So avid reader Carol posted her rankings (which I’ll copy at the bottom of this post, as she put it in a comment in one of our previous columns). She didn’t rank them 1-12, but rather lumped them into groups. Ones she didn’t like, liked some, liked a bunch, etc. So what I’ve done, being the stat nerd I am, is compile some stats on the 3 people who have read all our stories (us two and Carol). For each “1st” place, that story got 12 points. 2nd favorites got 11, etc, all the way down to 1 point for our least favorites. For Carol’s, where many tied, I added the points together and averaged them. So if 3 stories were here favorite, they each got 11 points (10 + 11 + 12). Pretty simple stuff. So here are our OVERALL rankings (if you’re new to this blog for some reason, the top guys are the stories you may want to request we send copies of – you can request that at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aaron’s stories (3 people voting), from lowest-scoring to best-scoring:
10(T). March – Gaius the Bold (13 points)
10(T). April – The Fat Man (13 pts)
10T. October – The Baker (13 pts)
9. August – The Ledgers (15 pts)
8. February – Rigging the Future (16 pts)
7. January – Sign of the Times (17 pts)
6. December – My Name is Cashew (19.5 pts)
5. November – Dark November (21.5 pts)
3(T). June – Project Titan (26 pts)
3(T). July – Year of the Stone (26 pts)
1(T). May – Climbing for Her (27 pts)
1(T). September – A Life in Rouen (27 pts)
12. March – The Efficiency Expert (4.5 pts)
11. April – Leaving Gunite (13 pts)
10. June – The Exorcism of Anne Foster (14.5 pts)
9. February – Heads of State (15 pts)
8. October – Sleepytown (17.5 pts)
7. July – Two Pair (19 pts)
6. September – Seeing the Forest for the Trees (20.5 pts)
5. November – Sunset at Belham Bay Park (23 pts)
4. May – Unbecoming (23.5 pts)
3. December – Birth of the Stone (27 points)
2. January – Finding Home (27.5 points)
1. August – Cornered (28 points)
More than individual achievements, I’m seeing trends where we just definitely picked better topics than other months. Admittedly only two examples is a very small sample size, but it looks like the three worst topics are:
March – we had to incorporate 5 sentences into the story (two story total of 17.5 points)
April – “Two people meet every day at a bus stop. Until they don’t.” (total of 26 points)
October – “a baker puts a special ingredient in his bread that changes life in his sleepy town, while someone in the town discovers a surprising branch on a family tree” (total of 30.5 points)
The BEST topics were:
May – “a story that focuses somehow around 7 flights of stairs” (total of 50.5 points)
September – we had to incorporate 9 character names into the story (total of 47.5 points)
December – we had to write a sequel or prequel of one of the other person’s stories (total of 46.5 points)
A quick analysis of this info before getting to Carol’s actual comments:
1) Carol and I have wildly different tastes, particularly in regards to Aaron’s stories. What I thought was easily his best, she thought was his second-worst. What I thought was definitely his worst, she said was easily his best. Go figure?
2) The overall list for my stories seems to be fairly close to my own rankings of them. However, Carol & Aaron (and my wife) all think that my June story (the silliest one) was definitely one of the worst, and I think they’re all wrong. It’s a classic!
3) I had a story that received only 4.5 points. Rather than think I totally churned out a lemon, I’m going to pretend that all my other stories were amazing.
4) I had thought that the “gimmick” topics (the ones we did every 3 months that were not based off a specific topic per se) would either be the best or worst, but they’re all over the place. I guess like everything else – they’re hit or miss.
5) If anyone else has read all 24 stories and wants to write their own rankings, I’ll update this list (or if you only read one person’s, that’s fine – you can list their 12).
Onto Carol’s review:
“Okay, here goes. I have re-read the stories, and not surprisingly, my rankings are quite different from both of yours.
My least favorite story was July. All those game plays bored me.
For me, your “meh” stories were March (odd, but humorous) and June.
Enjoyable were February (initially hard to get into), April, August (disliked language, but it worked with the story), November and December.
Excellent reads: January (surprise ending), May (lovely story), September, and October
Aaron, My least favorite story was April.
Your “meh” story was June- just not one of my favorites.
Enjoyable were November and December (Love the song)
Excellent reads: February (fun), March (adorably funny), May (fun), July, August, September and October.
And my hands-down favorite of all the stories throughout the year- your January story about the house.
I have truly enjoyed being a part of this adventure, and looked forward eagerly to each month’s contributions. I hope that you come up with another way to showcase your talents.”