A Sood WriterbySunrockSin©
Yes, there it was in twelve point times new roman, or was it a sans-serif? Oh anyway, I saw it there, typed as imprecisely as any good commenter (tormentor?) should. The comment read: "I only see 2 H's among the numerous stories listed in your profles (sic) --- Sood (sic) writers score them on at least half their stories." Yes, I added the parenthetical sic two times because I did understand it was simply a typo and the comment boxes for stories don't have a spell check, but I also added it because I have never used it before and here was a wonderful opportunity.
It was a wonderful opportunity, but also a sad occasion because I learned I wasn't a good writer, hell I learned I wasn't even a sood writer. With this single comment I found out precisely how to determine if a writer is good (sood?) or bad. Yes, with less than half of my stories garnering a bold red H, I have to live with the fact that I am something other than a good writer.
Of course, I must admit I am in good company as far as I can tell. I mean John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway and Oscar Wilde never got a single red H at Literotica. Besides that one story he snuck in a few years back, you remember the scary, sexy one, yeah, that one, well, besides that one story, Stephen King didn't get any red Hs. Try as she might Anais (pronounced Ann -- I -- eese) Nin has not received any red Hs, though there are a couple of reviews of her books that got close.
It was a shock to me discovering how many of my favorite writers are simply not good, Jeanette Winterson -- not good, John Banville -- not good, Haruki Murakami -- not good. After going over my extended list of not good authors I took on the unenviable task of writing to the New Yorker Magazine, the New York Times and the Washington Post to inform their critics of the new standard in judging authors and their work. Of course this new standard does save a lot of time, when they critique an author, all the critics need to do is check and see if he or she has any red Hs. To hell with reading the work, simply look at how many Hs each author has and you will know if they are good or not.
I realized that if I had any hope of being a good writer I better learn a bit more about this red H. Apparently the award of a red H is based solely on the votes a writer gets for a specific story or poem at Literotica. Quit simply, if a writer receiving a minimum of ten votes on a one to five scale averages at least a 4.5, that writer gets a coveted red H, that first step in becoming a good writer.
Of course if you consider the mathematics of the red H you'll find it is a daunting task to earn one of these little jewels. Seven people could rate a story as one of the best at the site, two people could they really liked the story, that it was a good read and one, perhaps offended because one of your characters used a condom, or didn't use one, might rate it as a one and the story average would be a four point four. So a story rated a good read or better by nine out of ten readers may not earn a red H and alas, the poor writer will be fated to being something other than good.
The sheer beauty of the H rating is simply that readers can save lots of time. Instead of reading a specific writer to determine if that writer is any good at all, the reader only has to look over the writer's list of stories and if at least half of them don't have red Hs the reader need not waste his time because the writer can't possibly be good. Following this formula many readers or other writers could even go as far as calling another writer's entire oeuvre crap without even reading a single story. The efficiency here is even better than the Survivor Contestant participant who deems the winners' stories all crap after reading a representative sample of two or three of their several hundred stories.
Yes, it appears the path of becoming a good writer takes a good understanding of language, punctuation, story telling and being able to convince enough people to vote a 5 on your stories. To be honest, you can forget the understanding of language, punctuation and story telling and simply work on getting people to vote 5s on your stories and you will have it made, at least at Literotica it seems.