Zebra (zebra363) wrote,
Zebra
zebra363

Voting in DS Match

This reading more fanfiction idea is working out really well for me so far. I'm still getting tons done outside on my days off, but without tipping over the edge into too tired to function. The green is almost gone, growing season is nearly over and I'm busy mowing and whippersnippering and clearing fallen branches to get ready for firebreak inspections, which start next week. And also, as a counterbalance, sitting inside guilt-free for several hours a day, reading DS Match stories and LJ.

The voting on DS Match is throwing me a bit, though I'm sure it's not meant to be taken very seriously. "How well does this story fit the team genre?" is straightforward enough. But then there's "How much did you enjoy this fic? Rate from 9 (loved it) to 1 (not so much)." I wish the question was "How good did you think this story was?", for some semi-objective value of good, as if you were marking the stories for a class. Or I wish both questions were there, because "enjoy" seems to depend too much on personal preference! 

My hands-down favourite of the ones I've read so far (which isn't everything that's been posted) is the impending death story I mentioned the other day, but I think it would be entirely reasonable for someone to read it and give it a 1 because they absolutely do not enjoy the impending death of a beloved major character! I loved it, but I had to wrestle with myself about my vote because I really hate basic punctuation errors and it was (shock, horror) missing a period at the end of a sentence. I'm sorry, but that seriously detracts from my enjoyment! (I put my hands to my head and went "Aaaaargh!" when I saw it, because I knew I couldn't in any honesty give it full marks in my personal grading scale, then sat there looking at the sentence for a while in case the period suddenly sprang into existence, thereby resolving my problem, then reluctantly tried to give the story an 8.5, couldn't do that so gave it an 8, felt bad about not giving it the top rating when it got such a strong emotional response from me, and finally went back and changed my vote to a 9 on the basis that I'd've given it a 10 for emotional impact if I could and I was just subtracting one mark for inadequate proofreading, which is no logic at all!)

I actually quite like translating my reactions to the stories into numbers — it reminds me of gymnastics and figure skating and dressage. I'm veering back and forth between an "automatic deduction" approach where I start with 9 and take points off for things I don't like/think are bad (e.g., poor proofreading in a challenge story = at least -1 deduction, RayK dumbed down too much, -2, too much talking when they should be kissing, -2) and a "general impressions" approach ("Yes, pretty good, must be a 6 or 7"). 

I'm not voting at all for most of the ones I don't "enjoy", because I don't want to be leaving low marks and skewing the vote for what are probably perfectly OK stories, but happen to be AUs or have ghosts or are mostly light humour. But then, what do I do about stories where Ray K calls Fraser "Ben" or "Benton" — I seriously dislike that, but should I be taking marks off for it? In terms of what it does to my "enjoyment", it'd be a -2 or -3, but if I was trying to be objective, which I think is more appropriate in this case, it probably shouldn't matter at all. And what about Ray/Ray stories where there's no explanation for why Fraser isn't in the picture? I'm not likely to enjoy a story like that at all (though I have been known to enjoy Ray/Ray where their feelings for Fraser play an important role in the story).  Even if I'm trying to be objective, I think it's a question that needs to be addressed in any story aimed at a general DS audience, since DS canon just doesn't lead directly to Ray/Ray. So, is it objectively fair, looking at a Ray/Ray story as a piece of DS fanfiction, to deduct a bunch of points for the lack of a Fraser-explanation, or should you view the story in the light of the fact that Ray/Ray now has a considerable fandom of its own in which it's common to take their attraction as read? (I don't normally run into this problem since I don't generally read Ray/Ray stories, but I happened to misread the pairing on one and accidentally consume it this morning!) 

It'd never happen, but it'd be fun to see people's voting calculations in the comments.
Tags: due south
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