Every entry I have made in the FanLit contest so far has received a large number of both zeros and fives. As near as I can tell my averages seem to be between 2.2 and 2.9. Why is this?
I know a lot of it is a matter of taste. I’ve always had a strong effect on my readership, like it or not and the better my writing gets the more polarized the reactions to it. I don’t really mind that some people hate me, so long as there are just as many who love me.
But I think there is more to it than that.
I think the way the contest is set up brings out things in ourselves … ugly things. I am quite proud of myself for having NEVER given a 0. I did give a few .5’s, but that was to people who not only didn’t follow the assignment, but don’t write that well either. Otherwise they’d have gotten a 1 from me. I’m proud of this because boy is there a temptation to do it!
When I play the game straight – going through the vote process through the Vote button, I find myself skipping a lot. Sometimes I even skip things that MIGHT be interesting because I don’t want them to do well when I’m not! I dislike this in myself.
That’s why I like invitations. They keep me on the level. I’m not skipping so I’m not hurting anyone, and I actually give more generous scores because I always leave a comment when I’ve been invited. I like myself better that way.
The thing is, if my own scores more closely reflected where I expect my entries to be – with at least one in the top 100 – I would be a lot more generous with my scoring all the way around.