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.