First of all, I want to thank everyone for the positive responses and reception to my first story on GSS - Domin8 & SubLime.
In the interest of improving my writing - both for the site and overall - I wanted to ask what people consider when they are rating a story. Specifically, I was a bit puzzled because the “Hot” ranking on my story was 4.49 (tied with Writing for my highest category). However, my “Wanking Material” score was my absolute worst at 4.2.
I’m not asking that you read my story and tell me exactly why you don’t want to wank to it.(God, please DON’T do that. Hahaha) But I am having trouble understanding what are the differences between those two rankings and how they could vary so much.
Thanks in advance for your answers and for helping me improve my writing for GSS.
Have you read the “official” explanation of the rating categories? They’re shown when clicking the link on the bottom of the rating panel:
Straight forward if the most flexible, this is how exciting the story is, how much it arouses you in and of itself.
The degree to which the control is conveyed in an appealing and interesting manner.
Not to be confused as a synonym for hotness, which denotes excitability, this defines how much it actively gets you off rather than just how exciting it is. The climax to hotness’ prelude.
The level of skill showcased in the telling. This is how good you are at telling a story versus writing a smut piece.
How novel the story is in its concept. We all play along a similar driving point of control, but the method in which that control is asserted in each story varies. There are quite a few ‘I drugged you with a magic potion and now you’re my cockslave’ stories, there are much fewer, say, ‘sentient clothing comes to life and takesover the world by converting men into dumb sluts’ stories.
Thank you Martin. Yes, I had read that official description - in fact I read it before I ever wrote a story when I was just rating others. While I know it states that the two categories shouldn’t be confused, in my mind they are still fairly linked. It may just be that I’m a bit thick. Still, I’m hoping some others might be able to explain how they separate the two so I can better understand.
It’s certainly been a recurring issue that has been discussed multiple times already. So you’re not the first to ask this question…
I can just repeat: A story might be hot but that doesn’t necessarily mean it can bring me over the edge. Usually, I need a hot mind control scene involving some intense sex scene on top of that. Pure mind control can be extremely hot, but it won’t bring me over the edge. As an example, I’d like to quote Swizzington’s Slave Academy series. It has some of the most intense and hottest mind control scenes ever - the scene with the chess pieces is simply and literally mind-blowing - but it would never cause me to cum, since there’s hardly any good sex in any of these stories. Which is fine. But that’s where I see the distinction.
Other people’s view on this might vary, though.
In general, I wouldn’t focus so much on the ratings. I write the stories for myself, primarily. Like my latest story which seems to completely blow for most readers. I don’t care, it was incredibly arousing for me to write this morning, and that’s what’s counting, at least for me.
I’ll just say that, as a prolific author on GSS, I don’t feel like the ratings correspond very well to my own perceptions of a given story’s quality. While some comments I’ve received have been useful when it comes to honing my craft as an erotic fiction writer, the ratings themselves have been basically useless–and sometimes worse than useless, because I’ll occasionally get demoralized when a story of mine scores in the Bottom 10 or 20 percentile for a given category, and then I won’t bother writing anything new for a while.
The only category that I might place a little bit of stock into is the “Writing” one. The others seem too dependent on the fetishes and turn-offs of the small percentage of readers who bother to rate any given story.
I think Martin explained the difference between wanking and hotness pretty well. The confusion sometimes comes up because a certain portion of readers - myself included - find the mind control/hypnosis itself so erotic, that we can blow our load to that without any actual sex required. Some people need the sex scenes, which is where that separation in the ratings comes from.
But ultimately, I wouldn’t bother trying to make sense of the rating system. It’ll drive you crazy. Just write what you wanna write and don’t worry about it.
I also struggle a bit with the rating system myself, but I do my best with it. I honestly would rather there just be comments at the bottom, because that’s usually what I find more helpful, but I don’t feel like my stuff gets enough ratings or comments for either to be particularly useful. Whether that’s because ratings have gone down site wide, or because people are sick of my shit on here, who knows lol.
You’ll have better luck cultivating relationships with other writers on here that you admire, and asking them to look over your stuff. They’re more likely to have better insight I think, and will give you the feedback you seem to be looking for.