Sueness and Popularity: Mistakes

I’m (finally!) scoring the last of the webcomics for my Sueness and Popularity project.

But I’ve just realised a major flaw in my experiment plan: I haven’t specified which characters I will score as “Fan Characters & Newcomers”. The test has a separate section for these characters, and I know from my first scoring project that the choice of section makes a big difference to a character’s score.

This is fine for fan characters, since it’s usually fairly obvious when a webcomic is based on an existing story. But for “newcomers”, it’s a difficult judgement call. As a reader, I can’t reliably tell if a character is a new one the author just made up, or if they were planning to introduce them all along.

I could pick a rule: for instance, “any character who doesn’t show up in the first storyline is a newcomer”. But for something that could have such a big impact on my results, I don’t want to rely on such an arbitrary choice.

Alternatively, I could ignore the original-character/newcomer distinction, and just score every character on the “Original Fiction” scale. This avoids arbitrary cut-offs, but it also means I’m not applying the test properly.

Neither choice really makes sense, so I’m going to re-plan my experiment to try both:

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