, and good acting.

You would be doing a disservice to other movie goers who see your 10 rating and say he rated it a 10, so it must be an outstanding movie.

Replies:   joyR  Not_a_ID
joyR

@REP

when a 10 means the movie is entertaining, has a good plot, and good acting.


Obviously that is what a 10 means to you, it is by no means the only definition of what makes a story a 10. Which is the point really. Every reader is free to use whatever criteria they choose when awarding a score.

If you want everyone to judge stories by the three criteria you listed, then you must change the system to show those three criteria separately.

Replies:   REP
REP

@joyR

Every reader is free to use whatever criteria they choose when awarding a score.


Precisely the point I was making to Seanski1969. Sean said he gave everything a 10 and looked for 10 rated stories to find something good to read.

I created an example and defined a rating scale to demonstrate why giving everything you read a 10 may not be the best idea, and that he couldn't trust a 10 rating to mean the stories he selected to read would be what he thought they would be.

seanski1969

I never said I gave anything I read a 10. I said if the story moved me or had imagination then it gets a 10. I've read plenty of stories which I refuse to vote on. Just an important clarification. I also agree with JOYR that we are all free to vote anyway WE(as in me, myself and I) wish too!!!

I just don't vote on stories which bore me. My mama told me once if you've got nothing nice to say then don't say it. I want to encourage authors not discourage them. And lets be honest here that the majority of authors do look at their scores and care about them. They also know when a story works or doesn't. The ones with the bad grammar, spelling,etc. either don't know English or are just lazy or too dumb so rather then give a bad score I just look at the plot and then either vote or not.

Replies:   REP  REP
REP

@seanski1969

You are right about "anything". I apologize for misstating your earlier comment. Although it seems I did get it right in the example.

REP
Updated:

@seanski1969


we are all free to vote anyway WE(as in me, myself and I) wish too!!!


Since that echoes my sentiments, I have to agree with you.

I drive a pickup, and I am free to control it in any manner I feel is appropriate. I can do 15 mph in a residential zone or 85 mph. Just because I can do 85 doesn't mean it is a good thing to do.

All readers have their own means of rating stories. I have been trying to point out to you that a 10 for a story you like may not be helping the Author. But, if that is what you want to do, you have the right to do it.

And lets be honest here that the majority of authors do look at their scores and care about them. They also know when a story works or doesn't.


Unfortunately, knowing what does and doesn't work isn't true of the majority of Authors. It is true of many, but not the majority. You said "The ones with the bad grammar, spelling,etc. either don't know English or are just lazy or too dumb". That applies to many of SOL's authors. I've given feedback to many authors. Some respond positively to my comments about their problems, many ignore my comments and continue to post stories with similar problems. I have lost track of the number of times that I have suggested that the Author get an Editor to help improve the story.

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@REP

I can do 15 mph in a residential zone or 85 mph.


Apart from your example having no correlation to voting for stories, have you evidence of readers being convicted of voting too high?

What is the maximum legal vote in a residential area?

Can a reader give the same story a higher vote if they are on a freeway?

Replies:   Grant  REP
Grant
Updated:

@joyR

have you evidence of readers being convicted of voting too high?

One admitted to it in this very thread.

What is the maximum legal vote in a residential area?
Can a reader give the same story a higher vote if they are on a freeway?

Like yourself with the poor footless mouse, the poster was using an analogy to make a point- My take on this one is "just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should."

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@Grant

One admitted to it in this very thread.


Convicted..??

My take on this one is "just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.


When applied to speeding vehicles, I agree.

When applied to scoring a story, then definitely not.

By all means teach people to appreciate the written word, but how dare you dictate to them what they must like and what not to like.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@joyR

One admitted to it in this very thread.


Convicted..??

No need for a trial since it was admitted.

My take on this one is "just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.


When applied to speeding vehicles, I agree.
When applied to scoring a story, then definitely not.

So if someone doesn't like even a part of a story, it's OK for them to give it a 1, and if they don't dislike any parts of it they give it a 10, and nothing in between?

By all means teach people to appreciate the written word, but how dare you dictate to them what they must like and what not to like.

Who said anything about dictating what they like or don't like?
The discussion was about how people score.
One poster said they don't score a story if they don't like it, but if they do like even some of it then it gets a 10. Nothing in between.

Replies:   joyR
REP

@joyR

As you should have realized, the example was sarcasm meant to demonstrate we all have the right to do things, and we don't always do appropriate things when we exercise those rights.

Replies:   joyR
joyR
Updated:

@Grant


So if someone doesn't like even a part of a story, it's OK for them to give it a 1, and if they don't dislike any parts of it they give it a 10, and nothing in between?


Every reader is free to vote, the current system is a rating of 1 to 10. Each of them has different likes and dislikes, and is free to decide on what, for them, makes a story worth a given score.

You may well dislike how a person scores a story, but so what? You only get to decide how you score.

Freedom of choice means some make choices considered wrong by others, but freedom of choice is a far better than the alternative.

So yes, it is ok.

joyR

@REP

Noted, however, if speed of travel relates to scores, maybe I should write for airline passengers...?

seanski1969

Thanks for the defense... I thought I might have been sent to the Big House.

Replies:   REP
REP

@seanski1969

I thought I might have been sent to the Big House


Nah, I sincerely doubt that. Possibly the outhouse. :)

But seriously, we all have a scoring system that we like. You have yours and it works for you.

No offense intended to you personally, but earlier in the thread, you said:

The ones with the bad grammar, spelling,etc. either don't know English or are just lazy or too dumb


I've heard that type of comment before about Authors and it irritates me. Think about the "just lazy or too dumb" part of your statement. In other threads there have been comments from Authors about readers who just give a story a 10 because they like the story or the Author. I don't want to go there, but the comments were made about a different subject that concerned how unwarranted 10s skew the average rating of a story thereby affecting the validity of a story's average rating. On Lazeez's scale a 10 rating means - Most Amazing Story. If you just like a story does it really deserve a 10? Or is it that you can't be bothered to determine where your opinion of the story actually fits on Lazeez's scale?

Personally, if I just like a story it gets a 7 which equates to Good. You can do what you want.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Michael Loucks

I don't give too many scores lower than 4. I use the tags and story descriptions to filter out stuff I know I won't like. If those look promising but the story really suck and there are technical problems, I'll lower the score below 4, but that's rare and takes some real effort on the part of the author.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Michael Loucks

I don't give too many scores lower than 4.


Likewise. I've been on the site for over 7 years and I can only recall rating 2 stories less than 4.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@REP


Personally, if I just like a story it gets a 7 which equates to Good.


If everyone did that, the final score of the story would be less than 7 (not 7.00). Several people on this forum stated they don't bother reading a story that has a score of less than 7.

That's one of the problems. In this example, everyone liked the story, but because the final score was lower than 7 (Good), many people would never read it.

So getting back to trusting the scoring system...

I believe people who reject a story based on that criteria are doing themselves an injustice.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


If everyone did that,


7 is the rating for a story I just like. If I think it is great or outstanding, it gets a higher score. If I don't like the story I give a lower rating, but if I don't finish it, no rating, but possible feedback.

Ratings are based on personal likes and dislikes, how they interpret the rating system, and other possible factors.

Peoples' rationale for how to choose what they read is their decision. Some people may rely solely on ratings, or factor them in, but I would never use that in deciding if I should or should not read a story.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@REP


7 is the rating for a story I just like.


The point I was making is that you liked the story. Therefore it was a good story. Now if 100% of the people who voted on that story felt the same way, the raw score would be 7.0. However, the listed score will be 6-something.

There are people here who won't read a story with a score below 7.0. That means they'll be missing out on a story everyone who voted liked.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Switch Blayde

Now if 100% of the people who voted on that story felt the same way, the raw score would be 7.0.


As a hypothetical possibility, that is true.

But reality says, not all readers are likely to enjoy the story to the same degree and they all have their own opinion on how to rate a story when the degree of enjoyment is the same. Thus, an average raw score of 7.0 is very unlikely.

There are people here who won't read a story with a score below 7.0


That is true and their decision will result in them missing out on many very good stories.

Replies:   joyR  Switch Blayde
joyR

@REP

That is true and their decision will result in them missing out on many very good stories.


Agreed.

Perhaps this is where reviews come into it. If we read a story with a lower score and believe it deserves more readers, perhaps we should all make an effort to post a review?

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@joyR

Or try and remember the story details, so when someone posts for story suggestions of a particular type then the author / story name can be pushed forward.
There are many older stories that far outshine more recent ones with higher scores, though the random story suggestions will eventually bring those to light. I have a feeling many, if not most, users probably don't spend much time in the archives because that actually requires an effort to be made.

seanski1969

All of the preceding cases about no one reading a score below 7 justify my actions. Any story which I find to have a good plot or has moved me emotionally is scored again by my choice a 10. I read a lot of stories and if I don't enjoy it or believe that it is just mindless drivel, I don't vote. The point I make with my 10's are too raise the scores of stories which I find other readers would enjoy. Is that not the reason most readers look at scores? There are many great stories not listed on the All Time Favorite Lists. There are also many free accounts who are unable to do detailed searches who just use scores as to whether or not read the story.

Replies:   REP
REP

@seanski1969

The point I make with my 10's are too raise the scores of stories which I find other readers would enjoy


Others can make what they want of your statement.

To me, that comment means you are taking the position that your opinion of a story that you like should guide the decisions that other readers make when they consider ratings in choosing what to read. So, since you want others to read what you like, you intentionally skew the story's average score by giving it a 10.

I would rather have readers rate my stories honestly, rather than get 10s for an okay story that is not great. A false 10 would result in a higher average rating, which could mislead a potential reader.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@REP


As a hypothetical possibility, that is true.

But reality says,


Of course. But I was making a point about the OP (trusting the scoring system).

Let's say a bunch of readers gave varying scores that averaged to a raw score of 7.0. In SOL terms, that's a good story. And maybe that's why some here say they won't read a story that scored under a 7.0. After all, that's the bottom grade for a "good" story.

But the reader doesn't see the 7.0 so they could be missing out on a story the average reader thought was "good."

My only point was that a reader should be careful ruling out stories by some number. Don't necessarily trust the scoring system to reject a story. There are so many factors that come into play.

As to scoring stories you like high and not scoring those you don't like (probably didn't finish) is one of the causes of the problem with the scoring system. I'm guilty of it too. Because of that, the scores across the board were too high so Lazeez had to manipulate the system to accommodate it. If every reader scored every story they started, and gave an honest score, that would alleviate that problem.

But is it fair to score a story you didn't finish? What if it ended up great.

The bottom line is, "it is what it is."

Replies:   red61544  REP
red61544

@Switch Blayde

My only point was that a reader should be careful ruling out stories by some number.

Switch, I don't think many readers do that! Personally, I read the blurb first. If it interests me, I read the codes. If nothing squicks me in the codes and I don't know the author, I check his page to see how often his stories are left unfinished. If he finishes his stories, I look at the score then decide if I want to read the story. So before I ever get to the score, a lot of other things may turn me off to the story. My reading time is limited; before I start reading, I want to know that I'm not wasting that limited time.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


If every reader scored every story they started, and gave an honest score, that would alleviate that problem.


I think we are pretty much in agreement, although I would probably disagree with you on the above.

When I feel a story is so bad that I bail on it due to content rather than grammar, I feel that rating a story would be inappropriate. So if I were to rate the story at that point, I might give it something like a 3 or 4 on the basis that if it were so bad I couldn't complete it, the story deserved a very low score. Now if all readers were to do that, it might offset all those undeserved 10s.

Lazeez's rating scale does not have numbers beside the descriptive terms, so for the longest time I thought of Good as a 5. To me, Good equates to Average, and I think of Average as a 5. I know it isn't so, but every time someone says they won't read anything that has less than a 7 rating, I interpolate between 5 and 10 and ask myself why they won't read something less than a Very Good story.

As you say It is what it is.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
REP

@red61544

Sounds to me like a Very Good way to make a selection as to what to read.

There may not be many Readers that judge stories by scores, but they do exist. But if they miss out on reading a good story because they put the rating before the rest, that is their problem, not ours.

Joe Long

@Ernest Bywater

When I read and write I expect proper grammar in the narrative, with a possible exception of first person where he's staying "in character". But even there I'm giving the exception for the choice of words (usually a slang or dialect) and not the author's incorrect spelling or editing errors. Dialogue is of course different because the author is quoting the character's words.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@REP


When I feel a story is so bad that I bail on it due to content rather than grammar, I feel that rating a story would be inappropriate. So if I were to rate the story at that point, I might give it something like a 3 or 4 on the basis that if it were so bad I couldn't complete it, the story deserved a very low score.


I've used this real life example before, but it relates perfectly to what you said and how the scoring system is intended (based on Lazeez's answer to the question - see below).

I got feedback once about a story I wrote. The reader said it was so well written he couldn't finish it. It hurt him to read it. He worked with abused children and I guess my child character was so real he had to stop reading.

He told me he was torn between giving it a 1 (because he hated it to the point he had to stop reading) or a 10 because it was so well written. He chose a 10 because that's how he determined the scoring system should be.

But I was curious so I asked Lazeez. After blowing up about only 2 choices (1 or 10) since he gives readers 10 choices, he said, with only 2 choices the reader should have given it a 1. It isn't the quality of the story, but how it appeals to the reader that determines the score.

Folks, that's the key! Appeal! Nothing to do with quality, grammar, punctuation, etc.

---------------

btw, the story wasn't about child abuse. It was about how drug addiction could take over your life, to the point of a drug addict mother giving her little girl to her drug dealer. If the reader would have read it to the end, the little girl saves the mother.

Replies:   REP  red61544  Grant
REP

@Switch Blayde

Folks, that's the key! Appeal!


True, but I think quality, grammar, punctuation, etc. influence the Appeal to the reader.

Replies:   Dominions Son  Joe Long
Dominions Son

@REP

True, but I think quality, grammar, punctuation, etc. influence the Appeal to the reader.


Perhaps, but the degree to which it does is going to vary from reader to reader.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
red61544

@Switch Blayde

Nothing to do with quality, grammar, punctuation, etc.

Switch, a story has to appeal to me or I won't bother reading it. However, no matter how appealing the subject matter, if the story is filled with misspellings and grammatical errors, I won't read it. If the author cared so little about his story that he didn't submit it to a competent editor, why should I bother reading it?

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ernest Bywater

@Joe Long

When I read and write I expect proper grammar in the narrative,


Good, but please remember there are different versions and forms of proper grammar. There are some subtle differences between what is seen as proper grammar in Formal US English and Formal UK English, there is also a difference between Formal English and Vernacular English. Most of the time I write using proper Vernacular UK English because the Formal or Technically Correct English is too stilted for good story telling, thus I reserve it for text books, other academic works, and official reports.

Replies:   Joe Long
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Perhaps, but the degree to which it does is going to vary from reader to reader.


Very true. One of my favourite authors never uses contractions, and that makes most of the dialogue seem extremely stilted an unrealistic. That detracts a little from my enjoyment of the story, but I still enjoy the story a lot.

Switch Blayde

@red61544

However, no matter how appealing the subject matter, if the story is filled with misspellings and grammatical errors, I won't read it. If the author cared so little about his story that he didn't submit it to a competent editor, why should I bother reading it?


Read the OP again. That was his point. The story referred to scored in the high-8s yet it was nearly impossible to read. doctor_wing_nut's point was a story written that poorly should never receive that high a score, hence don't trust the scoring system.

Grant

@Switch Blayde

Folks, that's the key! Appeal! Nothing to do with quality, grammar, punctuation, etc.

As others have already posted- If the story is barely readable due to all the errors then the appeal is going to be very low.

Replies:   joyR  Switch Blayde
joyR
Updated:

@Grant


As others have already posted- If the story is barely readable due to all the errors then the appeal is going to be very low.


Unless of course the writing is SO entertaining that the reader ignores the errors because they are so enthralled by the story.

There are a number of authors on this site who have written stories so good that I've stayed up all night reading them. Only a few of those authors are amongst the most well known and in a number of cases their stories are in genre I dislike. In some cases they are in dire need of a dictionary, let alone an editor, but, if the story is that appealing, it deserves a 10

Replies:   Switch Blayde  Grant
Switch Blayde

@Grant

If the story is barely readable due to all the errors then the appeal is going to be very low.


Read the OP. My comments were directed to that.

Switch Blayde

@joyR

In some cases they are in dire need of a dictionary, let alone an editor, but, if the story is that appealing, it deserves a 10


Totally disagree. It can't justify an "Amazing Story."

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@Switch Blayde

Folks, that's the key! Appeal! Nothing to do with quality, grammar, punctuation, etc.


Totally disagree. It can't justify an "Amazing Story."


?

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ernest Bywater

The score provided by a reader is how much they liked the story - that's all.

While some readers find technical issues with a story reducing its appeal to them, some readers wouldn't know a grammar error if it bit them on the arse. In both cases the readers will rate the story on how much they liked it, not on how well it was written technically.

There's not really much else that can be said on that aspect that's of any use to anyone else.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


In both cases the readers will rate the story on how much they liked it, not on how well it was written technically.

There's not really much else that can be said on that aspect that's of any use to anyone else.


The only exception I would take to that EB is that for some readers the technical aspects of a story is part of their rationale for liking the story. They factor technical into the rating they assign the story, so how well it was written technically does mean something to them. Other readers don't care about technical and don't factor it into their rating, which is okay also.

Switch Blayde

@joyR

Folks, that's the key! Appeal! Nothing to do with quality, grammar, punctuation, etc.

Totally disagree. It can't justify an "Amazing Story."


It's the way the scoring system is set up and how many SOL readers use it. However, I totally disagree with any scoring that would give a poorly constructed story a rating of "amazing."

Grant

@joyR

Unless of course the writing is SO entertaining that the reader ignores the errors because they are so enthralled by the story.

Of course.
And if the errors are such that it makes reading the story difficult, then the appeal is reduced. What might have scored a 10 will only get a 9 or 8 or even a 6 if the errors are numerous or significant enough to detract that much.
Or the errors could be so much of an issue that it's not possible to continue.

Joe Long

@REP

If a story's well written but just not my taste, that's me and not the author and therefor no reason to down-vote the story.

Replies:   REP
Joe Long

@Ernest Bywater

I'm well aware. As long as it's proper grammar *somewhere* and not errors by the author. A friend of mine is Canadian but but story is set in the US. I proof the text and send him back the Canadianisms that need corrected. (Ah - but I left out 'to be' because that's how we speak where I'm from!)

Replies:   Dominions Son
REP

@Joe Long

I agree if the Author's descriptions and/or codes indicated the type of story being posted. I that case I would just exit the story without rating it.

If you have read a bit of the story before the objectionable content is discovered and there was no code indicating it was included, then it would be understandable to feel the Author mislead you. In that situation, I can see down-rating the story.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

If you have read a bit of the story before the objectionable content is discovered and there was no code indicating it was included, then it would be understandable to feel the Author mislead you. In that situation, I can see down-rating the story.


And, thus, we come to one of the aspects by some authors I don't like.

Before you start to read a story you look at the codes and the story blurb / synopsis / summary to make a decision about reading it or not reading it. Once you start the story you either bookmark it or leave it up in the browser so you can continue reading from where you left off. While reading the story you don't go back to see if they changed the blurb or the codes.

Yet there are some authors who will add codes as the story progresses. Thus you get no warnings before you start, this is especially annoying if what they add partway through is something that would've stopped you starting it to begin with.

I had that with one story where the author argued putting in all the codes would give away a key part of the plot - then he bitched because so many people who got caught by the uncoded segment quit partway through and gave his story a low score because of the unexpected squick stuff.

The adding of codes as they write is another reason why I no longer read stories until after they're finished being posted, with a few exceptions for authors I trust to put all the codes in at the start, the same way as I do.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater

A detailed explanation of why I feel down-rating a story is justifiable if the code isn't there when I decide to read the story. Authors who withhold codes they know apply have to accept any consequences.

Replies:   Joe Long
Joe Long

@REP

In my story I put in all the codes that describe the type of story, characters and sex

Ma/ft, Teenagers, Consensual, Romantic, Heterosexual, Fiction, Tear Jerker, Sports, Incest, Cousins, First, Safe Sex, Oral Sex, Masturbation, Petting, Cream Pie, Small Breasts, Slow

I'm not going to change the list, but I didn't include a couple that I considered spoilers. You know who's in it and what they do, but I don't want to give away all the surprises. Hopefully that doesn't make anyone angry, but I'll accept the consequences.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Joe Long

Not a problem.

As the Author we know what will unfold to the reader as we post successive chapters, and we know the codes that apply.

We can withhold a code to keep from giving away a surprise. But at the start of the story, the reader does not know how that code will apply to the story's content. It may apply to the main characters or to just a subplot in which the main characters do not participate.

Besides, most readers who look at the codes do so to determine if they want to read the story. They forget how the story is coded by the end of the first chapter. So personally, I don't believe that providing the code upfront destroys the surprises in the story. By providing all codes upfront, a reader can tell if certain aspects of the story's content will be objectionable to them. Suddenly encountering uncoded, objectionable content will be a surprise - an unpleasant surprise.

Lumpy

There are also many authors who post as they write, and so the story might change or evolve as they work on it, and codes they didn't plan on having in it show up.

I write everything in full, then release, but many write as they go. Which explains some of that.

Replies:   Joe Long  Ernest Bywater
Joe Long

@Lumpy

I've been working on it for 3 years, so it may not be practical for me to wait until it's finished!

I'm not going to throw in anything objectionable. If the reader is already cool with a 19/20 year old male lead with a 14/15 female, everything else is cool. (Well, grandpa was 30 and grandma 15 when they got married, but it's not explicitly stated, I make you read the clue and do the math. Or that one of their daughters married her first cousin. But now I'm making potato farmers look bad)

Dominions Son

@Joe Long

but I left out 'to be' because that's how we speak where I'm from!


What if it takes three bees? Or four?

Dominions Son

@REP

By providing all codes upfront, a reader can tell if certain aspects of the story's content will be objectionable to them. Suddenly encountering uncoded, objectionable content will be a surprise - an unpleasant surprise.


Except there are also readers who act all unpleasantly surprised by coded for content, so you can't win no matter what.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

readers who act all unpleasantly surprised by coded for content


As Authors, we can only do so much.

If we code the content properly, and they fail to read the codes and look up any codes they don't understand, then the onus is on them. I refuse to accept any responsibility for their failures to look for and understand the coding presented to them.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

Suddenly encountering uncoded, objectionable content will be a surprise - an unpleasant surprise.


I had that happen in chapter 20 of a story, and not only did I give it the only '1' I've every issued, I stopped reading, and have that author marked as to never read any of his stories again. That may sound severe, but when they have extreme torture and BDSM suddenly thrown and an no codes to indicate any extreme violence, well, they get what they asked for by doing it.

Ernest Bywater

@Lumpy

many write as they go


and if introducing something uncoded at the start seems a good idea because they didn't plan the story, well, they get to live with the consequences when the readers score it.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

As Authors, we can only do so much.

If we code the content properly, and they fail to read the codes and look up any codes they don't understand, then the onus is on them. I refuse to accept any responsibility for their failures to look for and understand the coding presented to them.


Very true, and as long as you've coded all of what is in the story it's their problem and not yours.

Not_a_ID

@REP

Ratings help readers find good stories and let the Author know your level of satisfaction with the story. Think of it this way, if you went to a movie that had a poor plot and poor acting but you found it entertaining would you give it a 10, when a 10 means the movie is entertaining, has a good plot, and good acting.


I'll usually qualify those as "10/10 for mindless entertainment." (See: many action movies)

As opposed to "I can feel my brain cells committing ritual seppuku to escape witnessing this." Which has it's own category. (See: Dumb and Dumber, and other comparable flicks)

Or "This movie is bad enough MST3K could probably use it for fodder." (but doesn't make me feel dumber for having watched it, see: Battlefield Earth)

Replies:   REP
REP

@Not_a_ID

I'll usually qualify those as "10/10 for mindless entertainment


I rarely go to a movie theater. I consider "Hollywood" jumping on the bandwagon of cursing, poor/inappropriate plots, do-overs of previously released movies, and other things to yield a product that I have no desire to view in a movie theater at an exorbitant price. I have far better uses for my time and money.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@joyR


When it comes to appreciating a story, which is after all a SUBJECTIVE opinion, the scoring is as wildly inaccurate as anywhere else.


Amazon has had no end of trouble with their scoring systems too, though they tend to bury the discussions quickly. You more often hear about author scoring manipulations than 'reader confusion' over scoring.

Replies:   joyR
Crumbly Writer

@REP

Just a reminder. The rating system is intended to allow the reader to provide an indication to the Author regarding their opinion of the story, and feedback messages allow the reader to explain why they liked or disliked the story.

Sorry, but you're wrong here. Story scoring wasn't instituted to help authors, but to aid readers. Author's bitch about it, because they view it from a different perspective and lens than readers do. There's really no way to merge the separate functions in a way which pleases everyone—which is why Lazeez got tired to listening to us bitch about it!

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
joyR

@Crumbly Writer

Amazon has had no end of trouble with their scoring systems too, though they tend to busy the discussions quickly. You more often hear about author scoring manipulations than 'reader confusion' over scoring.


I'm unaware of Amazon scoring, what does seem logical is it would make little commercial sense to take readers to task as they buy the product. Whilst taking authors to task, justified or not, isn't as likely to impact sales. Or am I just being cynical?

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
REP
Updated:

@joyR


Whilst taking authors to task, justified or not, isn't as likely to impact sales.


I often question the validity of a commercial venture's rating system when the system focus's on the products the venture is selling to the public. So, no I don't think you are being cynical; probably more in-line with realistic.

Joe Long

Question about author's coding of their story:

I didn't use rape/murder tags. I of course recognize that these are shocking and sensitive, but the acts are not depicted. The main character is distraught and tells the general story of what had happened to his cousin two years before. What's told in the story is basically what appeared in the newspaper account.

Ernest Bywater

@Joe Long

but the acts are not depicted.


which means the code isn't needed. The codes for sexual activities are for listing what is graphically described, while some of the other codes are for the type of story - eg Western, Science Fiction etc.

Replies:   Joe Long
Joe Long

@Ernest Bywater

Thought to, just wanted to make sure. There's also some situations with characters of not quite age, but the ages are never explicitly stated and the action appears off camera, only referred to in past tense general descriptions, one character to another. "I met this girl at a party last week and we..." or "I caught him in bed with my daughter and he tries to tell me it's not the way it looks!"

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Joe Long

There's also some situations with characters of not quite age, but the ages are never explicitly stated and the action appears off camera, only referred to in past tense general descriptions, one character to another.


The rule says In other words, all characters that engage in any sexual activity must be 14 or older. And Lazeez has often stated he refers to graphic descriptions of the activity in rule 7 on the age. Thus a statement of, "She was raped when she was ten years old," is legal while a detailed description of the rape would be against the laws and the rules. The same applies to all the other sexual activity and nudity rules. I suspect it comes back to the legal definitions of salacious.

kov170

@Crumbly Writer

On the other hand, I've largely quit include sex in my stories, because I prefer continuing the story through the sex scenes—having the characters discuss their histories, or what's bothering them (story related), but had to quit when many readers would bypass entire chapters if they encountered a single sex scene, and then bitch the story 'made no sense' afterwards.


Including significant discussion of plot-related information during sex scenes does not make explicit descriptions of sexual acts significantly less gratuitous. If you copy and paste such a scene into a word processor, it would almost always be possible to remove at least most of the explicit sexual details and retain the information that is useful for developing the plot with no more than minor changes.

For readers who enjoy or do not mind explicit sex scenes, intermixing information that helps develop other aspects of a story can create an illusion of the sex being less gratuitous. But intermixing information in such a manner puts readers who dislike explicit descriptions of sex in a no-win situation. If they want the information that is relevant to developing the plot, they have to wade through the explicit sexual material. If they skip the explicit sexual material, they miss information that would help them understand the plot better. Readers have good reasons to downgrade or complain about stories that put them in such a situation instead of respecting their right to make up their own minds regarding whether or not they want to read explicit descriptions of sex acts.

robberhands

@kov170

If they want the information that is relevant to developing the plot, they have to wade through the explicit sexual material. If they skip the explicit sexual material, they miss information that would help them understand the plot better. Readers have good reasons to downgrade or complain about stories that put them in such a situation instead of respecting their right to make up their own minds regarding whether or not they want to read explicit descriptions of sex acts.

If the story is tagged correctly as whatever amount 'sex' story, they certainly don't have a good reason complaining. They put themself in the situation they find distasteful. Accordingly they have to blame themselfs, and stop annoying the author with their yammering.

Replies:   kov170
Ernest Bywater

@doctor_wing_nut

If they're not by an author you know, do you use the description, or the subject matter?


Yes, to all of those.

Now to the meat of the rest of the post.

To me, it sounds like the being that created that story is more used to writing in LEET or Phone Txt than English, and has many readers who do the same. However, the real core of the problem is very few people who drop a story because they can't finish it will score it, and thus only those who do like the story, warts and all, will vote on it. As a reader, to be fair to other readers, you need to vote appropriately on any story you read beyond the first page, or all of it if it's a short story. If it deserves a 2 or 1 , vote accordingly, also if it deserves an 8 or a 9 vote so.

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

As a reader, to be fair to other readers, you need to vote appropriately on any story you read beyond the first page, or all of it if it's a short story. If it deserves a 2 or 1 , vote accordingly, also if it deserves an 8 or a 9 vote so.

If I read the first two pages of a long story, then drop it for whatever reason and never come back to it, again, for whatever reason, I can't tell you what it 'deserves', and I will not vote on it. Maybe the first two pages were really bad, but the next ten-thousand elavated it to the most fabulous story ever written. How would I know?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

If I read the first two pages of a long story, then drop it for whatever reason and never come back to it, again, for whatever reason, I can't tell you what it 'deserves', and I will not vote on it.


And thus we have stories like the one in the original post getting a high vote simply because the only people who voted are those who don't know how bad it was. At least by voting low on it you're showing there are issues with it.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


And thus we have stories like the one in the original post getting a high vote simply because the only people who voted are those who don't know how bad it was. At least by voting low on it you're showing there are issues with it.


Lazeez provides a host of information on every story.

Exaggerating for emphasis:

The 9.35 score of a 25kb story with a hundred-thousand downloads but only 53 votes looks highly suspicious to me. In other words, not voting on a story is a part of these informations.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@robberhands


... a 25kb story with a hundred-thousand downloads but only 53 votes


Back on the old news group board we had a lengthy thread on the ratio of votes to downloads, and found, on average, only about 1 in about 250 or more downloads result in a vote due to many factors - such as re-reading a story still only gets one vote. I get many emails about people saying they just read a story of mine for the fifth or sixth time, I know I read some stories many times, especially older stories I like.

I know my own stats are not typical of SoL, but my lowest scoring story is a short story of 42 kb with a score of 5.88 - 2,973 downloads, and 34 votes (a vote for every 87.441 downloads). While my highest scoring story is a short story of 34 kb a score of 9.23 - 30,281 downloads and 3,062 votes (a vote for every 9.889 downloads). For comparison I have 105 stories with a total of 2,698,502 downloads and 80,365 votes or a vote per 33.578 downloads. The story with the highest number of votes is 1,437 kb - a score of 8.55 - 258,654 downloads and 2,225 votes (a vote for every 116.248 votes). An intriguing stats is the number of Libraries the story is in, and a story of 1,406 kb has a score of 8.16 - 242,210 downloads and 2,445 votes (a vote for every 99.063 downloads) which is saved to 1, 025 libraries. These are all good an interesting stats, but what do they tell you about the story?

My latest story is 274 kb has a score of 7.84 - 51,300 downloads and 1,634 votes (a vote for every 31.395 downloads). The story it's a sequel to is 273 kb has a score of 7.84 - 70,447 downloads and 2,508 votes (a vote for every 28.088 downloads).

The only things I'm sure are:

1. the longer a story is on the site the more downloads it gets,

2. and the more votes it gets, and

3. The better written and more interesting it is the better it scores.

edit to add: It's only when replying to posts I look at the stats like this, and it amazes me some of the things I see when I take the time to analyse the stats for such discussions.

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

The only things I'm sure are:

1. the longer a story is on the site the more downloads it gets,

2. and the more votes it gets, and

3. The better written and more interesting it is the better it scores.

All true, I guess, although I'm not too sure about point 3. But there are many other factors as well. The quotient out of downloads and votes is one of them.

kov170

Because of the descriptions attached to scores, I picture scores as following a distribution vaguely resembling a bell curve with the highest part of the curve somewhere around seven ("good"). The less basis people have for regarding stories as good, the less likely they are to regard the stories as worth writing and posting. But it is vastly easier to write a story that is merely "good" than to write a story that is "great" or especially that deserves the accolade "most amazing story."

The biggest thing I dislike about the scoring system here is that it does not provide any way to give scores in between integers (for example, 7.5). I often don't give stories scores because the only options available are a score I think is too high and a score I think is too low.

There are also numerous situations where I don't give stories scores because the stories are clearly targeted toward people who are interested in amounts or kinds of sexual content I find distasteful or repulsive, or because there are other things about the stories that fit my tastes relatively poorly. I don't regard it as fair to downgrade a story merely because it is targeted toward people whose tastes or interests are different from mine. But I also don't like the idea of giving a story a higher score than its appeal to me warrants.

Issues such as spelling, grammar, significant factual errors, and having characters do things that don't make sense are different from matters of taste because they have large objective components, not just subjective components. It is not fair for people to downgrade stories out of proportion to how much mistakes detract from their enjoyment. But the only way scores can fairly reflect how mistakes affect readers' enjoyment is if readers downgrade stories to whatever extent may correspond to how the mistakes affect their reactions.

By the way, yes, readers can give higher scores on a free-way if getting stories for free causes them to be bothered significantly less by mistakes and things that fit their tastes relatively poorly than they would be in stories they paid for.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@kov170

Because of the descriptions attached to scores, I picture scores as following a distribution vaguely resembling a bell curve with the highest part of the curve somewhere around seven ("good").


A bell curve implies symmetry, but a story's actual score distribution curve tends to be asymmetrical. Looking at my stories with a score round about the median value (about 6.5), the actual peak is around 8. There are also usually 'false peaks' at 1 and 10 due to reader biases (1-bombers and fanbois).

AJ

Replies:   kov170
kov170

@awnlee jawking

What I think of as vaguely resembling a bell curve is the distribution of scores stories deserve, not the distribution of individual instances of people assigning scores. My intent was only to give a rough idea of the shape I would expect, as distinct from an even distribution where the number of stories that deserve a score between 9.9 and 10 would be the same as the number that deserve a score between 7 and 7.1.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@kov170

Oops, my mistake :(

AJ

kov170

@robberhands

If the story is tagged correctly as whatever amount 'sex' story, they certainly don't have a good reason complaining. They put themself in the situation they find distasteful. Accordingly they have to blame themselfs, and stop annoying the author with their yammering.


The idea that if readers disregard warnings, the consequences are their own fault, makes sense in regard to the amount and kinds of sexual content in stories. But it does not make sense in regard to decisions to design stories in ways that make it unnecessarily difficult to skip over explicit sexual content. Unless I missed something, there are no codes that warn readers of such problems. And even if there were, warning people of potential problems is not an adequate substitute for trying to avoid or minimize the problems insofar as is practical.

robberhands

@kov170

it does not make sense in regard to decisions to design stories in ways that make it unnecessarily difficult to skip over explicit sexual content.

Why would I write and publish anything I want the readers to skip? Personly I tagged my story "much sex", but if I'd ask Ernest he would tell me my story has way too few sex scenes to deserve that tag, and I risk that many readers would stay away from it for that reason.
Funnily enough, that's the reason I chose that tag, to keep readers with a strong dislike of sex scenes away from my story.

Replies:   kov170
red61544

In spite of the fun we all seem to have bitching about scores, they simply are what they are. The score is the reader's opportunity to anonymously express his opinion of the story. Are they skewed? Of course they are. Are they unfair? Definitely! There are readers like I who don't bother to score a story unless I really like it. If I don't like it, I quit reading it and it would be unfair to score it! There are other readers who, when they come across the first grammar error give the story a 1-bomb. It is what it is and there is absolutely no sense in continuing to bitch about it ad nauseam. It's sort of like democracy; the system absolutely sucks, but no one has come up with something better. So live with it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
kov170
Updated:

@robberhands


Why would I write and publish anything I want the readers to skip?


You're asking the wrong question. The two key questions are, "Why would I write and publish anything some readers find distasteful or repulsive?" and, "Why would I want readers to enjoy my stories as much as is practical even if doing so requires skipping over parts they find distasteful?" The first question can have good answers rooted in the kinds of stories people enjoy writing and in recognition that some readers enjoy kinds of things others dislike. The second question has good answers rooted in caring about other people's feelings and in desire for readers to think well of writers and stories.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@kov170


"Why would I write and publish anything some readers find distasteful or repulsive?"


You can't please everyone. You have to please yourself.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

Here's something to keep in mind when discussing scores:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb3WpOJvsug

richardshagrin

There needs to be a zero score to give to alleged stories that aren't. Not to pick on anyone, but instructions on how to start a fire, or recipes, or texts that don't include characters, or a plot, or go anywhere (no ending, just stopping) shouldn't be posted as stories. I know "1" is for "you call this a story" but that score leaves the impression it is being evaluated as a story. I am not normally a one-bomber but I would be willing to be a zero bomber for "stories" that aren't.

Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

There needs to be a zero score to give to alleged stories that aren't.


If it isn't a story you can report it to the Webmaster and he can pull it if he agrees. In the past he has done so to other such posts. However, Lazeez is good about allowing some non-story posts that relate to stories, especially those providing background information to a series as well as poetry.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@richardshagrin


"you call this a story?"


Means "this ain't no story."

robberhands
Updated:

@kov170

Why would I write and publish anything I want the readers to skip?

Your answer:

You're asking the wrong question. The two key questions are, "Why would I write and publish anything some readers find distasteful or repulsive?" and, "Why would I want readers to enjoy my stories as much as is practical even if doing so requires skipping over parts they find distasteful?"


You should ask yourself: Why do I read a story warning me of content I find distasteful or repulsive? You're free to ignore the warning, but do it on your own account and don't complain about it to the author.

Replies:   kov170
JimWar

@doctor_wing_nut

I am sorry I had not read this post when it first was placed in the forum but had to wait for it to bubble to the top on one of the few days that I couldn't find anything else to read.

I was skeptical to say the least that a story could be as bad as you say and get an 8.xx score but like you say a lot of readers here probably voted for Punkinhead.

I don't recognize the story and do generally start by looking at the scores first and then read the synopsis to decide whether it is something I would like to read.

Using that formula I today found a story that had a grade of 7.69 and began reading. The story had all the attributes you mentioned. Missing words, wrong words (chauffer for chauffeur when speaking of a driver), change of person from 3rd to 1st and then back, sentences that had been corrected and both versions left in and others. This story had an editor that was given accolades in the synopsis for "for editing the main story, to make it a better read." God only knows what it was like before.

I would have gritted my teeth and finished reading the 21 chapters of over 40 that had been posted had I been able to send a letter to the author exhorting him or her to get a proof reader or another editor but the author had no email address listed.

I ended up stopping after chapter 7 and giving the story a three, not that it changed the overall score.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP
Updated:

@richardshagrin


alleged stories that aren't.


An unusual double negative. It sounds like you could be saying the 'alleged stories' aren't alleged which would mean they are actual stories. :)

kov170
Updated:

@robberhands


You should ask yourself: Why do I read a story warning me of content I find distasteful or repulsive?


There are numerous stories on SOL that have explicit sex scenes intermixed with interesting plots, good character development, and interesting storytelling that goes far beyond descriptions of explicit sex. For example, Shadow of Moonlite's Sleepwalker is a great story (based on both my opinion and a score of 8.72) for reasons independent of the parts that resulted in a "Much Sex" tag.

There are different levels of aversion to explicit sex scenes. People who can't stand them at all may need to stay away from stories tagged as having sexual content. But for people whose aversions are less strong, skipping to the end of explicit sex scenes can be a good way to enjoy stories the people would otherwise find considerably less enjoyable.


You're free to ignore the warning, but do it on your own account and don't complain about it to the author.


In general, I agree. The thing I consider worthy of complaint (only in a civil, respectful tone) is writing stories that readers have good reasons to be interested in for reasons other than sex scenes and presenting the stories in ways that make trying to skip over explicit sex extraordinarily and unnecessarily problematical.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@kov170


writing stories that readers have good reasons to be interested in for reasons other than sex scenes and presenting the stories in ways that make trying to skip over explicit sex extraordinarily and unnecessarily problematical.


I don't understand that comment.

When I write erotica, the sex scenes are paramount to the story. Just like the romance scenes when the genre is Romance. Or the scary or gory scenes when the genre is Horror. Or the fighting scenes in a ninja story or, for that matter, a boxing story. I guess in the Rocky movies you can fast forward to the end of each fight to see who wins, but you'll lose a lot of the movie (including plot and characters).

Replies:   kov170
robberhands

@kov170

The thing I consider worthy of complaint (only in a civil, respectful tone) is writing stories that readers have good reasons to be interested in for reasons other than sex scenes and presenting the stories in ways that make trying to skip over explicit sex extraordinarily and unnecessarily problematical.

The problem is, every scene in a story, which can easily be skipped, shouldn't be written at all. It's a bad scene because it's superfluous. Now you can argue that sex in a story is always superfluous, and I had that discussion before, but at least a sex scene won't become any better written with the purpose to be expendable. You're essentially asking an author to write a bad story, so that people, who feel bothered by certain contents, can enjoy it, too. Makes no sense, right?

Replies:   kov170  REP  Crumbly Writer
kov170

@Switch Blayde

When I write erotica, the sex scenes are paramount to the story. Just like the romance scenes when the genre is Romance. Or the scary or gory scenes when the genre is Horror.


The idea that "sex scenes are paramount to the story" is valid with pure erotica, but other kinds of stories that include explicit sex scenes are more complex. Some stories intermix subplots that include explicit sex scenes with other kinds of subplots involving things such as science fiction, mystery, or non-sexual aspects of growing up. Further, if subplots revolving around sexual relationships have any significant literary depth, most of the literary depth is normally found in places other than explicit descriptions of sex acts. In such cases, people can find stories interesting for other reasons in spite of preferring to skip over explicit descriptions of sex acts.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
imsly1

@doctor_wing_nut

I am not a Grammer Nutzi .. I can overlook most stuff because I am a bit dyslexic... I enjoy Ernest's stories, even thou what the Heck is a car park....who has perfect Speech or Perfect Regional dialect? Everyone has their own slang or accents ,, which in my opinion gives stories a personal touch, I can relate too, & allows the reader to Live the plot...
And too much Editing takes that character away...
Plus what's normal grammer for one of us is not normal for all of us...even thou Ernest tries...I don't criticize or pick his stories apart .and his stories are on top of my reading list as many of you are....Don't over edit life out of the story...

I'm not a fan of the under age Sex in some of the stories,, that some of you write ..but the rest of the Plot might be great.. and the bunnies are still living on the mountain...

Ernest Bywater

@imsly1

what's normal grammer for one of us is not normal for all of us.


very true, I come across that all the time in the stories I read. Even in the USA there appears to be differences in grammar between different region, y'all can be sure on that.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
kov170

@robberhands

The problem is, every scene in a story, which can easily be skipped, shouldn't be written at all. It's a bad scene because it's superfluous.


This analysis is overly simplistic because it completely disregards the importance of differences in readers' interests and reactions. There is no bright line between material that is "superfluous" and material that is "not superfluous." Instead, the boundary is made up of gray areas where some readers find material sufficiently interesting and relevant to be worth including while other readers regard the material as sufficiently unimportant and uninteresting or distasteful that they would rather not read it.

Such gray areas make it difficult to deny that it is sometimes reasonable to include things in stories that some readers will have legitimate reasons to skip over. Manipulations that cause unnecessary problems if readers skip over material they dislike do not make the material's inclusion any more justified, but do make reasons for objection to the material's inclusion significantly stronger.

There are plenty of ways to justify sex scenes in stories without writing the scenes in ways that make it unnecessarily difficult to skip over explicit descriptions of sex acts. It is therefore ridiculous to claim that I want authors to write bad stories just because I object to manipulations that make it unnecessarily difficult to skip over such descriptions.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@kov170

There are plenty of ways to justify sex scenes in stories without writing the scenes in ways that make it unnecessarily difficult to skip over explicit descriptions of sex acts. It is therefore ridiculous to claim that I want authors to write bad stories just because I object to manipulations that make it unnecessarily difficult to skip over such descriptions.

Ridiculous is it to ask an author to write scenes, which are easy to skip without losing necessary information regarding the storyline. I'm pretty sure there is not a single author out there willing to write such a scene, unless you're willing to pay him for it, to make it worth his while.

Replies:   Harold Wilson
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@kov170


The idea that "sex scenes are paramount to the story" is valid with pure erotica, but other kinds of stories that include explicit sex scenes are more complex. Some stories intermix subplots that include explicit sex scenes with other kinds of subplots involving things such as science fiction, mystery, or non-sexual aspects of growing up.


I believe that's a very biased statement.

My novel "Sexual Awakening" has a very complex plot. In fact, it has two complex subplots that merge at the end, adding to the complexity. It's a murder mystery and a romance. But it's also erotica. The fact that it's erotica does not take away from the other aspects of the plot.


Further, if subplots revolving around sexual relationships have any significant literary depth, most of the literary depth is normally found in places other than explicit descriptions of sex acts. In such cases, people can find stories interesting for other reasons in spite of preferring to skip over explicit descriptions of sex acts.


Again, that's a biased statement. There are two main themes to my novel "Sexual Awakening." Revenge and how misguided religious zealots can screw up their child's life. For the second one, the sex scenes are critical to the plot — the sexual awakening of the character. You cannot skim over the sex scenes and "get" the story. And the sex scenes aren't thrown in. They are part of the plot and character's development and transformation. To say there's no literary merit to the sex scenes is offending.

If you don't like sex scenes you won't like erotica, just like if you don't like gore you won't like a slasher story. But don't say the sex scenes are thrown in and will weaken the story. If done right, they will strengthen the story.

Replies:   imsly1  Crumbly Writer  kov170
REP

@robberhands

The problem is, every scene in a story, which can easily be skipped, shouldn't be written at all. It's a bad scene because it's superfluous.


An author will sometimes write a scene for a particular reason. You the reader may not know why the scene is there, so at that point it is not superfluous. Granted you have the option of deciding the scene does not support what you assume will happen in the story. In skipping over the scene, you may fail to acquire information that is important later in the story.

Of course, the scene may also be there to create a degree of concern that certain thing might happen; but won't. Such scenes could be skipped, but you the reader will not understand the scope of the MC's concerns and the MC actions may be based on what they believe might happen in their future.

At the end of the story, you could go back and edit out all those misleading superfluous scenes, but they would no longer be there to lead the next reader down the author's twisted path through the story's plot.

Replies:   robberhands
imsly1

@Switch Blayde

I didn't say I don't like Sex or Sex Scenes..just not a fan of underage stuff.. but that doesn't mean the rest of the story is not a great read...

Replies:   Switch Blayde
robberhands

@REP

You quote a sentence made in context to an ongoing discussion, and respond with an unrelated statement.

So a scene written with a particular intention may seem superflous to a reader but isn't. Fine, I agree, but I'm not sure what point you're trying to make.

Replies:   REP
Switch Blayde

@imsly1

Sorry, you were the proverbial straw on the camel's back.

There's been so much said here that no sex stories are better than sex stories and the more the sex the worse the story. I take issue with that. Sure, the following is crap:

"You're so fucking big! Pound my cervix! I'm cummiiinnnngg!!!!!! Ah, ah, yaaa, yeeeehhhh. Cummmmiiiiinnnnnngggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!


But that's because it's poor writing, not because it's a sex scene.

I was reading a story that had an interesting plot, not that it was well written. I trudged through the "tell, tell, tell" until I got to a chapter that was the protagonist going from class to class taking his final exams. It had nothing to do with the plot or character. It was simply a day in his life, and a boring one at that. So it wasn't a sex scene, but it should be skipped over (actually, never should have been written).

REP

@robberhands

but I'm not sure what point you're trying to make.


The fact that readers can and do skip over scenes do not make the scenes superfluous. Just because you do not see and understand the reason behind a scene does not mean there is no valid reason.

In your discussion, you were establishing a flawed premise for use in supporting your point of view. So I pointed out the flaw.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Switch Blayde

Sorry, you were the proverbial straw on the camel's back.

Actually imsly1 wasn't the recipient of your response. So if you feel sorry (Not that I could see a reason for you to feel sorry at all), you'll have to redirect your apology.

robberhands

@REP

The fact that readers can and do skip over scenes do not make the scenes superfluous.

That wasn't my premise at all. A scene written with the intention to be easily skipped is a totally different matter than a scene with an initial unclear purpose.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

There's been so much said here that no sex stories are better than sex stories and the more the sex the worse the story.


Switch, at it's basic core your statement is correct. However, the main point of contention in a lot of previous discussions have been about the inclusion of superfluous sex scenes that add nothing to the story, and like any superfluous scene it can be cut without doing any damage to the story. In the past my main gripe has been about new authors adding in sex scenes that are gratuitous and superfluous simply because they thought they were needed to post the story on SoL.

As one of the most prevalent writers of no sex stories I should also point out I've written stories with sex scenes where I think the scene adds to either plot or character development of the story.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

However, the main point of contention in a lot of previous discussions have been about the inclusion of superfluous sex scenes that add nothing to the story, and like any superfluous scene it can be cut without doing any damage to the story.

That may have been so in the past, but what I've seen here since I re-joined this forum is exactly what Switch has stated.

Crumbly Writer

@Crumbly Writer

Sorry, but you're wrong here. Story scoring wasn't instituted to help authors, but to aid readers. Author's bitch about it, because they view it from a different perspective and lens than readers do. There's really no way to merge the separate functions in a way which pleases everyone—which is why Lazeez got tired to listening to us bitch about it!

Sorry, I keep forgetting who's interests trumps who's around here. But yeah, the readers interests are more important than any other group, since they're the one's supposedly paying the bills.

Replies:   robberhands
Crumbly Writer

@joyR

I'm unaware of Amazon scoring, what does seem logical is it would make little commercial sense to take readers to task as they buy the product. Whilst taking authors to task, justified or not, isn't as likely to impact sales. Or am I just being cynical?

You want to keep readers happy, otherwise you won't have a site for long. As for authors, they're an incidental concern, as they don't bring in money, yet their stories are what draw the readers to the site (i.e. you only deal with their concern after the fact). Generally, we're happy we can post at all, and are especially happy that Lazeez is so responsive to our needs. We bitch like crazy, but we're not about to leave town (especially now that alternatives, like ASS#!, is no longer active)!

By the way, anyone notice that the-site-which-shall-not-be-named is slowly posting a few new stories every day. I'm not sure what their current status is, but it's ... encouraging?

Crumbly Writer

@Joe Long

I didn't use rape/murder tags. I of course recognize that these are shocking and sensitive, but the acts are not depicted. The main character is distraught and tells the general story of what had happened to his cousin two years before. What's told in the story is basically what appeared in the newspaper account.

Nope! Those tags are exclusively for stories which detail rape and/or murder expressly for the kink thrill that some readers get from it. If the act is not depicted, then you'd never code for it.

robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

Crumbly Writer @Crumbly Writer

Now you've come full circle. Maybe it's time to take a deep breathe and calm down a bit.

Crumbly Writer

@kov170

Including significant discussion of plot-related information during sex scenes does not make explicit descriptions of sexual acts significantly less gratuitous.

I, of course, disagree with you here. While I agree with it being a 'no-win' situation for those who don't like the sex scenes, I've learned that there are many character revelations which simply never occur (at least with me) unless I put the characters in bed together. Thus, if I want them to open up about their lives and their concerns, I'll let them concern their innermost demons when they're at their most vulnerable.

But really, who the hell reads an incest or harem story and then skips any descriptions of the advertised sexual situations? Instead, I continue to see it as a mood-disorder. If you're not in the mood at the moment you read the chapter (i.e. your hubby won't leave you alone, or you just had sex), then you simply don't bother to care about that aspect at those particular moment.

Besides, the stories with those long-discussion sex scenes are my highest rated stories (probably because my characters are more fully explored, rather than those in my 'no-sex' stories.

Essentially, my confession was a 'see what you're missing when you bitch about the creative process! If you don't like the result, the don't criticize the process!

Replies:   kov170
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

However, the real core of the problem is very few people who drop a story because they can't finish it will score it, and thus only those who do like the story, warts and all, will vote on it. As a reader, to be fair to other readers, you need to vote appropriately on any story you read beyond the first page, or all of it if it's a short story. If it deserves a 2 or 1 , vote accordingly, also if it deserves an 8 or a 9 vote so.

Except then, you've converted the story score into a pure download count (i.e. if you READ the chapter, you've already voted so why bother finishing it?).

Most here, but especially the authors, prefer readers making informed opinions. If a story is in a subject which doesn't interest them, or it doesn't get around to the subject that does interest them soon enough, then why should they vote on it after only a single page? Many stories develop slowly overtime, as the characters learn more about the situations they face. My stories all have relatively weak beginnings, as they're all about figuring out the problem, rather than defeating the bad guys. In short, they're about the journey, rather than the destination (though everyone likes scoring on the final destination, which is fine by me as long as they don't score on a story they never cared about in the first place!)

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Back on the old news group board we had a lengthy thread on the ratio of votes to downloads, and found, on average, only about 1 in about 250 or more downloads result in a vote due to many factors - such as re-reading a story still only gets one vote. I get many emails about people saying they just read a story of mine for the fifth or sixth time, I know I read some stories many times, especially older stories I like.

Not quite. There's a very high correlation between the percentage of reader votes, those who support the site and those who purchase the published books. Each are around 3%, which indicates that 97% simply won't do anything, regardless of how good or bad the story is.

Back when I was playing around with foreign languages, I'd post something to ASS*# where the file wasn't coded correctly, and I'd only learn the chapter was completely unreadable weeks later. Obviously, not a single reader in those cases cared enough about the story to give a damn about whether it continued or not. That was primarily why I stopped posting there.

However, the 3% is a general figure, as many of those who respond to stories do so precisely because they can't support the author, or don't feel qualified to evaluate the writing. Thus they'll do one instead of the others, but still, the general 3% figure seems to apply to the majority of situations.

Crumbly Writer

@kov170

Unless I missed something, there are no codes that warn readers of such problems. And even if there were, warning people of potential problems is not an adequate substitute for trying to avoid or minimize the problems insofar as is practical.

That's clearly a style score, which they are free to downgrade. But my objection was, rather than rating a story lower, they'd instead write me a personal note, complaining how the story made no sense (expecting me to personally explain it to them), rather than simply going back and reviewing the section they'd just skipped. Obviously, if you skip an entire chapter, and the next doesn't make any sense, you've skipped over something.

Who do you blame in that instance, the person who wrote the confusing story, or the person who couldn't be bothered to see whether they missed something?

Yet, as they say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. While my earlier stories got the higher scores, the few people who bitched about content left me unwilling to invest the necessary time to build the story properly. That effectively invalidates all your claims about scores reflecting reader values.

Crumbly Writer

@red61544

There are other readers who, when they come across the first grammar error give the story a 1-bomb.

I've NEVER encountered those. Usually, the 1-bombers have a clear agenda. Either they disapprove of gays, perverts, or they have a particular political persuasion and refuse to allow anything they don't personally approve of to pass unpunished. Those 1-bombs rarely have anything to do with quality of writing or the strength of the story. As least, given my experience with 1-bombers, that's how it plays out.

Ernest Bywater

CW,

The score is a way of saying how much the reader liked or disliked a story. The complaint was about a story with a high score and was badly written. I stated two things:

1. An issue is people who don't finish a story and don't score it, thus those who think it's not worth anything don't score and you get an unwarranted high score from the few who do finish it. That is you only get fanboi scores.

2. Is people not scoring a story they can't be bothered finishing it. I think if the story is so bad they can't finish it, then they show how much it does or doesn't appeal to them via the score.

A proper set of codes and description should let readers no about a slow development. Some genres are expected to have a slow development, as well.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

"Why would I write and publish anything some readers find distasteful or repulsive?"

You can't please everyone. You have to please yourself.

Exactly. The question isn't "why don't authors write the kinds of stories I like, instead it's what motivates the authors to write stories in the first place. If a particular author doesn't pick the stories that I like, I'd avoid reading many stories by him, rather than punishing him for having different interests than mine.

There are many people (primarily gays) who like stories involving gay sex. So why do straight males get so incensed by them that they'd attempt to ban ALL gay stories? Why not just abandon them and leave the 3 - 5% of the population alone with their tiny percentage of reading material.

Again, the answer lies in their having a political agenda. They don't approve of gays, and 1-bombing a story or attacking an author is the modern equivalent of beating up gays in the street. It's meant as a warning to everyone else to 'stay out of my neighborhood if you know what's good for you!'. (Not coincidentally, you'll also notice there are virtually NO stories written by blacks or Muslims here. You do the math on that one.)

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

There needs to be a zero score to give to alleged stories that aren't. Not to pick on anyone, but instructions on how to start a fire, or recipes, or texts that don't include characters, or a plot, or go anywhere (no ending, just stopping) shouldn't be posted as stories. I know "1" is for "you call this a story" but that score leaves the impression it is being evaluated as a story. I am not normally a one-bomber but I would be willing to be a zero bomber for "stories" that aren't.

Actually, that's not a bad vote. You should suggest it to Lazeez. Not a Zero vote, but a 'no value' vote, meaning the author doesn't think the story worthy of a vote, because the story wasn't worth reading in the first place.

That way, the author would be warned they have a specific issue without weighing in on the value of a story you never even bothered to read.

I'd support that as an option. As an author, I'd like access to that kind of information.

Crumbly Writer

@JimWar

Using that formula I today found a story that had a grade of 7.69 and began reading. The story had all the attributes you mentioned. Missing words, wrong words (chauffer for chauffeur when speaking of a driver), change of person from 3rd to 1st and then back, sentences that had been corrected and both versions left in and others. This story had an editor that was given accolades in the synopsis for "for editing the main story, to make it a better read." God only knows what it was like before.

Just because an authors has an editor (or more) doesn't mean he accepts their advice. Frequently, it's a matter of style, but often, they'll keep their favorite passages whether they work or not, simply because they don't want to restart from scratch. You really can't judge an editor by a single finished product. Then too, you also can't judge an editors worth based solely on an author's opinion, as authors very often are poor judges of what are valid 'fixes' to a story. It takes a lot of experience to know the intricacies of grammar, styles and techniques.

You judge editors by the balance of their work, not by the single misstep of their clients. That's akin to rating teachers by the misdeeds of a single problematic child. Chances are, the kid was a poor student who never listened to the teacher in the first place. :(

Replies:   JimWar
Crumbly Writer

@kov170

There are different levels of aversion to explicit sex scenes. People who can't stand them at all may need to stay away from stories tagged as having sexual content. But for people whose aversions are less strong, skipping to the end of explicit sex scenes can be a good way to enjoy stories the people would otherwise find considerably less enjoyable.

Again, I don't object to readers skipping over boring passages, for whatever reason. My objection was always when they bitched about chapters they skipped 'not making any sense'. If you skip something, and become confused, then back the fuck up and see WHAT you missed, before badmouthing the story. You don't have to read the entire sex scene, but if you notice you missed a HUGE amount of dialogue, then maybe it's worth investing some time in at least reviewing it!

But again, that's my own little pet peeve, as I doubt many authors write the type of sex scenes that I do. Most, write sex scenes that are almost extraneous to the plot, in that you can easily drop ALL the sex without missing a single beat of the story. In those cases, I'd NEVER bother wasting time on them.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

But again, that's my own little pet peeve, as I doubt many authors write the type of sex scenes that I do. Most, write sex scenes that are almost extraneous to the plot, in that you can easily drop ALL the sex without missing a single beat of the story. In those cases, I'd NEVER bother wasting time on them.

That sounds like the statement of a pompous, self righteous, angry little man. I hope you're not such a man.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

You're essentially asking an author to write a bad story, so that people, who feel bothered by certain contents, can enjoy it, too. Makes no sense, right?

Sorry, but that's simply a stupid argument. Writers like Steven King will always be enormously popular, but that doesn't mean that writers like Maya Angelou or Langston Hughes don't deserve an opportunity to have a voice. You aren't required to read them, if you prefer living in your own shell, but you'll probably be richer if you did read at least a single of their stories, without denouncing their experiences as being 'invalid'.

1-bombing a story you've never glanced at, simply because you disagree with a single point of view, doesn't help anyone! Voting that you don't like how that story was executed makes abundant sense.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

Sorry, but that's simply a stupid argument. Writers like Steven King will always be enormously popular, but that doesn't mean that writers like Maya Angelou or Langston Hughes don't deserve an opportunity to have a voice. You aren't required to read them, if you prefer living in your own shell, but you'll probably be richer if you did read at least a single of their stories, without denouncing their experiences as being 'invalid'.

1-bombing a story you've never glanced at, simply because you disagree with a single point of view, doesn't help anyone! Voting that you don't like how that story was executed makes abundant sense.

What the hell is that? There isn't the slightest correlation to anything I wrote in the post you quoted so delusively.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@imsly1

I'm not a fan of the under age Sex in some of the stories,, that some of you write ..but the rest of the Plot might be great.. and the bunnies are still living on the mountain...

Ha-ha! Not on mine. All the bunnies died on David's mountain hideaway, along with all the main characters!

Replies:   imsly1
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Even in the USA there appears to be differences in grammar between different region, y'all can be sure on that.

Even though we all live in the U.S.A., doesn't mean we all agree on the serial comma, or even the same Style Guide. Differences in Styles are unique to each author, are have nothing at all to do (well, maybe a little) with where they live.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I believe that's a very biased statement.

My novel "Sexual Awakening" has a very complex plot. In fact, it has two complex subplots that merge at the end, adding to the complexity. It's a murder mystery and a romance. But it's also erotica. The fact that it's erotica does not take away from the other aspects of the plot.

Don't waste your time, Switch. It's clear that kov170's problem is with me and my 'single statement' given that he has no clue the types of stories that I write.

He's got a stick up his but, and until he stops to breath again, he's unlikely to see anyone's point. I've been catching up, a post at a time, but it's clear I'm going to be writing post after post after post all addressing the same point, and NONE of those points affect anyone else besides my one, single comment.

REP

@robberhands

The problem is, every scene in a story, which can easily be skipped, shouldn't be written at all. It's a bad scene because it's superfluous.


A scene written with the intention to be easily skipped


I have never met an author who writes scenes intending a reader to just skip reading the scene. They create scenes for they believe they are important to the story line.

Your original comment was:

The problem is, every scene in a story, which can easily be skipped, shouldn't be written at all. It's a bad scene because it's superfluous.


Your premise in that statement is that some scenes are written in a way that allows the reader to skip reading the scene. It also means that these scenes are superfluous and thus not needed for the story line.

I disagree with both of those premises.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@REP

I disagree with both of those premises.

I guess you simply haven't read the post I was replying to.

Replies:   REP
imsly1

@Crumbly Writer

I once attempted to Edit Story on here that was pure garbage..... almost had to re-write it from start to finish..
It had no bunnies... but the plot was dead..I wanted to Off the writer...thus the bunny reference...closest I came to Murder..
Then it was posted .. non edited after I spent weeks Trying to get it readable...

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP
Updated:

@kov170


But it does not make sense in regard to decisions to design stories in ways that make it unnecessarily difficult to skip over explicit sexual content. Unless I missed something, there are no codes that warn readers of such problems.


You seem to have a very warped view of writing.

The concept of writing a story includes constructing scenes that interrelate and support each other. That is part of creating a well crafted story. That also means the reader cannot easily determine the start and end of scenes they may not want to read. There are no codes to Warn a Reader that they are reading a story that is well written because that is the goal that a good author attempts to achieve.

If a reader is bothered by sex scenes then they should not read stories that are coded as containing sexual content. If they choose to read such stories, then they shouldn't complain when they encounter sexual content. If they choose to skip over a well crafted sex scene, they may miss information important to the rest of the story and they may have problems understanding portions of subsequent scenes.

Replies:   robberhands
REP

@robberhands

You would have to identify the post then. I have been addressing the same post all along.

robberhands
Updated:

@REP

Look! Suddenly we totally agree.

ETA: You were quoting me and adressing me. This was the first of your comments directed at kov170.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

The score is a way of saying how much the reader liked or disliked a story. The complaint was about a story with a high score and was badly written. I stated two things:

1. An issue is people who don't finish a story and don't score it, thus those who think it's not worth anything don't score and you get an unwarranted high score from the few who do finish it. That is you only get fanboi scores.

Not sure which post you were responding to, but I agree with everything you say here. I suspect the post was one where I objected to your categorization voting to stories the readers didn't complete, in which case, my objection was over your suggestion that readers not comment until they'd read a single page. I presume you're referring to an SOL page (i.e. a single chapter in most cases) rather than a printed page, but even a single page is difficult to score an entire story on. Instead, a single chapter merely tells you whether the story interests you at all. If it doesn't, or if you don't like the subject matter, any vote will be more punitive than helpful (i.e. "how dare you not write exclusively for me!").

Otherwise, I agree with your entire post.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

That sounds like the statement of a pompous, self righteous, angry little man. I hope you're not such a man.

Nope. It's just a simple point of fact. I write very unusual sex scenes (with more dialogue than actual sex), which is based on the types of stories I tell, rather than the genre or sex coding. As such, I don't think you can judge sex scenes in general based on my isolated comment. (You'll notice I keep urging him to take into context (once I explained it to him) before continuing to rant about the topic, since the comment was targeted to responses to my story, rather than sex scenes in general.

The scene he kept responding to was a 'counter example' (i.e. a scene that ran counter to most 'normal' (normally written) sex scenes.

That was partly why I cut back on my sex scenes, because I decided that too many readers simply didn't know how to handle my 'sex scenes', since they don't fit the standard patterns, not because they weren't well-written.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

What the hell is that? There isn't the slightest correlation to anything I wrote in the post you quoted so delusively.

Again, I came in several weeks late and tried to catch up on the fly. The entire later discussion circulated around my ONE counter-argument. My repeated argument was that the entire discussion didn't make much sense unless you knew the context of that one comment (that some stories, or at least one in particular) doesn't fit the broad-brush categorization.

But yeah, we were both arguing the same point.

When I started this thread—after ignoring it for a long time—I didn't realize just how many posts there were for me to catch up with.

Still, if I'd skipped to the end, I'd never have understood kov170's initial post, and we'd never have established that my isolated comment didn't address sex scenes in general.

Crumbly Writer

Whew! Finally caught up, both with all the posts I'd missed and with the responses to my posts.

Hope I didn't intimidate either robberbands or kov170, but now that you have more of an understanding what I was referring to (i.e. the particular way I construct sex scenes to include more detailed story content) hopefully it will give you a better feel for the argument at hand (i.e. my comment had little to do with sex scenes in general, or many readers wishing to skip over scenes with little value).

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

Hope I didn't intimidate either robberbands...

You got to be joking! All I can see is that you're a bit self centered, but hardly intimidating.

Crumbly Writer

@imsly1

I once attempted to Edit Story on here that was pure garbage..... almost had to re-write it from start to finish..
It had no bunnies... but the plot was dead..I wanted to Off the writer...thus the bunny reference...closest I came to Murder..
Then it was posted .. non edited after I spent weeks Trying to get it readable...

I was joking (an inside joke), since it had such close parallels to one of my many stories. Nothing meant by it. I got your point when I read it.

But that's one important point in editing. Good editors know what to include and what to let pass. They also need to learn to say "No". If you don't think the story works, or if you and the author can't agree on anything, you need to throw your hands up and say "Sorry, but I recommend you find another editor."

My guess is, the author got so fed up with so many criticisms, he simply decided to abandon ALL of your suggestions, rather than parsing through the many red flags.

Most of editing revolves around communication and dealing out information a bit at a time, rather than strictly knowing what's right and wrong. (Note: that's why I'm such a terrible editor myself! I can't shut my inner critic up.)

When it comes to editing, a few strongly worded edits have a much bigger impact than a multitude of little edits.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

You were quoting me and adressing me. This was the first of your comments directed at kov170.

We were all doing the same thing (attacking each other for something kov170 said). What kov170 said wasn't that unreasonable, but he didn't grasp the original post which upset him, so we were all throwing punches left and right, and missing our original target.

Most sex scenes can be skipped without losing a lot, but there are some stories where readers won't be interested in the sex (despite the tags), but which still contain items which can't be skipped. The end point which started the entire back and forth was that you can't categorize ALL sex scenes with the same blanket statement.

Some scenes are more ... unusual than others. And sometimes, when you jump to conclusions, you miss the boat, falling over the far side.

My stories are unusual, and it's a compliment that readers uncomfortable with incest scenes would still want to read the story. However, you can't expect to skip entire chapters without possible missing something. My objection was never the reader's right to skip a specific scene, but that I was tired of readers complaining that the story no longer made sense after they skipped an important scene.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you're special. Whatever, my mommy thinks I'm just as special.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I presume you're referring to an SOL page


Since the discussion was about SoL I was referring to a SoL page which runs out to either the first chapter or about 10,000 words - which ever is shorter.

The score is about how the story appeals to you, if it doesn't appeal to you enough to get you to finish it, shouldn't you score it as not appealing to you? That's the basis of my point. However, I temper that with saying you should read a chapter or 10,000 words (ie a SoL page) before making a decision about if it appeals to you or not.

JimWar

@Crumbly Writer

Just because an authors has an editor (or more) doesn't mean he accepts their advice. Frequently, it's a matter of style, but often, they'll keep their favorite passages whether they work or not, simply because they don't want to restart from scratch. You really can't judge an editor by a single finished product.


That is true to an extent and we can never know which of the above applied but some of the mistakes would have been hard for a competent editor to miss, such as missing words, wrong words, etc. I always was blessed with good editors, and there are some really fine editors that volunteer here, and always used a proofreader as well and in the end acknowledged that the final product was mine and I was responsible for the overall work. After all of that I still spent time correcting copy with errors that readers would find and I don't believe I have posted a story that doesn't have at least one redo of each chapter. The thing that made me quit reading was not being able to respond to the writer. His or her choice of course and many writers have valid reasons for not wanting feedback. If the piece had not had so many errors and a seeming lack of concern on the part of the author then I may have continued to read it.

Al Steiner made a comment in his blog about not wanting feedback on grammar etc. but mentioned that he is willing to discuss plot, character development, etc. The difference is that he is established and explained the limitations in advance and his track record is such that I doubt I will find more than an occasional error.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
rolyevans

What drives me crazy is the constant misuse of bring/brought or take/took. On this site they are almost always improperly used.

Replies:   REP
awnlee jawking

@JimWar

Al Steiner made a comment in his blog about not wanting feedback on grammar etc. but mentioned that he is willing to discuss plot, character development, etc. The difference is that he is established and explained the limitations in advance and his track record is such that I doubt I will find more than an occasional error.


In terms of spelling, grammar and punctuation, I found the start of his latest story to be very good. But they're only the first level of criteria a competent editor should be concerned about.

I personally don't like prologues, but in this case I think there's a good case for AS putting all the tedious brain-dump exposition into a prologue so that Chapter 1 actually starts the story. As creative writing course-junkies have drilled into them, if you're going to start your story with a brain dump, put it in a prologue that readers can ignore or skim through it as they wish.

AJ

REP

@rolyevans

What drives me crazy is my daughter and granddaughter's use of bring and take. They say things like, 'Bring the book with you when you go to Johns.'

I was taught bring means to move something toward my location and take means to move it away from my location.

kov170

@Switch Blayde


I believe that's a very biased statement.

My novel "Sexual Awakening" has a very complex plot. In fact, it has two complex subplots that merge at the end, adding to the complexity. It's a murder mystery and a romance. But it's also erotica. The fact that it's erotica does not take away from the other aspects of the plot.


That doesn't sound like a story where sex scenes are paramount. It sounds like you could have written the story without explicit sex scenes and given it a different title and still had a solid story. I don't dispute that explicit sex scenes add something to the story, enabling you to go into a character's sexual development in greater depth. But many people dislike explicit sex scenes enough to outweigh that value.

Further, while it is possible to write stories in ways where explicit details of sexual acts provide valuable information about characters' sexual development, the overwhelming majority of explicit sex scenes do not occur in contexts where explicit details of sex acts have significant importance. Look closely at my words, "if subplots revolving around sexual relationships have any significant literary depth, most of the literary depth is normally found in places other than explicit descriptions of sex acts." The word "most" allows for situations where a significant minority of literary depth is dependent on explicit sex scenes. The word "normally" allows for unusual situations where sexual subplots have significant literary depth and a majority of the depth is tied to explicit sex scenes. I get the impression that you misinterpreted my statement as if it were considerably more extreme than it actually was.

My point is not to disparage the inclusion of explicit sex scenes in stories, but rather is to explain why readers can regard stories as worth reading while at the same time preferring to skip over explicit sex scenes. I've encountered many stories on SOL, including some tagged "Much Sex," that I react to in such a manner. It is insulting to my intelligence and to the intelligence of readers with similar reactions when people appear to refuse to acknowledge that such reactions can be reasonable.

If you don't like sex scenes you won't like erotica, just like if you don't like gore you won't like a slasher story.


This is a bad analogy. The defining characteristic of slasher stories is something purely evil, with no redeeming value except insofar as peculiarities in some people's minds cause them to enjoy stories involving death and mutilation of characters they know aren't real. I may not be wording this exactly right because enjoying slasher stories goes so strongly against my attitudes that I can't understand it. But I hope people can understand my basic point even if they disagree with my choice of wording.

The situation with erotica is very different because from a secular perspective, it is easy for authors to set up situations where sexual acts can occur with little or no harm. Because of that difference, people are less likely to regard sexual acts as something terrible they dislike thinking about at all, and more likely to feel serious negative reactions only if sexual activity is described in a level of detail that makes them uncomfortable. Skipping over explicit sex scenes can greatly reduce the amount of detail people read and thereby greatly reduce problems of too much detail stirring negative reactions.

People who dislike sex scenes are unlikely to like stories that are essentially pure erotica, with little other than sex scenes to attract readers' interest. But the more stories have besides sex scenes to interest readers, the easier it is to have situations where some readers regard the stories as worth reading in spite of preferring to skip over explicit sex.

Switch Blayde

@kov170

People who dislike sex scenes are unlikely to like stories that are essentially pure erotica,


That was my slasher analogy. If you don't like gore (like me), you won't like slasher stories. If you don't like scary (like my wife), you won't like Stephen King stories/movies. And if you don't like sex scenes, you won't like erotica.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@kov170


That doesn't sound like a story where sex scenes are paramount.


The sex scenes are paramount to my novel "Sexual Awakening." You can't skip them and understand or enjoy the story.

One protagonist is out to get revenge on a pastor. He decides to humiliate the pastor's wife in the first step of his revenge. He blackmails her to have sex. The reader believes him to be the villain. But he's really a good guy who was hurt when younger so he battles with the conflict of making the wife do things against her will. It's an internal conflict (conflict between the need for revenge and hurting the woman who he falls in love with). So the sex scenes are paramount to both the plot and character. And the wife is the one who was taught by her parents that sex is a sin and not to be enjoyed, reinforced by her husband, so the sex scenes bring out a change in her — her sexual awakening.

In fact, there's a sex scene toward the end of the novel where the two sub-plots merge. It's impossible to skip it.

And the other protagonist is a cop murdering people for revenge (remember, revenge is the main theme of the story). The sex scenes are paramount to understand the relationship between him and his girlfriend. There's also a lot of foreshadowing that goes on during their sex.

One of the 5-star reviews is (take note of the "the sex is integral to the plot" at the end):


Very well done. Interesting characters. Seems a bit predictable but turns out with an unexpected but logical ending. Graphic and sexy but not prurient as the sex is integral to the plot.


Now here's a 3-star review from a person who must not have been looking for erotica (take note of the "Way too much sexual content though, a little too vulgar for my taste" at the end), but still gave it a decent review:


A little too much story lines, but all tied together nicely in the end. Way too much sexual content though, a little too vulgar for my taste.


Now in this 5-star review, he ends it with, "I would recommend this to anyone that likes erotic stories that include love, sex, life and death. You will all enjoy it."


This story by S. W. Blade kept me in suspense from the very beginning. It included 3 different stores and you never new what was going on until the very end. I hope this writer does other works in this way. I would recommend this to anyone that likes erotic stories that include love, sex, life and death. You will all enjoy it.


So it's clear that 1) the sex scenes are paramount and 2) if you don't like erotica you won't like the sex scenes.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@kov170

My other novel, "Last Kiss," is not erotica. In fact, the original version was squeaky clean. Throwing in sex scenes would have been wrong. The protagonist is god-fearing. It's all about being good so when he dies he'll go to heaven and be with his true love for eternity.

But since it's Young Adult, I asked teenagers. They said swearing, sex, and drugs are prevalent in their schools and lives. And it wouldn't be realistic if it wasn't there. So I added a little "temptation" (no real sex) and swearing, but no drugs.

Replies:   Joe Long
kov170

@Crumbly Writer

I, of course, disagree with you here. While I agree with it being a 'no-win' situation for those who don't like the sex scenes, I've learned that there are many character revelations which simply never occur (at least with me) unless I put the characters in bed together. Thus, if I want them to open up about their lives and their concerns, I'll let them concern their innermost demons when they're at their most vulnerable.


Thanks for the clarification. Please note that I have been using wordings that focus specifically on explicit descriptions of sex acts rather than lumping all kinds of sex scenes together. Depicting the kind of emotional intimacy that causes barriers to break down does not require describing sex acts in explicit detail. Thus, even when the existence of sex scenes serves a useful purpose independent of appeal to prurient interests, it is still very easy to have situations where most or all of the explicit description of sex acts is gratuitous from perspectives other than appealing to prurient interests.

On the other hand, if writers decide to include explicit sex scenes because the writers enjoy writing such scenes or because stories are targeted primarily at audiences interested in such scenes, your explanation provides a solid reason why it sometimes makes sense to provide important information during sex scenes instead of elsewhere. If authors are concerned about readers complaining of such decisions, prefacing stories with an explanation of such reasoning might reduce complaints and other negative reactions.

But really, who the hell reads an incest or harem story and then skips any descriptions of the advertised sexual situations?


1) If readers are interested in stories because descriptions or other factors create an expectation that the stories are likely to be interesting for reasons independent of sexual content, sexual tags can make the stories seem less appealing without the negative effect being strong enough to kill the readers' interest.

2) Sexual relationships have other dimensions besides sex acts. That can lead to situations where people find sexual relationships interesting in spite of disliking and skipping over explicit sex scenes.

3) When readers expect authors to use their magical power to make sure things work out, the readers can react to elements such as incest, harems, and sexual activity involving children very differently from how they would if concern about risks commonly associated with similar situations in real life cast a pall over the stories.

Various combinations of these factors have frequently led to my deciding stories were worth reading in spite of preferring to skip over explicit sex scenes. I have no idea how many other people react in similar ways.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@kov170

Various combinations of these factors have frequently led to my deciding stories were worth reading in spite of preferring to skip over explicit sex scenes.


It's fine for you to do that. However, in my opinion, demanding that authors change what kinds of content they include in their stories to better suit your tastes is very rude and arrogant.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
helmut_meukel
Updated:

@Dominions Son


kov170 wrote:

Various combinations of these factors have frequently led to my deciding stories were worth reading in spite of preferring to skip over explicit sex scenes.



It's fine for you to do that. However, in my opinion, demanding that authors change what kinds of content they include in their stories to better suit your tastes is very rude and arrogant.


Hmm, kov170, how about downloading the story, then editing the sex scenes so they are no longer offending to you. You could then read your edited version unimpeded.

HM. (grinning)

Edited to make it clearer I quoted two persons

Harold Wilson

@richardshagrin

Management probably would be happy to give you reviewer status, then you could do your reviews to include plot, technical and appeal with scores from one to ten.


IIRC, reviews are required to be positive. This is why I neither read nor write reviews. ;-)

Harold Wilson

@Jay C

I include the errors in my stories at no additional cost to the reader.


And they're worth every dime.

Harold Wilson

@Jay C

We also have to factor in the fact that some writers aren't fluent in English or it is a second or third language for them.


Those are usually different kinds of errors. I posted a gripe in a different thread recently about a story with a bunch of cultural faux pas, where the author knew somebody's version of English, but not the US version, and set the story in the US. Those errors were more about bad word choice, phrasing, and incorrect dialect than bad grammar or spelling.

There is, or at least there was, a writer on here who was primarily German, but writing in English. That kind of writer I'd expect to make phrasing errors - "sixth form" instead of "12th grade," or "estate agent" instead of "realtor".

But when the text "sounds right" but "reads wrong" I don't think you're a foreigner. I just think you don't know how to write.

However, I can think of several stories recently that have substantially matched that description, and I sucked it up and read on in some cases, and didn't in others.

It depends on the ratio of "cool story, bro" to "dude, wtf?"

Joe Long

@Switch Blayde

But since it's Young Adult, I asked teenagers. They said swearing, sex, and drugs are prevalent in their schools and lives. And it wouldn't be realistic if it wasn't there. So I added a little "temptation" (no real sex) and swearing, but no drugs.


I'm writing a coming of age that focuses on the romance of two teens. It has real sex, although I'm toning down the descriptions. It has lots of swearing, along with beer parties, watching porn videos and occasionally smoking some weed. In other words, all the stuff teens did when I was that age.

Harold Wilson

@joyR


When a reader makes his or her vote, are you really arrogant enough to believe that their vote shouldn't count. ??


Yes, absolutely.

Back in the days before this forum, I think in the naughty aughties, I made a suggestion on the old forum that voting should be replaced by an amazon-esque rate+review system, so that the reviews themselves could be reviewed ("Was this helpful? [Yes] [No]").

The obvious extension would be to compute a reviewer score, that could be used to weight the vote.

An (computationally expensive) alternative would be personal suggestions, such that as I develop a cohort of marked-useful reviewers, my feed of suggested stories could come from stories that those reviewers ranked highly.

In either case, there are a boatload of Unibombers out there holding down authors of stories they don't fancy. All the burn-the-bitch voters in the cheating categories, all the no-homo voters, etc. Likewise, we know there are plenty of gushing enthusiasts out there Nigel Tufnel-izing the verbose. (http://www.soldano.com/products/combo-amplifiers/soldano-44/ - note the knobs!)

I generally stay out of discussions on scoring, because scoring is so completely and utterly irrelevant to me. I'm not writing to score a free membership, and signal to noise ratio is epsilon (in mathematics, a number increasingly close to zero), so ... there's no value there.

The only way to make scoring relevant, IMO, is to make scoring relevant. Provide a way for me to actually see some actual value out of scoring. Given the huge number of voters that act like 5-year-old children on this site ("I don't like anything that's not a hotdog or a cheeseburger!") that's going to mean some kind of disenfranchisement.

So, if you're going to talk about scoring, then yes, by all means, let's talk about disenfranchisement: how can we factor out all those mouth-breathers who aren't providing useful data?

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Harold Wilson


In either case, there are a boatload of Unibombers out there holding down authors of stories they don't fancy.


The situation Harold is we have 1-bombers who give every story a rating of 1 without even reading them; they have one or more loose screws in their belfry. The rest of us have rationales for how we vote, both good and bad rationales but they do have the right to express their feelings about the stories.

We have readers who handout 10's because they like the Author or the genre. They don't care about the quality of the story. We have readers who refuse to vote regardless of what they think of the story. We have readers who won't finish a story that sucks and will only vote on stories they finish. We have all sorts of readers practicing different voting schemes.

The bottom line is the story ratings don't mean a hill of beans. They are meaningless numbers because they are extremely subjective. Part of that is there are no standards defining what the various ratings mean; but if we had standards, most of our readers would ignore them.

There is no way that a rating should be "holding down authors". If an Author wants to write they will. Anyone who becomes an Author should be aware that they will get criticism. An Author needs a degree of self confidence to put their work out for the world to read. An Author survives by saying "to hell with what you think, I like it and you don't have to read my stories, so don't". If an Author quits because of a rating, I personally believe the Author was looking for phrase and gave up when they failed to receive it.

Harold Wilson

@robberhands

Ridiculous is it to ask an author to write scenes, which are easy to skip without losing necessary information regarding the storyline. I'm pretty sure there is not a single author out there willing to write such a scene, unless you're willing to pay him for it, to make it worth his while.


And I'm sure you're wrong because ... I keep seeing it on here!

As a case in point, I'll use Jay Cantrell. JC writes stories with a lot of sex in them. Also, with a lot of relationships in them. And as a result, much of the time the sex involves the same sets of people. M and Z are dating, so they fuck a lot. Q and B are dating, so they fuck a lot. Q and Z get drunk and have a one-off, but that's probably not going to happen again.

In general, I skip over the later scenes involving familiar pairings. "Oh, M and Z fucking again? "

Sometimes I miss something and have to go back for it. Sometimes I miss something and don't find out for a chapter or two. But for the most part, I can skim pretty quickly through JC's scenes - because he's a good technical writer and so all the quotations and paragraph structuring and stuff is in the right place for easy skimming.

"Yeah, baby..."

"Oh, harder..."

"... cunt ..."

"... tits ..."

"... cock ..."

"Hey, kool-aid!"

"... Oh, yeah!!!!"

That lets me get to the toweling off part where the characters start talking again. (And no, JC never uses 4 bangs.)

I'm usually willing to read through the first scene between a couple (unless there's a bunch of couples going at it in the same room or something), and JC's such a good writer that there's usually hints that I need to pay attention to particularly important scenes: somebody's getting date-raped, or she's never seen one that huge, or whatever. So it's not like I never read his sex scenes, or have something against them. But I'm not reading JC for teh fapz, you know?

Similarly, if I'm re-reading a story it's usually not for the sex, it's for the situations or the cleverness or the humor or the dialogue. Or the humorous dialog, or ... you get the idea. (Except KathyB. I re-read her stuff for the clever situations. And teh fapz!)

In general, though, when the dicks come out, the finger goes down. Skip skippety skip skip skip! Outside of a few writers doing humor (Lazlo, ElSol, a couple others), most sex scenes just aren't that interesting the second time through. (Nor frequently the first.)

If you want me to read your sex scenes, either give me a reason (humor, or something obviously critical to the plot) or put them in strokers.

But JC's not alone in doing the plot/fucking/plot thing. Cmsix did it. JPBob does it. Rlfj did it in Fresh Start, but he also writes stroke so some of his stuff is more "integrated". The point is, there are a lot of writers who are generating scenes that are definitely NOT essential to the story. They're just sex. And much, if not most, of the time, they're skippable. Or skimmable. Whatever.

I've seen a couple of authors who do the "talk through the fucking" thing. And overall, it's annoying. I think the Lions and Tigers and Bears ... of the BLOOD! guy did that, and I was averaging about one pagedown per paragraph of reading (not just sex scenes, there, he just used a shitload of words that I didn't want to wallow in). Likewise, I think the "titanic-tittied telepathic elves of Epsilon Eridani" guy does that, too. (Different site, not SOL.) He's more readable, but I don't feel like the sex scenes actually tell me things I need to know, so .

robberhands

@Harold Wilson

And I'm sure you're wrong because ... I keep seeing it on here!

As a case in point, I'll use Jay Cantrell. JC writes stories with a lot of sex in them.

What you see and what an author intended when he wrote a particular scene doesn't necessarily concur. You named Jay Cantrell's stories as an example. A good example because we don't need to fear he'll give a shit about what we think. He's one of the most succesful author's on SoL, and writes stories with and without sexual content. Still you name him as an example for an author who intentionally writes sex scenes he wants the reader to skip, and your reasoning is based on "because I see it". Well, I don't see it. Unless Jay Cantrell tells me he wrote his sex scenes because he had too much spare time on his hand, I also don't believe he wants his readers to skip them.

Replies:   REP  kov170
awnlee_jawking

@Harold Wilson

In general, I skip over the later scenes involving familiar pairings. "Oh, M and Z fucking again? "


Me too.

On the other hand, you have to read bluedragon's sex scenes all the way through because quite often they contain a plot twist or revelation.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@REP

The situation Harold is we have 1-bombers who give every story a rating of 1 without even reading them;


I initially tried to switch off voting on my latest story but the wizard was too smart for me. As a result, the prologue got 1-bombed - possibly on the basis of the title alone.

AJ

doctor_wing_nut

@REP

The situation Harold is we have 1-bombers who give every story a rating of 1 without even reading them; they have one or more loose screws in their belfry.


Does Lazeez know who votes and what scores they give? If not, is there a way for him to find out? I would humbly suggest he simply remove their 'right to vote', since they clearly do not deserve it.

I for one would be happy to have all my votes declared, to the author or anyone else that wanted to know. I wonder if the 1-bombers would be willing to own theirs.

Replies:   paliden  REP
paliden

@doctor_wing_nut

Does Lazeez know who votes and what scores they give?

If you have a premier subscription Lazeez knows what stories you have read, what stories you have voted on, and how you voted. It is all there in your history.

But, again, if only you have a premier membership.

Replies:   madnige
REP

@robberhands

And I'm sure you're wrong because ... I keep seeing it on here!


Just because you find some sex scenes easy to skip over doen't mean the author wrote the passages so they would be easy to skip.

Replies:   robberhands
REP

@doctor_wing_nut

I would humbly suggest he simply remove their 'right to vote', since they clearly do not deserve it.


Even if he knew someone was a 1-bomber, I doubt he would disenfranchise them.

richardshagrin

If every story gets a one from that voter, it doesn't affect the relative position of the story among all other stories. Assuming it doesn't get screened out by the filter for the bottom 5% of all votes. It is the same thing if there were a voter who voted 10 for all stories. It might distort the number score for all stories but it doesn't change the relative position of any story.

Replies:   REP
REP

@richardshagrin

But readers don't read and vote on ALL stories. If you vote 10 (or 1) on a story its average goes up (or down) a slight amount relative to the other stories. One vote of 10 may not show up as a rating change if there are a large number of votes. However if there are relatively few votes the change may 0.01 or more.

robberhands
Updated:

@REP

Just because you find some sex scenes easy to skip over doesn't mean the author wrote the passages so they would be easy to skip.

Wrong quotation and thus wrong addressee, but I agree with your statement.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@robberhands

Not sure how it happened. I blocked the text in Harold's post. Perhaps I clicked the symbol in your post.

ETA: Yep, I just tried it. I guess I will have to be a bit more careful.

madnige

@paliden

If you have a premier subscription Lazeez knows what stories you have read, what stories you have voted on, and how you voted. It is all there in your history.

But, again, if only you have a premier membership.


- Basic subscriptions too. I think with a premier membership you can see it too, but not with a basic.

Replies:   paliden
paliden

@madnige

- Basic subscriptions too. I think with a premier membership you can see it too, but not with a basic.


Good point, never thought of that.

BlinkReader

If there are "bombers" that give every story score of "1" - it's not to hard to find them in database of registered users and their scores (that database exist - as a proof just think: have you ever read any story more than once and gave it score at first reading?), and simply "put them on the pastures" by site admins, and even remove their scores ...

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@BlinkReader

it's not to hard to find them in


Probably true, but is it worth the time and effort for the site staff to do it. I doubt there's anyone who simply votes 1 on everything. I'm sure what you'll see is there are people who vote 1 on subjects and authors they don't like, then vote higher scores on other stories - so it would take a lot of work to identify the hate vote 1s from the I don't like the story 1s. I don't think the issue is big enough o worry about, and I feel the 5% vote cut resolves the issue of the 1 bombers as regards to the scores themselves.

Replies:   robberhands  REP  REP
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

so it would take a lot of work to identify the hate vote 1s from the I don't like the story 1s. I don't think the issue is big enough o worry about, and I feel the 5% vote cut resolves the issue of the 1 bombers as regards to the scores themselves.

It would need a great amount of head hopping and I've heard that's considered bad style. I agree, it isn't worth the effort, or any effort at all.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

I doubt there's anyone who simply votes 1 on everything.


I don't doubt that at all.

When I first started posting to this site, I would get a 1 vote for the first chapter of every story I posted. Of course that was before Lazeez modified the rating algorithm to suppress presentation of the first 5% of the 1 and 10 votes on the histogram.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

I feel the 5% vote cut resolves the issue of the 1 bombers as regards to the scores themselves.


If I am not mistaken EB, I seem to remember the 5% votes aren't displayed but they are used in the calculation.

robberhands

@REP

If I am not mistaken EB, I seem to remember the 5% votes aren't displayed but they are used in the calculation.

I'm certain you are mistaken. Otherwise, that would be a pretty stupid practise.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@REP


If I am not mistaken EB, I seem to remember the 5% votes aren't displayed but they are used in the calculation.


The votes are dropped prior to the calculation. From:

https://storiesonline.net/h/8/how-are-scores-calculated-and-how-does-scoring-work-in-general

Step 1 is (bold for emphasis is mine)

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

kov170
Updated:

@robberhands


intentionally writes sex scenes he wants the reader to skip


You're building a straw man and tearing down your own straw man. Those unfamiliar with the problem of "straw man" arguments may want to look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man .

No one here has even come close to suggesting or implying that it makes sense for writers to include scenes in stories that they want readers to skip. Rather, the point is that it can be useful for writers to recognize when scenes are likely to be offensive to significant numbers of readers and to put at least some thought into writing in ways that avoid or reduce problems if readers choose to skim or skip over the parts they find offensive. That way readers who like the potentially offensive material can enjoy it and readers who dislike the material are more likely to be able to enjoy the other parts of stories without the material they find offensive seriously undermining their enjoyment.

In general, it is natural for sex scenes to be written in ways that do not cause significant problems if readers skim or skip over explicit descriptions of sex acts. Even when it makes sense for the intimacy of sex scenes to lead to characters conveying important information, such communication is likely to fit more naturally before, after, or possibly between the sex acts than in the middle of sex acts. As a result, I routinely expect to be able to skim or skip over explicit sex enough that distaste for explicit sex is not more than a minor nuisance.

The main concern that prompted me to start writing on this issue is that some of the comments seemed to imply that it would be a good thing for writers to deliberately mix important information into sex scenes so the sex scenes have more of a purpose beyond appealing to prurient interests. I view that idea as far more harmful than useful because inserting important information into scenes readers want to skim or skip creates an additional problem without solving the problem of stories containing material some readers find offensive and want to skim or skip.

Dominions Son

@kov170

Rather, the point is that it can be useful for writers to recognize when scenes are likely to be offensive to significant numbers of readers and to put at least some thought into writing in ways that avoid or reduce problems if readers choose to skim or skip over the parts they find offensive.


That's what the story tags are for. As an author, I'd rather people who want to skip over scenes because they find the content offensive not bother to read my stories at all.

robberhands

@kov170

Rather, the point is that it can be useful for writers to recognize when scenes are likely to be offensive to significant numbers of readers and to put at least some thought into writing in ways that avoid or reduce problems if readers choose to skim or skip over the parts they find offensive.

Why would that be useful to me as an author? There is no 'straw man' argument. The entire argument resolves itself quite simple. I don't want any readers who find the sex in my stories offensive. Since I don't want them, why would I want to write scenes in a way to encourage these readers to read my stories? There are enough stories without sex avaiable. They don't need my stories and I don't need pandering their preferences.

Replies:   kov170
kov170

As an author, I'd rather people who want to skip over scenes because they find the content offensive not bother to read my stories at all.


Why? I can't think of any explanation that doesn't seem unreasonably egotistical.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@kov170


Why? I can't think of any explanation that doesn't seem unreasonably egotistical.


Because, I am writing about the things I want to write about, and if that only draws a niche audience, I'm fine with that.

I've already had two assholes send me comments that I should re-write my stories to remove tagged for content.

That's what I want to write, and if it bothers you, I don't care.

ETA:

In my opinion, you asking me to re-write my stories to remove content that bothers you or make it easier to skip over is unreasonably demanding.

Replies:   kov170
kov170

@robberhands

Why would that be useful to me as an author? There is no 'straw man' argument.


Quoting from the Wikipedia article,

A straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent's argument, while refuting an argument that was not presented by that opponent.[1] One who engages in this fallacy is said to be "attacking a straw man".


The idea of authors incorporating scenes they want readers to skip into stories they post publicly is so extreme, and so ridiculous under anything resembling normal circumstances, that I cannot think of any reason for you to raise the issue other than to misrepresent other people's opinions in order to attack a straw man. Intelligent discussion and debate require people to try to understand each other's ideas and try to respond in ways that reflect fair understanding. Straw man tactics are disruptive to intelligent discussion and debate.

As for why accommodating readers who dislike explicit sex scenes could be useful to an author, my expectation is that people who post stories publicly do so because they feel good about writing things other people enjoy reading. All else being approximately equal, it seems logical that writers would prefer to have larger audiences that enjoy their stories. I can see why authors would dislike the idea of people who find sex scenes offensive reading their stories and then complaining about the sex or giving the stories bad scores because of the sex. But it would seem like an unfair prejudice for an author to react to such problems by wanting all readers who dislike explicit sex scenes to stay away from their stories even if the readers are careful to avoid such problems.

Replies:   Dominions Son  REP
Dominions Son
Updated:

@kov170


All else being approximately equal, it seems logical that writers would prefer to have larger audiences that enjoy their stories.


No, it isn't at all logical. Some people like to read things that would bother/offend 90+% of the rest of the population. Why shouldn't some authors write stories for them?

Replies:   kov170  Wheezer
kov170

@Dominions Son

In my opinion, you asking me to re-write my stories to remove content that bothers you or make it easier to skip over is unreasonably demanding.


I can understand your irritation with people who send complaints about content you've warned about. But the problem in such cases is the people who complain, not readers who recognize and avoid the unfairness of complaining about things you warned would be in stories.

I am more than a little bit irritated at your misrepresenting my statements as asking authors to rewrite stories to remove content. One of the dangers in discussions and debates is that people can become accustomed to facing extreme opinions and then fail to recognize when other people express ideas that are superficially similar but nowhere near as extreme. You and several others here seem to be responding to my posts in such a manner, misinterpreting what I write as if it were more extreme than it actually is.

There are three main parts to my position:

1) It is definitely bad for writers to go out of their way to mix important information into sex scenes instead of providing the information elsewhere. Such decisions are a fundamentally different kind of thing from providing information during sex scenes because that is where authors feel like it makes sense for the information to be conveyed.

2) It is a good thing for writers to give some consideration to potential problems if readers skip over explicit sex. I try to make this point in the tone of a suggestion, not in anything resembling the tone of a demand.

3) If particular stories cause extraordinarily serious problems of making it unnecessarily difficult to skim or skip over explicit sex, and there do not appear to be significant advantages to the decisions that lead to the problems, it may make sense to complain. However, I strongly believe that readers need to be careful with their tone in feedback to authors, especially authors who provide them with stories for free. I also believe it is important for readers to be careful not to base complaints on unfair or unreasonable expectations.

Complaining about content readers were warned about, or complaining about stories not having more sex than their codes indicate, is unfair and unlikely to serve any significant legitimate purpose. In such situations, authors presumably know about the underlying issues.

But if stories cause unusually serious problems of making it difficult to skip over explicit sex, there is a much greater possibility of writers not having given much if any thought to the problems. Under such circumstances, complaints have significant potential to serve a purpose that is useful and far more legitimate than trying to badger authors into doing what readers want.

Replies:   Dominions Son  REP
kov170

@Dominions Son

No, it isn't at all logical. Some people like to read things that would bother/offend 90+% of the rest of the population. Why shouldn't some authors write stories for them?


If decisions that cause stories to appeal to broader audiences cause the stories to be significantly less appealing to their primary target audience or significantly less enjoyable to write, my words, "All else being approximately equal," do not apply. In such situations, I agree that depending on authors' priorities, it can make sense for authors to reject ideas that could cause stories to appeal to broader audiences.

But if decisions can make stories significantly more attractive to broader audiences without significantly reducing the stories' appeal to their primary target audience and without making the stories significantly less fun to write, I don't see how the disadvantages could outweigh the advantages. How decisions affect people who dislike explicit sex scenes or other things they find offensive can be a consideration without being the primary consideration.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@kov170


I am more than a little bit irritated at your misrepresenting my statements as asking authors to rewrite stories to remove content.


Go back and re-read the second half of the sentence you quoted. I misrepresented noting about what you said.

I consider the difference between demanding the content be removed and asking that I make it easy to skip over a difference in degree, not a difference in kind.

As to your numbered items, I strongly disagree on all three points.

Replies:   kov170
Dominions Son

@kov170

But if decisions can make stories significantly more attractive to broader audiences without significantly reducing the stories' appeal to their primary target audience and without making the stories significantly less fun to write, I don't see how the disadvantages could outweigh the advantages.


Because authors may not see what you are calling advantages as advantages.

I know my stories have a narrow audience, I knew that before I started writing them.

As I do not sell my stories and I don't ever intend do, I see zero advantage at all in putting even 5 seconds of work into making my stories appeal to a broader audience.

REP

@robberhands

Otherwise, that would be a pretty stupid practise.


One of the reasons for dropping the votes was to keep authors from seeing them on the histogram and getting upset.

As EB reminded me they aren't used. However, why would using all the votes to calculate an average be a stupid practice. That is the common method used to calculate an average.

Wheezer

@Dominions Son

Some people like to read things that would bother/offend 90+% of the rest of the population. Why shouldn't some authors write stories for them?

(raises hand) Exactly. If all the appropriate content is checked in the tags and description, then people who don't like it can avoid it. Those who read it anyway, then get upset at the content and complain to the author should go fuck themselves. To write to an author to try to get him to remove the offending content is ignorant.

REP

@kov170

it is natural for sex scenes to be written in ways that do not cause significant problems if readers skim or skip over explicit descriptions of sex acts.


Where did you get that stupid idea from?

It is NOT natural. Some authors use sex scenes to titillate the reader, but other authors put sex scenes into stories for reasons.

Sex scenes are an integral part of an erotic story. They are not written to be skipped. In a well written sex scene, the author can show the reader some of the characters' personality traits that are not apparent during the characters other activities. Sex lowers a person's defensive shield and they often tell their partners things about themselves that they otherwise would not tell a person in a non-intimate environment.

Replies:   kov170
REP

@kov170

... comments seemed to imply that it would be a good thing for writers to deliberately mix important information into sex scenes so the sex scenes have more of a purpose beyond appealing to prurient interests. I view that idea as far more harmful than useful because inserting important information into scenes readers want to skim or skip creates an additional problem without solving the problem of stories containing material some readers find offensive and want to skim or skip.


Kov170,

You have made it very clear that you don't like to read scenes containing graphic sex. You have also made it clear that you want authors to write sex scenes that you can skip without missing important story information.

Authors and most readers see things very different than you do. You are in the minority on this issue and it is a very small group. I believe the majority of the authors in this forum disagree with what you say and they aren't going to change their writing style to suit what you want. We will continue to include important story information in sex scenes and if your skipping over that information causes you problems later in the story, then you lose. Perhaps you should try reading 'No Sex' stories only.

You have expressed the same basic opinion in multiple ways in this thread and we understand where you are coming from. We don't agree with you, so why don't you just drop the issue.

REP

@kov170

... people who post stories publicly do so because they feel good about writing things other people enjoy reading. All else being approximately equal, it seems logical that writers would prefer to have larger audiences that enjoy their stories.


The majority of SOL's readers LIKE to read graphic sex scenes with lots of detail. That is what they want. Authors who want a large following of readers will give those readers a lot of sex scenes.

Replies:   richardshagrin
REP

@kov170

There are three main parts to my position:


Personally, I strongly disagree with all three of your positions.

It is not that we misunderstand you. You appear to believe that you represent the majority of the readers on SOL and they think like you do. YOU ARE WRONG!


Yes we have mentioned readers who send us feedback telling us they have a problem with what we wrote; we often bring it up just to blow off some steam about the unfairness of such messages. But for every one of those negative feedback messages, we also get 30+ messages complimenting us on what we wrote.

kov170

@Dominions Son

I consider the difference between demanding the content be removed and asking that I make it easy to skip over a difference in degree, not a difference in kind.


There is a gigantic difference between asking that content be removed and asking that content be presented in ways that avoid unnecessary problems if people skip over it. If content is removed, people who like the content lose the ability to enjoy it. But if content is presented in ways that avoid unnecessary difficulty in skipping over it, there is not any significant loss to people who enjoy the content. (If content cannot be presented in a way that would be significantly easier to skip over without a significant loss of value, that provides a solid basis for concluding that difficulty of skipping over the content is necessary.) From a practical perspective, this is an important difference in kind because the attitude, "I want you to accommodate me at your expense," is a very different kind of attitude from, "I'm asking you to accommodate me insofar as you can without making yourself significantly worse off."

There is also an important difference in tone between asking and demanding. Requests and suggestions respect the fact that people have a right to refuse them. Demands don't. That is a difference in kind, not just a difference in degree.

Further, even if you were right in claiming that the difference is only a matter of degree, not a matter of kind, it is still a serious act of misrepresentation to portray someone else's ideas as if they were expressed in more extreme ways than they actually were. In many cases, what makes agendas unfair is not that the ideas behind them are by their nature unreasonable but rather is that people apply ideas that are generally reasonable in unreasonably extreme ways. That can lead to serious dangers of misrepresentations regarding matters of degree creating illusions that ideas are far less reasonable than they actually are.

It is therefore grossly unfair to mischaracterize other people's words as if they were significantly different in degree from what the words actually said. If you believe a difference in degree is unimportant, the appropriate response is to characterize what the other person said accurately and then explain why you regard the idea as substantially equivalent to a related but more extreme idea.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

However, why would using all the votes to calculate an average be a stupid practice. That is the common method used to calculate an average.


Yes, that's a common method, but not the only one. The dropping a percentage of the outliers before calculating an average is a very common method in competitions like Olympic gymnastics etc.

robberhands

@REP

However, why would using all the votes to calculate an average be a stupid practice. That is the common method used to calculate an average.

No, that wouldn't be stupid. However, displaying only 90% of the votes to spare an author's feelings, but then calculating the story score including 100% of the votes seems to be a stupid practise; to me that is. Admitedly, the adjective 'stupid' could be replaced with many other adjectives. Such as; deceptive, delusive, disingenuous, duplicitous, double-minded. And these are only the ones I immediately thought of starting with the letter 'D'.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

However, displaying only 90% of the votes to spare an author's feelings,


the top and bottom 5% are cut to kill 1 bombers and fanboys in a serious attempt to get a reasonable comparative result of the votes made to use as the score.

The current system has been developed over many years with decades of experience behind it. It's the best that can be done that suits makes both the readers and the authors happy. The subject of scores has been thrashed to death so often in the past that Lazeez no longer discusses it at all, and many authors and readers don't discuss it either.

The current system provides readers an idea of how one story compares to others. The only faults in the system are ones the site management can't do anything to fix, and those revolve around the reader voting decision quality and willingness to vote on a story.
3.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@kov170

...inserting important information into scenes readers want to skim or skip creates an additional problem without solving the problem of stories containing material some readers find offensive and want to skim or skip.

I don't 'insert' important information into scenes, I only write scenes I deem important. Thus you asking authors to accommodate your sensibilities by writing scenes easy to skip without missing something important, means exactly the same to me as to write scenes I want the readers to skip. I should have never written them in the first place, so of course every reader should skip the scene and forget I ever wrote it.

The idea of authors incorporating scenes they want readers to skip into stories they post publicly is so extreme, and so ridiculous under anything resembling normal circumstances,...

So far I wholeheartedly agree.

...that I cannot think of any reason for you to raise the issue other than to misrepresent other people's opinions in order to attack a straw man.

And here I disagree. You are a straw man voicing a ridiculous opinion I 'attack'.

Replies:   kov170
robberhands
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

I wrote that in response to REP. I've no problem with voting or the calculation of the scores on SoL.

Replies:   REP
Joe Long
Updated:

I've written at a few other sites. I started my current story at xnxx after I started reading a couple guys who were writing serious, novel length stories, and thought I could do it too. We all left, She Is the One going to AFF where I was for awhile, and Being More Social coming here.

I talk to those guys and one of the things we agreed on was writing sex scenes that weren't about the sex. If every scene is to advance the plot, then sex scenes have to also advance the plot, and therefor have to include information that advances the plot. So we end up with sex scenes that have sex, but it's woven in with the other activities and discussions the characters are engaging in. The sex may not be as detailed or graphic, but can still be titillating.

Also, if I'm reading 10,000 words of buildup and the characters finally get together, I want more than "and we had sex."

Regarding reader's sensibilities, my main characters are a 19 year old guy and his 14 year old cousin. Everyone I know at this site is a guy, and most appear to be over 45. I hung around the chat room at AFF where most, including the owner and mods, were women, and most seemed to be between 25 and 50. Many were simply aghast that I would be writing about a girl under 18 (but having reached puberty) having sex. It is real life. I'm telling a story that has the characters suffering consequences. Not good enough - some didn't even want to talk to me.

If you really want to go full SJW, read this link. It's long, but it gives an example of how the thought police are infiltrating writing, in this case YA fiction. The author wanted to write a story for teens that showed how a character brought up to believe in racist attitudes became enlightened - but was savagely attacked for writing a book that had racist characters. I strive to be libertarian - full disclosure, informed consent. Do what you want, let others do what they want. Unfortunately, we have modern day puritans. http://www.vulture.com/2017/08/the-toxic-drama-of-ya-twitter.html?utm_source=tw&utm_medium=s3&utm_campaign=sharebutton-t

Replies:   REP
kov170

@robberhands

I don't 'insert' important information into scenes, I only write scenes I deem important. Thus you asking authors to accommodate your sensibilities by writing scenes easy to skip without missing something important, means exactly the same to me as to write scenes I want the readers to skip. I should have never written them in the first place, so of course every reader should skip the scene and forget I ever wrote it.


Once again you twist my words to give them a different meaning and respond to your straw man instead of to what I've actually written. If you want to discuss things intelligently, look back over what I've written and try sincerely to understand it. If you're just interested in attacking my ideas without a serious effort to understand, you're wasting our time.

Replies:   robberhands
kov170

@REP


Sex scenes are an integral part of an erotic story. They are not written to be skipped. In a well written sex scene, the author can show the reader some of the characters' personality traits that are not apparent during the characters other activities. Sex lowers a person's defensive shield and they often tell their partners things about themselves that they otherwise would not tell a person in a non-intimate environment.


You're misrepresenting my words when you cut off the words, "In general," at the beginning of my sentence and then respond to how the sentence appears without those words. Counterexamples are adequate to prove that blanket statements are flawed. But showing that counterexamples exist is not adequate to refute statements regarding general expectations. I would appreciate it if you would make a serious effort to understand and think about what I'm writing instead of just looking for excuses to reject my ideas completely.

Yes, it is possible to have situations where it makes perfect sense for valuable information to be provided in sex scenes. But in my experience (mostly from "long" stories that contain sex scenes but also have serious non-sexual plots), situations where sex scenes provide information with enough value to make missing the information a significant problem are relatively rare. Further, in most cases where information in sex scenes has significant importance, the information comes from portions of sex scenes that are focused at least mostly on dialogue rather than on sex acts. As a result, I am normally able to skip at least most sexually explicit content in stories without significant problems. That is what leads me to the conclusion that in general (not in every case), it is natural for sex scenes to be written in ways that do not cause significant problems if readers skip explicit descriptions of sex acts.

Replies:   helmut_meukel  REP
helmut_meukel
Updated:

@kov170

kov170 quoted REP:


Sex scenes are an integral part of an erotic story. They are not written to be skipped. In a well written sex scene, the author can show the reader some of the characters' personality traits that are not apparent during the characters other activities. Sex lowers a person's defensive shield and they often tell their partners things about themselves that they otherwise would not tell a person in a non-intimate environment.


[first paragraph of kov170's rant ommited]


Yes, it is possible to have situations where it makes perfect sense for valuable information to be provided in sex scenes. But in my experience (mostly from "long" stories that contain sex scenes but also have serious non-sexual plots), situations where sex scenes provide information with enough value to make missing the information a significant problem are relatively rare. Further, in most cases where information in sex scenes has significant importance, the information comes from portions of sex scenes that are focused at least mostly on dialogue rather than on sex acts. As a result, I am normally able to skip at least most sexually explicit content in stories without significant problems. That is what leads me to the conclusion that in general (not in every case), it is natural for sex scenes to be written in ways that do not cause significant problems if readers skip explicit descriptions of sex acts.


kov170, you appear to me as a self-centered know-it-all.

Have you ever read John Ringo's "Paladin of Shadows" books?

"Ghost", "Kildar", "Choosers of the Slain", "Unto the Breach", A Deeper Blue", and "Tiger by the Tail"; Baen Books, 2005 - 2013.

All contain descriptions of violent sex and these are necessary to understand the MC's mindset.

BTW, if you look out for PC you'll only find political incorrectness there.

While I really prefer John Ringo's "Black Tide Rising" books and the first of "Special Cirumstances": "Princess of Wands" (all at least four times read), I read the "Paladin of Shadows" books twice.

(Typos edited)

HM.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
richardshagrin

@REP

graphic sex

Why would someone want to have sex with a graph?

Replies:   REP
StarFleet Carl

@helmut_meukel

Have you ever read John Ringo's "Paladin of Shadows" books?


I have. You're right, he's wrong.

As Mike keeps saying, he's NOT a nice person. He has kinks. He just ends up being the hero.

Also if you've not read it, I recommend 'The Last Centurion'. Again, screw political correctness. Bandit Six got the job done.

REP

@robberhands

I've no problem with voting or the calculation of the scores on SoL.


I don't have a problem either. My objection was about him saying it was stupid to use all the scores when that is the most commonly used method.

However, since I put little to no faith in the accuracy of the scores, they are basically meaningless.

First of all, they are highly subjective with the readers voting being based on their personal reading choices and the assigned rating rarely reflects the quality of the writing. Of course, that is my personal opinion with no factual basis other than seeing some very poorly written stories that have high ratings.

Secondly, when an individual has an opinion of how a scoring curve should look and then applies weighting factors to change the actual scoring curve, then the values become meaningless. Once again a personal opinion and no offence intended.

REP

@Joe Long

Do what you want, let others do what they want.


I feel like that also, but there are also limits to the concept that are not always enforced.

Someone wants to take a poke at me. That's fine as long as his fist stops before it meets me.

Someone wants to use alcohol or drugs that destroy their mental or physical abilities that's fine, as long as they cause me no problems; such as, paying for the costs for their institution when they are no longer capable of caring for themselves.

So I agree - people should be allowed to do what they want as long as their actions do not physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially harm others.

REP

@kov170

You're misrepresenting my words when you cut off the words, "In general," at the beginning of my sentence and then respond to how the sentence appears without those words.

There is no "In general,". Your comment belongs on the other end of the scale (i.e., In a few cases).

You are still denying that we understand what you are saying and WE DO NOT AGREE.

REP

@richardshagrin

Why would someone want to have sex with a graph?


Those who are mathematically inclined.

Dominions Son

It is extremely self-centered to keep pushing a suggestion that has been rejected on the very people who rejected it.

robberhands
Updated:

@kov170


If you want to discuss things intelligently, look back over what I've written and try sincerely to understand it.


Yeh; and if I don't agree with you, it is because I didn't sincerely try to understand you.

Replies:   Dominions Son  kov170
Dominions Son

@robberhands

and if I don't agree with you, it is because I didn't sincerely try to understand you.


And he's completely oblivious to that being a very self-centered attitude.

I should know, I frequently have that problem myself. :)

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son


And he's completely oblivious to that being a very self-centered attitude.


And he isn't listening when we tell him that.

He wants what he wants and refuses to accept his wants are not realistic from others POV.

helmut_meukel
Updated:


From what I've seen, in at least most cases, all authors have to do to make reasonable decisions is follow the natural flow of stories. If it makes sense for important information to be in sex scenes, the information will be in the scenes in ways that make sense, which is sufficient to fit my concept of avoiding unnecessary problems. If it doesn't make sense for important information to be in sex scenes,

the sex scenes won't contain important information and readers will be able to skim or skip over the scenes without missing anything important.


You ignore one basic fact: this site—SOL—is mainly for authors writing erotic stories or sex stories.

In some cases cutting the sex scenes wouldn't leave enough worth reading!

You do know this, don't you? So why are you here at all?

You are a troll, aren't you?

HM.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@helmut_meukel

You ignore one basic fact: this site—SOL—is mainly for authors writing erotic stories or sex stories.


That's not true - Stories on-line is a story site that allows sex stories. This is the key sentence about the site that hasn't changed since it was created. Stories are our focus, including sex stories and erotica. In recent years more emphasis has been made on the erotica and sex stories simply to improve the rating on search engines.

This issue has come up before and Lazeez, the site creator and owner has emphasised both the above points each time he's commented on it.

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

Storiesonline.net: Free Sex Stories. Tens of Thousands of free adult stories of all kinds.

That's the search result I get. To say SoL 'allows' sex stories is as misleading as to pretend that SoL provides only sex stories.

90% of the stories on SoL are 'sex stories' is another fact. So I think helmut_meukel's proposition "SOL—is mainly for authors writing erotic stories or sex stories" is allowable. Delete 'mainly' and it's even more true. That doesn't deny the fact that SoL is also a home for 'no sex' stories and their authors.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

"SOL—is mainly for authors writing erotic stories or sex stories" is allowable.


Not according to Lazeez - he's said, numerous times, the only reason he mentions sex stories so prominently on the front page is to up the hits be search engines. Several years ago you had to get more than halfway through the front page text before you saw the word sex.

I know many people have the false perception SoL is a sex story site because it's one of the few, I'd say the last, safe harbour for many of those sex stories due to other sites putting too many restrictions on the stories they allow. Thus a lot of authors come to the only port in the storm.

My concern is when too many people think their false perception is the truth they start picking on stories and authors that don't fit their view of the site.

helmut_meukel
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

Ok, I used the wrong wording.

What I meant was: at least in the last few years significant more stories sent to Sol contain some or much sex than no sex at all. Right?

Any newbie to this site will realize this looking at the home page. So why is kov170 complaining and demanding the authors should accommodate to his egotistic and unrealistic wishes?

Perhaps this is a strategy to suppress sexual contents:

first complain the sex scenes should be written in a way users can skip over them.

— After having accomplished this, as the next step demand the sex scenes should be removed, because they are no integral part of the story.

HM.
(Edited typo)

Replies:   kov170
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

Not according to Lazeez

Don't use a statement Lazeez made in a special context and apply it somewhere else. Given this context, I doubt Lazeez would mind the proposition in question; he probably won't care about at all.

My concern is when too many people think their false perception is the truth they start picking on stories and authors that don't fit their view of the site.

So you decided to counter this false perception with another false statement. Sex stories are not just 'allowed' on SoL, they account for the vast majority of stories on this site; as do their authors and readers.

I assume, that authors of sex stories might avoid SoL and search for a perceived more welcoming site, is of no concern for you.

Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

Don't use a statement Lazeez made in a special context and apply it somewhere else. Given this context, I doubt Lazeez would mind the proposition in question; he probably won't care about at all.


This exact discussion has turned up in past threads and Lazeez has waded in with exactly the comments I attribute to him, which i why I have no problem saying he said them.

Replies:   robberhands
kov170

@robberhands

Yeh; and if I don't agree with you, it is because I didn't sincerely try to understand you.


The reason I don't think you're sincerely trying to understand my opinions is that the counterarguments you use are based on wordings that are different from my opinions in important ways. In particular, there is a very important difference between "easy" (indicating it should be easy to skip material readers find offensive under all circumstances) and "not unnecessarily difficult" (recognizing that authors sometimes have good reasons for decisions that lead to problems if readers skip material they find offensive). There is also a very important difference between "sex scenes" (which refers to the entire scenes) and "explicit descriptions of sex acts" (which reflects recognition that in many cases, some parts of scenes where sex occurs do not involve explicit descriptions of sex acts). You also respond as if writing scenes you want readers to skip were the only possible way to address my concerns, which is utter nonsense in relation to anything even vaguely resembling the true nature of my concerns.

These discrepancies between how I express my opinions and how you portray my opinions in your responses are large enough and important enough that the only reasonable alternative I can find to a conclusion that you are seriously misunderstanding what I write is that you might understand a lot better than your replies suggest but be pursuing a deliberate, premeditated strategy of misrepresenting my opinions in an effort to make my opinions appear far less reasonable than they actually are. Your accusation of wanting you to write scenes you want readers to skip over is too extreme and too nonsensical for me to be able to find any other plausible explanation.

If you have another explanation for the discrepancies between my wordings and how you portray my opinions in your responses, I'm willing to listen.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

This exact discussion has turned up in past threads and Lazeez has waded in with exactly the comments I attribute to him, which is why I have no problem saying he said them.

In that case I'll stand corrected, but it doesn't devaluate anything else I stated.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@robberhands


Sex stories are not just 'allowed' on SoL, they account for the vast majority of stories on this site; as do their authors and readers.


This whole subject has been thrashed out several times, and the last time it was Lazeez entered the fray. In that thread, if you want to go looking for it, I posted a whole lot of statistics about stories.

One thing any long term member can tell you is that more and more authors writing sex stories have migrated to Sol because they've been marginalised off other sites due to them changing rules about what they'll allow. That has been changing the ratios of the stories.

What you are deliberately ignoring is the difference between a story site that allows sex stories and a sex story site that allows non-sex stories - in neither case does the story ratios or percentages decide which it is, it's the site owner and their intent - and Lazeez has previously made it clear his intent is for a story site that allows sex stories, and nothing you say or think can or will change that.

Edit to add: I found it - post by Lazeez in response to a post stating - Storiesonline: Free Sex Stories

https://storiesonline.net/d/s2/t2584/penalty-for-no-sex-stories#po46469

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.

.....

SEO = Search Engine Optimisation

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater


What you are deliberately ignoring is the difference between a story site that allows sex stories and a sex story site that allows non-sex stories - in neither case does the story ratios or percentages decide which it is, it's the site owner and their intent - and Lazeez has previously made it clear his intent is for a story site that allows sex stories, and nothing you say or think can or will change that.

Fine, so he allows 90% of sex stories on his stories site. If I intend to fly it doesn't mean wings will grow on my back. Intention is one thing, reality is another.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@robberhands

see the edit addition to my last post.

Lazeez allows almost any story to post. He doesn't control what people write, and he doesn't tell them what to write. He does have the shortest list of unacceptable story types around. Blame the number of stories on what's submitted, not what the site is established for.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

Blame the number of stories on what's submitted, not what the site is established for.

I don't blame anyone, and certainly not Lazeez for allowing different types of stories being published on his site. If this a no sex story site allowing sex stories, or a sex story site allowing no sex stories, doesn't make the last bit of difference to me. Maybe we could agree that SoL is a story site, permitting all kinds of stories.

robberhands

@kov170

If you have another explanation for the discrepancies between my wordings and how you portray my opinions in your responses, I'm willing to listen.

No, I'm done. Repeating the same action but expecting different results is the definition of madness, and I want to stay sane.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

Maybe we could agree that SoL is a story site, permitting all kinds of stories.


Which is what I've been saying all along - Sol is story site that allows any stories, including sex stories. All I've ever objected to was people claiming Sol is sex story site allowing no-sex stories.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

All I've ever objected to was people claiming Sol is sex story site allowing no-sex stories.

Yes; for some reason you find the distinction that it is a story side allowing sex stories very important.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

Maybe we could agree that SoL is a story site, permitting all kinds of stories.


That is the perception encouraged by the management, but what matters is the perception by the world at large.

AJ

Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

story side allowing sex stories very important.


stating it's a story site is important because it's an accurate account of what the site is and doesn't limit it the way the other description does.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

stating it's a story site is important because it's an accurate account of what the site is and doesn't limit it the way the other description does.

If that's all what's important to you, how come your rendition of SoL's old front page line sounds so much less welcoming to sex stories than the original?

A story site allowing sex stories,

versus,

Stories are our focus, including sex stories and erotica. Storiesonline is the home of thousands of authors showcasing their erotic writing talents. Tens of thousands of erotic and non-erotic short stories, novels, and serials and ebooks are available...

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

I know many people have the false perception SoL is a sex story site


When someone on wattpad asks for other story sites, I point them to FS, but never SOL.

kov170

@helmut_meukel

Perhaps this is a strategy to suppress sexual contents:
— first complain the sex scenes should be written in a way users can skip over them.
— After having accomplished this, as the next step demand the sex scenes should be removed, because they are no integral part of the story.


The flaw in this conspiracy theory is that it would require me to accept the ridiculously simplistic dichotomy that every scene in a story falls into one of two categories:

1) Scenes that are so important that skipping over them would cause significant problems.

2) Scenes that are so useless that they should be removed.

Even if I accepted this concept, which I strongly reject, the conspiracy theory could be countered easily by showing the unreasonableness of this dichotomy.

It often makes sense for writers to include scenes in stories because they expect readers to enjoy the scenes even though the scenes are no more than marginally useful for purposes such as advancing the plot or providing additional information about the characters. For example, if scenes fit into stories in reasonable ways, they can be worth including because they are funny or exciting even though readers could skip over them and not miss anything important. When stories are oriented toward audiences that are interested in sex scenes, sex scenes can be worth including for similar reasons.

This leads to important issues regarding differences in tastes. Decisions regarding what it makes sense to include in stories can be very different depending on whether stories are aimed at a general audience or at an audience consisting mostly of people who like certain particular kinds of things. All else being equal, it is better to write in ways that appeal to broader audiences. The most obvious example is that correct spelling and grammar (with appropriate allowance for use of dialect) do not hurt anything and make stories more appealing to people who care about spelling and grammar. But all else is not equal when addressing concerns of a broader audience would significantly reduce a story's appeal to its target audience.

In many cases, amateur writers define their target audience as consisting of themselves and anyone else who is interested in the kinds of stories they enjoy writing. This can reasonably lead to decisions that would not make sense if the target audience were defined more broadly.

When problems extend beyond differences in tastes, it is because scenes do not fit naturally. For example, if a hostile fleet is about to attack a space station, going to a scene of a comedian telling jokes is probably going to be disruptive even if a similar scene would fit well during a calmer time. Having a fourteen-year-old boy fly a starfighter makes sense only if some kind of foundation is laid for why he is flying the starfighter. Similar problems arise when sex scenes disrupt other aspects of a story while readers are in suspense, or there isn't an adequate foundation for why the characters are having sex (even if it's just that they are single and out looking for a good time).

Responding to such problems with a concept that any scene that is not "important" to a story should be left out is an overreaction that misidentifies the underlying problems. When people feel that a scene is bad because it is not important, they need to look beneath that issue to figure out why the inclusion of the scene bothers them. Does it bother them because they find the scene uninteresting or distasteful even though people with different tastes like it? Does the scene bother them because it keeps them waiting while they are in suspense? Does the scene bother them because it doesn't make sense without an adequate foundation? Does the scene bother them because the author failed to write it in a way that makes it interesting? Condemning a scene because it is "not important" without identifying the deeper issues misses the target.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

I posted a whole lot of statistics about stories.


I did a Category Search by ascending date (I had to choose one tag so I had a checked "-" for 2nd POV).

The 1st 20 stories were "much sex." 21 and 24 were "some sex" and then they went back to "much sex." The next "some sex" story is 61. I gave up before the first "no sex" story appeared.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  kov170
REP

@robberhands

No, I'm done.


Robberhands,

Kov170 is a fanatic. He has a set of beliefs that are very different from the rest of us and he doesn't want to acknowledge we disagree with him as a fact. He repeatedly insists that we don't understand him because we aren't stating our case using the words he wants to hear. But does he understand what we are telling him? Yes, I think he does, but to acknowledge our views, opinions, and beliefs as having any validity, he would have to change his opinions. Fanatics believe they are right and anyone who disagrees with them is wrong; they don't modify their beliefs.

We see no significant difference between writing a scene so it can be skipped and just deleting the scene from the story. The effect is the same thing for those who just skip the scene. But Kov170 does not see our viewpoint and focuses on the fact that he never asked us to delete the scene. That is true. He never said delete the scene, all he said is write it in a way such that it could be skipped (i.e. deleted) without affecting the rest of the story.

Helmut meukel asked Kov170 if he is a TROLL. Personally, I think the answer is YES. By now Kov170 undoubtedly knows that no one in this thread agrees with his perverted idea that authors write or should write sex scenes so they can be skipped. Yet he fanatically persists in trying to shove his opinion down our throats and make us do what he wants us to do.

Regardless of whether he is a troll or a weird fanatic, I think all of us should just NOT RESPOND to his posts. If we are lucky, maybe he will go away and stop harassing us with his weird unrealistic opinions.

Replies:   kov170
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

I did a Category Search by ascending date


Which probably would be much real help if you mean the oldest stories, because in a past thread Lazeez told us a lot of the first stories posted when he set up the site were a bunch of existing stories from friends of his at ASSTR, with some in alphabetical order by author. However, I do think the definitive statement on the subject was the one made by Lazeez about this being a story site that takes anything he can legally post.

awnlee jawking

@kov170

One problem is that it's very difficult to keep up the entertainment value when a story contains multiple explicit sex scenes. Rightly or wrongly, many authors seem to feel compelled to include such scenes because of the nature of the site.

AJ

kov170

@REP

We see no significant difference between writing a scene so it can be skipped and just deleting the scene from the story.


This concept of equivalency is completely ridiculous. If a scene is left out of a story, no one can read it. If a scene is included but written in a way where readers can skip over it without problems, readers who like the scene can read it and readers who don't like it can skip past it. The importance of this difference is so obvious that I can't understand how any rational person can deny it. The only possibility I can think of is writers being so egotistical that they refuse to acknowledge that reasonable readers might not always view their words as being as important as they do.

Here's a news flash for you: YOU write scenes readers can skip over at least significant parts of. I mostly liked your Time Scope stories, but your second one started dragging at the end getting too bogged down in details I found neither important nor interesting. Guess what? I skipped over some of the details. I don't remember whether the sexual content included scenes that got explicit enough for me to skip past them, but if it did, I didn't have any significant problems skipping the explicit sex. If those stories are representative of your writing, all you have to do to avoid the kind of problem I'm concerned about is keep doing what you're already doing.

Replies:   Dominions Son
kov170

@Switch Blayde

I did a Category Search by ascending date (I had to choose one tag so I had a checked "-" for 2nd POV).


2nd POV is not a good choice of tag for trying to get a feel for the pattern of different kinds of stories on SOL because second person point of view is not suitable for anything resembling a representative sample of stories. In most situations, second person point of view works poorly in fiction because of conflicts between how the author defines the character "you" and how readers think and feel. Second person point of view is most useful for "choose your own adventure" type stories where choices give readers a considerable amount of control over what happens and in situations where the primary audience is a person or narrow group of people the author knows well. For example, an author might use second person point of view writing an erotic story for a lover, with the content of the story reflecting how the author thinks the lover would feel or react.

awnlee jawking

@kov170

2nd POV is not a good choice of tag


You missed the point. There are so few 2nd POV stories that excluding them from a search returns virtually the whole site. It's an artifice to circumvent the requirement for at least one search criterion.

AJ

Switch Blayde

@kov170

2nd POV is not a good choice of tag for trying to get a feel for the pattern of different kinds of stories on SOL


Read what I wrote. I had to select one tag. I did that by EXCLUDING 2nd POV (I chose the minus sign rather than the plus sign). So all stories that did NOT have the 2nd POV tag were found.

Replies:   kov170
Dominions Son
Updated:

@kov170


The importance of this difference is so obvious that I can't understand how any rational person can deny it.


There are a great many things that you apparently do not understand.

Just because the difference is important to you does not make it obvious that the difference should be important to anyone else.

You are asking authors to go out of their way to make it easy for you to read a story that is not the story they wanted to write. Why the fuck would any author want to do that?

You are a self-centered, overly entitled brat if you think anyone is obligated to accommodate you.

Replies:   REP  kov170
REP

@Dominions Son

You are a self-centered, overly entitled brat if you think anyone is obligated to accommodate you.


Just an observation DS. Trolls push issues like Kov170 is pushing this one because they get attention and some weird form of satisfaction out of the exchange.

In a case like this, I personally believe everyone should refuse to respond to any of Kov170's posts. That's sometimes a difficult thing to do, but in this case he isn't going to change and he will just keep pushing regardless of how many times and ways we tell him he isn't going to get what he wants because what he wants is stupid.

Replies:   kov170
kov170

@Switch Blayde

Read what I wrote. I had to select one tag. I did that by EXCLUDING 2nd POV (I chose the minus sign rather than the plus sign). So all stories that did NOT have the 2nd POV tag were found.


Sorry about the misunderstanding. Your description assumes people understand the minus option, but on the demo page available to free users, the only option available is to click a check box by a tag. I didn't even think about the possibility of the two versions of the category search page being as different as they apparently are.

kov170
Updated:

@Dominions Son


Just because the difference is important to you does not make it obvious that the difference should be important to anyone else.


My conclusion is based on objective analysis of the consequences of both choices, not on whether the difference is important to me personally. The problem is that you and others appear either unwilling or unable to look at the consequences of both choices objectively.

To illustrate the importance of the difference, suppose, hypothetically, that a backlash against sexual permissiveness in society would lead to lawmakers and courts deciding that laws need to be changed to protect readers against being pressured to read explicit sex scenes if they want to read stories they think will be interesting for other reasons. There are two competing proposals for how to address the problem:

1) A law that would make it illegal to publish (either in print or electronically) any story that includes explicit descriptions of sex acts.

2) A law that would allow publication of stories that include explicit descriptions of sex acts only if they are written in ways where readers can skip such descriptions without missing information that has clearly significant importance for purposes unrelated to the sexual content. To protect against dangers of overzealous enforcement, this proposed law is designed so unless violations are egregious or persistent, the only consequence for violations is an order that publication be ceased and that any profits from the publication be forfeited.

It is glaringly obvious that the second possibility would be far less harmful than the first to the freedom and opportunities of authors and readers who like explicit sex scenes. For much the same reason, asking authors to write in ways that avoid problems of making it unnecessarily difficult for readers to skip explicit sex is not asking anywhere near as much as asking writers not to include explicit sex at all.


You are asking authors to go out of their way to make it easy for you to read a story that is not the story they wanted to write.


I would appreciate any willingness to go out of their way, but I am not attempting to pressure authors to do so. My main concern is the potential harm if authors go out of their way to write in ways that result in explicit sex (or other kinds of material that raise special concerns about potential offensiveness) being unnecessarily difficult to skip.

robberhands

@kov170

The mind boggles but the pigs keep flying unperturbed, feeling secure in the knowledge that you'll never pass a law.

kov170

@REP

Just an observation DS. Trolls push issues like Kov170 is pushing this one because they get attention and some weird form of satisfaction out of the exchange.


It is outrageously unfair to call someone a troll just because he is unwilling to let people who misrepresent his viewpoints and who he believes are using seriously flawed reasoning to disparage his reasonableness have the last word. I would love to end this discussion if I could do so without in effect surrendering to people who use such tactics.

I think a logical ending point would be to agree that in theory, accommodating readers who prefer to skip material they find offensive is a good thing, but that in practice, authors can have good reasons to regard other considerations as more important.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
robberhands

@kov170

You want to leave now? Just when your mastubatory fantasies of

...courts deciding that laws need to be changed to protect readers against being pressured to read explicit sex scenes...

became a source of entertainment. It's hilarious, you should publish it somewhere, maybe on SoL.

Dominions Son

@kov170

My conclusion is based on objective analysis of the consequences of both choices, not on whether the difference is important to me personally.


Bullshit. It's highly dependent on subjective judgement calls as to whether given consequences are benefits or costs.

but I am not attempting to pressure authors to do so.


Again, bullshit. If you weren't attempting to pressure us, you would have stopped the first time we said no.

My main concern is the potential harm...


You keep claiming that your analysis is objective, but labeling this issue as a harm is necessarily a subjective judgement.

awnlee jawking

@kov170

accommodating readers who prefer to skip material they find offensive is a good thing


In my case the problem isn't that I find the sex scenes offensive but boring and repetitious.

I strongly disagree with the name-calling. I think you have a defensible point of view. Whether it's correct or not, everyone must make their own minds up.

AJ

Replies:   Dominions Son  robberhands  REP
Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

I think you have a defensible point of view.


If he was putting it forth as an opinion/point of view, I would agree with you.

However, what he is doing is trying to claim that it's an objective truth and that therefore anyone who disagrees with him must be irrational.

Replies:   kov170
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

I think you have a defensible point of view.

It's as defensible as asking authors of stories without sexual content to implement some gratuitous sex scenes, because some readers find stories without sex joyless.

Replies:   kov170
kov170
Updated:

@Dominions Son


However, what he is doing is trying to claim that it's an objective truth and that therefore anyone who disagrees with him must be irrational.


It is objectively clear that situations where people are free to make different choices are different from situations where a single choice is imposed onto everyone. Further, it is objectively clear that when differences in subjective preferences are significant, ability to make different choices is superior unless countervailing factors offset or outweigh the advantages of people being able to make choices they like better. For example, if one person prefers chocolate and another prefers vanilla, there is a solid, objective basis for concluding that it is better if they can each make their own choice unless some other consideration causes enough disadvantage to outweigh the benefits of being able to make different choices.

What makes issues complicated is that there is generally not an objective basis for determining when other factors outweigh the advantages of ability to make different choices. For the most part, such questions are too complicated, too heavily dependent on particular situations, and too intertwined with subjective feelings to be worth discussing and debating in general terms.

The reason why I object to the idea that stories are better if they are written in ways that cause problems if people skip material they find offensive is that the idea can easily be counterproductive. It actively works against fair consideration of the benefits of accommodating readers' desires to skip scenes or portions of scenes they find offensive. It can also lead to decisions that do not fit the characters and circumstances as well as different decisions would. For example, it generally fits better for important dialogue to occur before or after sex acts than in the middle of sex acts. Recognition of these problems does not depend on agreement with the reasons why particular people find particular material offensive.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Switch Blayde

I just wrote the first draft of a 1,600-word scene where the hero is being interrogated and beat up and then a larger fight ensues with three people ending up dead and others hurt.

I guess I could have had it happen "behind closed doors" and simply told the reader it happened. Then again, if the reader is offended by fight scenes he can skip the scene.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Switch Blayde

Then again, if the reader is offended by fight scenes he can skip the scene.

Why would any moral pillar of upstanding ethical principles ever do something like that? It's just violence.

REP

@awnlee jawking

I strongly disagree with the name-calling. I think you have a defensible point of view.


Awnlee, you write the scenes in your stories to reflect what you want them to reflect. You don't write them to cater to a reader's sensibilities, although I doubt you would go out of your way to hurt someone intentionally.

Now along comes Kov170. He starts telling us that some Authors write sex scenes so they can be easily skipped. We tell him that Authors don't write sex scenes so they can be skipped. Add in his remarks labeling Authors and their ideas egotistical. He ignores what everyone tells him and persists in his delusional thinking. Then he starts adding in that we Authors should present critical story information before or after the sex scene, so he and others who want to skip the scene can do so without missing critical information. What Kov170 is doing is trying to control what we write and how our scenes are presented. I consider that to be a form of Censorship.

Kov170 had gone beyond reasonable in expressing his opinions. Despite everything people have told him, he continues to insist that Authors should write scenes the way he wants them written. I don't like name calling any more than you do, but I have reached the point of putting a label on this guy. Maybe it will wake people up to the fact of what he is.

I labeled him a Fanatic because there is no reasoning with the man. He out to push his views down our throats and he refuses to allow the facts others present to influence his beliefs.

As to labeling him a Troll, it seems to me that he getting something out of this conflict. Trolls create conflict on a website like SOL because they enjoy the attention it brings them. I believe Kov170 likes the attention he is receiving. He enjoys arguing with people he has labeled egotistical. He likes to present himself as the wronged party. Now why does he like doing these and other things; simple, it creates contention and that brings him attention. I don't know about you Awnlee, but to me, that sounds like the description of a Troll. My solution to handling a Troll is to not engage them by responding to their remarks.

Considering all of the above and the way he has presented himself, I strongly disagree your comment about him having a defensible position.

Replies:   kov170
kov170

@robberhands

It's as defensible as asking authors of stories without sexual content to implement some gratuitous sex scenes, because some readers find stories without sex joyless.


If a reader does not regard a story as worth reading for reasons independent of sexual content, why would he ask a writer to add sexual content instead of reading a different story?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@kov170

It is objectively clear that situations where people are free to make different choices are different from situations where a single choice is imposed onto everyone.


Yet here you are, begging all authors to make one single choice that you support and you continue to push the issue.

Further, it is objectively clear that when differences in subjective preferences are significant, ability to make different choices is superior unless countervailing factors offset or outweigh the advantages of people being able to make choices they like better.


1. It's impossible for anything to every be objectively clear about subjective preferences.

2. You are the one insisting that authors make the choice you want, rather than the choices they want.

You are the one trying to limit choices.

Replies:   kov170
Dominions Son

@kov170

If a reader does not regard a story as worth reading for reasons independent of sexual content, why would he ask a writer to add sexual content instead of reading a different story?


Why would a reader who objects to sexual content ask a writer to make it easier to skip over instead of reading a different story?

Replies:   kov170
kov170

@REP

One saying I learned as a teenager is that when you point a finger at someone, you have three more pointing back at you. Your behavior in calling me a troll and a fanatic merely because I persistently refuse to agree with you, and encouraging people to ignore me while you attack me, is compelling evidence that you are a fanatic.

The strategy you are using to attack me is very much in line with what would be expected from a fanatic who recognizes on some level that his position is unreasonably extreme but is unwilling to admit that reality - possibly even to himself. You persistently misrepresent my positions in order to make them appear more extreme and less reasonable than they actually are. You accuse me of attempting censorship merely because I express an opinion that it is better for writers to show consideration for readers' feelings. You claim I cannot be reasoned with when your only evidence is my unwillingness to agree with your viewpoint. You claim I'm a troll just because I'm unwilling to let attacks that misrepresent my viewpoints stand unchallenged. You claim that I'm a fanatic just because my moderate position reflecting a serious, thoughtful effort to find a balance between competing interests conflicts with your extreme position that shows gross disrespect for the feelings of people whose attitudes toward explicit sex conflict with yours. And you advocate that people stop listening to me while you continue to attack me.

At the moment, you are behaving like something far worse than a troll. You are behaving like an ideologue who uses dirty tricks to try to shut down reasoned opposition to your ideology. At least an ordinary troll is motivated mostly just by a desire for attention, not by a desire to prevent opinions he disagrees with from receiving fair consideration.

kov170
Updated:

@Dominions Son


Why would a reader who objects to sexual content ask a writer to make it easier to skip over instead of reading a different story?


Because the story looks like it will be more interesting than the similarly easy to find alternatives that don't contain material they want to skip over.

Replies:   Dominions Son
kov170

@Dominions Son


Yet here you are, begging all authors to make one single choice that you support and you continue to push the issue.


If writers think they have good reasons to write in ways that result in problems if readers skip over material, I respect that, so long as their reasons aren't based on an arbitrary rule that has nothing to do with writing scenes in the ways that fit the characters and circumstances best.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@kov170

If writers think they have good reasons to write in ways that result in problems if readers skip over material, I respect that


You should respect it even if the only reason is that's the way the author wants to write that story. The author owes you nothing.

Replies:   kov170
Dominions Son

@kov170

Because the story looks like it will be more interesting than the similarly easy to find alternatives that don't contain material they want to skip over.


Why doesn't that same reason apply equally going the other way?

Replies:   kov170
kov170

@Dominions Son


You should respect it even if the only reason is that's the way the author wants to write that story. The author owes you nothing.


To clarify, I was referring to respect for authors' decision processes, not respect for authors' right to make their decisions. Freedom of the press requires a certain amount of respect for authors' right to make their own decisions even if people disapprove of the decisions. But if authors want respect beyond that bare minimum, they have to earn it.

Also, one important part of freedom of the press is freedom to criticize writers' choices if people regard the choices as unreasonable. Thus, the bare minimum of respect authors are entitled to automatically does not include freedom from criticism.

If an author is motivated by what he thinks makes a better story, and there is a reasonable basis for that decision, the reasoning process is worthy of respect even if particular people would rather the author made a different choice. If I think the reasoning is seriously flawed, I can respect the motivation but criticize the reasoning. If the motive is just that the author doesn't want to expend effort to accommodate people who prefer to skip over scenes they find offensive, I accept the choice as reasonable, but it is too selfish to earn respect. If an author goes out of his way to write scenes in ways that make skipping material people find offensive problematical, I regard that as worthy of criticism.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@kov170

If I think the reasoning is seriously flawed, I can respect the motivation but criticize the reasoning.


Author's don't owe you even telling you their reasons.

Replies:   kov170
kov170

@Dominions Son

Author's don't owe you even telling you their reasons.


For purposes of a general discussion such as this one, I can discuss my attitudes toward different types of reasons and leave authors to judge which category their reasons fit into.

kov170
Updated:

@Dominions Son


Why doesn't that same reason apply equally going the other way?


If readers want sex scenes and particular stories don't provide them, the readers can deal with the situation themselves by reading different stories to satisfy different interests or by using their imaginations to invent sex scenes involving the characters and settings in stories. If readers dislike explicit sex and stories are written in ways where readers can skip over it, readers can address the situation by skipping over the scenes. These work-arounds aren't perfect, but the only way to make things better for readers on one side is to make things worse for readers on the other side.

In contrast, when offensive material is presented in a way that makes skipping over it problematical, there is not any reasonably effective way readers can work around the problem through their own choices. The only person who might be in a reasonable position to address the problem (if a reasonable solution exists) is the author.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@kov170

In contrast, when offensive material is presented in a way that makes skipping over it problematical, there is not any reasonably effective way readers can work around the problem through their own choices.

In the first sentence of the same post you presented the solution.

If readers want sex scenes and particular stories don't provide them, the readers can deal with the situation themselves by reading different stories to satisfy different interests...

The fact that you don't realize it, is the reason a discussion with you is useless.

Replies:   kov170
kov170
Updated:

@robberhands


In the first sentence of the same post you presented the solution.


Please explain how you think my sentence provides a workable solution to situations where skipping over offensive material is problematical.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@kov170

Please explain how you think my sentence provides a workable solution to situations where skipping over offensive material is problematical.

Here is your own solution:

If readers don't want sex scenes and particular stories provide them, the readers can deal with the situation themselves by reading different stories to satisfy different interests...

Replies:   kov170  REP
kov170

@robberhands

My potential solution was based on reading additional stories to satisfy desires a particular story doesn't satisfy. As an analogy, if a person wants a hamburger from a place that doesn't sell onion rings, he can buy onion rings somewhere else so he gets both the hamburger and the onion rings. Reading additional stories cannot do anything to solve the problem of a particular story containing material a reader finds offensive.

REP

@robberhands

Here is your own solution:


Precisely. Kov170's problem would be easy for him to resolve if he visited his local public library instead of this site.

robberhands

@kov170

Not reading additional stories but reading other stories instead of, would solve this problem quite nicely.

Reading additional stories cannot do anything to solve the problem of a particular story not containing material a reader desires.

The fact that you don't realize it is the same, is the reason a discussion with you is useless.

We're turning in circles.

helmut_meukel
Updated:

@kov170


As an analogy, if a person wants a hamburger from a place that doesn't sell onion rings, he can buy onion rings somewhere else so he gets both the hamburger and the onion rings.


You used the wrong analogy.

An analogy to your demands would be:

A person wants a hamburger from a place and demands they generally separate onions, lettuce and ketchup from the hamburger so he and others who don't like onions and/or lettuce and/or ketchup can eat their hamburgers without those ickie components.

I would tell this person "Go home and cook your own hamburger".

HM.

Replies:   kov170  Wheezer
kov170
Updated:

@helmut_meukel


A person wants a hamburger from a place and demands they generally separate onions, lettuce and ketchup from the hamburger so he and others who don't like onions and/or lettuce and/or ketchup can eat their hamburgers without those ickie components.


Following the analogy, all I want is for the metaphorical hamburgers to be made in a way that doesn't make it unnecessarily difficult for people who don't like onions, lettuce, or tomatoes to pick what they don't want off their hamburgers. I'm not suggesting anything that would require extra effort from people who want onions, lettuce, and tomatoes on their hamburgers, much less interfere with people's ability to get onions, lettuce, and tomatoes on their hamburgers.

Further, my impression is that it is generally natural for hamburgers that contain onions, lettuce, and tomatoes to be made in ways that result in its being reasonably easy to pick the ingredients off if people don't want them. Similarly, it is generally natural for stories to be written in ways where people can skip over at least most of the explicit sex without significant problems. I understand and accept that there may be special cases where authors have special reasons to do things differently.

Replies:   robberhands
richardshagrin

sax and violins go together.

robberhands
Updated:

@kov170


Similarly, it is generally natural for stories to be written in ways where people can skip over at least most of the explicit sex without significant problems.


How many authors need to tell you it is anything but natural to write expendable scenes, before you'll finally dispense that nonsense? Skipping scenes mutilates a story and an author's intention.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  kov170
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

Stephen King admitted to putting gratuitous gory scenes in his romances because that's what his audience expected.

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

Do you think he wants them to skip the scenes after he made an extra effort accommodating his readers?

ETA: Furthermore, since he felt the need to admit the scenes were gratuitous, do you believe it felt natural to him writing them?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
doctor_wing_nut

Well, you have to admit kov170 is persistent, and verbose, and probably delusional, but has he/she actually convinced anyone to accept this point of view?

If you keep beating a dead horse, all you end up with is Horse Tartare (I think Plato said that).

Replies:   robberhands  REP
robberhands

@doctor_wing_nut

...has he/she actually convinced anyone to accept this point of view?

I sincerely hope he did not.

Geek of Ages

Frankly, I am still trying to understand what argument anyone is actually making in this thread.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

Do you think he wants them to skip the scenes after he made an extra effort accommodating his readers?


I think he expected many of them to do so, since the scenes were counter-genre, and made it easy for them to do so. Romance readers relatively happy, horror readers also relatively happy. More book sales.

I don't know how he felt about writing them, but he admitted they felt unnatural in context.

AJ

kov170

@robberhands

How many authors need to tell you it is anything but natural to write expendable scenes, before you'll finally dispense that nonsense? Skipping scenes mutilates a story and an author's intention.


Stories almost always contain scenes or portions of scenes that are "expendable" in the sense that readers could skip them without missing anything of significant importance. The reason why this is the case is that authors routinely include scenes or portions of scenes that add color without providing information that is genuinely important. Unless such material attracts negative attention (for example by being boring, disruptive, distasteful, or grossly irrelevant), it is likely that neither authors nor readers will notice the fact that the material does not have significant importance.

Explicit descriptions of sex acts almost always fall into the category of material that adds color without conveying important information. It is rare to have situations where combinations of characters and circumstances make the middle of descriptions of sex acts the logical time to reveal information that is important in regard to issues other than sex.

The number of authors who have supported your assertion is small enough to be explainable easily by certain authors being too egotistical or too focused on looking for excuses to attack my ideas to be willing and able to look at the relevant issues objectively.

Replies:   robberhands
awnlee jawking

@Geek of Ages

I think they've invented the thread equivalent of perpetual motion. The arguments haven't actually progressed for some considerable time :(

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@kov170

The number of authors who have supported your assertion is small enough to be explainable easily by certain authors being too egotistical or too focused on looking for excuses to attack my ideas to be willing and able to look at the relevant issues objectively.

And how do you explain the numerous support your opinion garnered?

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

I think they've invented the thread equivalent of perpetual motion. The arguments haven't actually progressed for some considerable time :(

Actually I also recognized the fruitlessness of this discussion long ago and dropped out for a while. Now I use it as a sort of stress relief and hope for more entertaining metaphors.

Geek of Ages

Also, a hamburger is a terrible analogy for a story, with a bunch of separate things you stack together to make a single food, but they remain separate things (except maybe the cheese and ketchup). A better analogy would be a casserole, where all of the ingredients mix and combine and are generally identifiable in the final product, but cannot be easily separated. Good stories entwine in themselves, and become something more than the individual parts.

Hamburgers are a tower; casseroles are a chemical reaction.

Replies:   REP  kov170
REP

@doctor_wing_nut

Well, you have to admit kov170 is persistent, and verbose, and probably delusional


No probably about that, and no it doesn't appear like he is gaining any ground. Especially when all he does is keep repeating the same delusional statements. I liked the Horse Tartare comment.

REP

@Geek of Ages

A better analogy would be a casserole,


Very good analogy.

If I don't like the way a casserole's ingredients combine, I don't have to eat it. Perhaps it is time for Kov170 to accept that if he doesn't like the way Authors write sex scenes, he should skip reading stories that contain sex scenes. If he does like the way Authors write sex scene, he should stop complaining.

Replies:   Wheezer  kov170
Wheezer

@helmut_meukel

I would tell this person "Go home and cook your own hamburger".

In other words, this ain't Burger King. You don't get it your way! :P

Wheezer
Updated:

@REP


if he doesn't like the way Authors write sex scenes, he should skip reading stories that contain sex scenes.


...or skip reading stories by that author. To continue my analogy, kov170 - troll that he is, is convinced that life is like a Burger King and that he should have everything his way.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Wheezer

I agree. Although I think he would say the same things about any story that contains sex scenes regardless of who wrote them.

kov170
Updated:

@Geek of Ages


A better analogy would be a casserole, where all of the ingredients mix and combine and are generally identifiable in the final product, but cannot be easily separated. Good stories entwine in themselves, and become something more than the individual parts.


If someone dislikes a vegetable in a casserole enough, distaste for the vegetable can negate or outweigh any contribution the vegetable makes to the taste of the casserole as a whole. The same is true of stories: distaste for certain particular scenes or segments of scenes can outweigh the value of whatever the scenes or segments may contribute to the story as a whole.

To give an example not involving sex, the first nine books of David Weber's Safehold series are centered on a war against a false church. The church was established by using technology to manipulate the memories of most of a planet's original colonists so they believed a manufactured religion in which the people originally in charge were archangels. The "holy writ" is subdivided into books in a manner analogous to the Bible, and a book supposedly written by one of the "archangels" instructs the church to use gruesome torture to enforce its authority. Over a period of centuries, power has corrupted the church, leading to threats and use of torture to suppress opposition to serious abuses of the church's authority.

The fact that the church uses gruesome torture is important for explaining the difficulty of stirring up effective opposition in places where the church maintains control. For readers who don't have a historical background regarding torture or whose intellectual knowledge has not sunk much into their emotions, the level of gruesome detail in certain scenes may be appropriate to convey understanding of what people face if they take a stand against the church's leadership and fall into the church's power. But readers with appropriate background knowledge and understanding can skip a lot of the gruesome detail without missing anything with more than very minor importance.

A casserole is a terrible analogy for the level of difficulty of skipping over explicit sex in a story. Trying to skip over explicit sex is a bit more problematical than removing lettuce from a hamburger because there are sometimes bits of explicit sex mixed in with dialogue before the sexual action gets hot and heavy, and it is often impractical if not impossible to identify where explicit sex ends without seeing any description of it. But the difficulty of skipping most of the explicit sex in a story is nowhere near as great as the effort required to pick through a serving of casserole and remove most of a vegetable a person dislikes.

kov170

@REP

if he doesn't like the way Authors write sex scenes, he should skip reading stories that contain sex scenes


I have repeatedly tried to explain that I don't object to the way stories I've read on SOL handle sex scenes. What I object to is the idea that it is good to write sex scenes in a way that would make skipping over explicit sex more problematical than it is with at least the overwhelming majority of stories I've read here.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@kov170

What I object to is the idea that it is good to write sex scenes in a way that would make skipping over explicit sex more problematical than it is with at least the overwhelming majority of stories I've read here.


Then, to put it bluntly, start writing your own fucking stories the way you want and allow the rest of us the same damn courtesy. Quit harping on shit that NONE of the rest of us agree with. In other words STFU about it.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Topic closed as it has degenerated quite a bit. Keep it civilized guys.

Topic Closed. No replies accepted.

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