Author Topic: Forum Crit Group --  (Read 24104 times)

therinth

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on: June 01, 2008, 06:17:10 AM
Hello there!

I'm Erin Cashier, a friend of Escape Pod, and I'm the moderator for the new writing/crit group that will begin here soon.

Here's my timeline for us:

For the next two weeks, we figure out who is in, and hammer out the details of how we want things to work. After that, everything goes into a passworded area to protect posted critted works from counting as publications.

Initially, depending on the amount of members, everyone will get to post 2-3 shorts (stories under 10k). Critting these can be a free for all, consisting of commenting in response to the posted stories. By critting these first stories, people will earn points that they can redeem in the future to post additional shorts. Thus, the more you crit, the more opportunity you'll have to post additional work. Once I know how many people are interested in participating, I can hammer out the final ratio of points for crits given vs points to post.

If short stories go well for 2-3 months, I'd like to branch out into novel chunks. I would prefer to see the introductions to novels (3 chaps, or up to 10k), and then not see the rest of the novel until it is complete. Participants can work out a trade system for novels, a book for a book, or a thorough crit of a novel can be worth a larger amount of points than normal shorts.

I'd like stories to be tagged up at the top with title, word count, genre, and rating. (I don't mind R stories, but they aren't everyone's cup of tea.)

For right now, anyone can join. Depending on interest and actual future participation, this may change. I believe crit groups work best with an expectation of participation -- at least one story critted and submitted by each member each six months, but hopefully many, many, more than that.

The passworded crit area will only be for crits and maybe market chat. Conversations about preferred pen types will have to be held elsewhere.

I hope I'm not coming off like a drill sergeant -- I'm quite nice in person. But I believe that people function best when guidelines are clear.

I attended Viable Paradise in 2001 and Clarion West in 2007. I've been a part of Clarion-style crit groups both online and in person for almost a decade now. I'm here to be level-headed and even-handed. While I've got a lot of experience critiquing (and in being critiqued), chances are I won't be the best critter here. Hopefully none of us will be the best critter here -- we'll each bring something special to the table, an ability to see and fix plot holes, a knack for characterization, a special sense for scenes or theme. I want this to be a safe place where we can explore our writing, stretch our limits, help each other to learn from failures, and have the opportunity to enjoy one another's successes.   

So -- who's in?





 



Nobilis

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Reply #1 on: June 01, 2008, 06:34:56 AM
I'm in.  I've been challenged twice now to write outside my genre, so I'm going to give it a go.



Windup

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Reply #2 on: June 01, 2008, 07:16:53 AM
Game on! 

Those all sound like expectations I can live with. Because of time restrictions, I'll probably participate mostly via short stories (both crits and submissions) but that doesn't look like it will be a problem.

"My whole job is in the space between 'should be' and 'is.' It's a big space."


Anarkey

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Reply #3 on: June 01, 2008, 11:38:06 AM
I'm provisionally in.  IOW, I'm interested and I'd like to see this get off the ground, but have rl crit groups (that rock and have priority). 

I attended VP in 2005, and have participated in Critters (though that was mostly a failure for me, adding to my provisionality here), and actually have an undergrad degree in creative writing, so I've done academia style crits as well, fwiw. 

Thanks therinth, for being willing to organize and manage this.  I thought your post sounded straightforward and fair, and not at all militaristic.  I can imagine that it will be a lot more effort than reward, and respect your willingness to 'pay it forward', as they say.

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eytanz

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Reply #4 on: June 01, 2008, 01:09:24 PM
I'd be happy to join in and help critique/comment on stuff, but I don't think I'm very likely to contribute any stories (these days, if I have time/energy to write, it goes towards my academic writing). So I'm not sure I belong.



Heradel

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Reply #5 on: June 01, 2008, 01:24:31 PM
I'm in, though this means I'll actually have to get something other-people-ready, and I have zero experience with critting outside of lit classes, so I probably will be of little utility until I figure out the ropes.

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Anarkey

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Reply #6 on: June 01, 2008, 01:45:31 PM
I'm in, though this means I'll actually have to get something other-people-ready, and I have zero experience with critting outside of lit classes, so I probably will be of little utility until I figure out the ropes.

I wouldn't worry about your utility.  You'll do fine.  Also, the beauty of this method is that you can see how other people compose their crits, and learn quickly from them (both in the to do and not to do categories).  Most people develop a basic template to follow.  Mine is usually: strengths, weaknesses or missteps, questions or stuff I wasn't sure about, nitpicks + line edits.  If there's a persistent line edit issue I bump it up to weaknesses where it will get noticed.  (Now that you know my sekrit formula, you'll see some of my story evaluations in the comment threads follow this same format).  Rachel's flash contest crits are well-composed, and that's a good place to look for guidance.

Looking forward to reading a story from you.

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Russell Nash

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Reply #7 on: June 01, 2008, 04:09:29 PM
I'm in although it will probably be in lurker mode for quite a while.  My writing classes were few and a long, long time ago.  I'll likely spend quite a while just going to school on everyone else.  Writing and critting.



therinth

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Reply #8 on: June 01, 2008, 05:22:00 PM
I'd be happy to join in and help critique/comment on stuff, but I don't think I'm very likely to contribute any stories (these days, if I have time/energy to write, it goes towards my academic writing). So I'm not sure I belong.

Come play along for six months -- maybe between now and then, you can set yourself the goal of writing a new short.




Anarkey

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Reply #9 on: June 01, 2008, 10:35:51 PM
I'd be happy to join in and help critique/comment on stuff, but I don't think I'm very likely to contribute any stories (these days, if I have time/energy to write, it goes towards my academic writing). So I'm not sure I belong.

What Therinth said!  Come play along.  Anyway, surely a 500 word flash piece in six months isn't much to ask?  I'd like to see what you could come up with.   :)

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AliceNred

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Reply #10 on: June 02, 2008, 02:37:03 AM
I want in, please.

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Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #11 on: June 02, 2008, 03:28:28 AM
I'd be happy to join in and help critique/comment on stuff, but I don't think I'm very likely to contribute any stories (these days, if I have time/energy to write, it goes towards my academic writing). So I'm not sure I belong.


Can we team up?  I'll write, and he can crit?

Either way... count me in, please; and will there be help for those of us who really stink at cover letters?

(I'm happy writing just about anything BUT a "sales pitch".  :P )

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Heradel

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Reply #12 on: June 02, 2008, 03:50:30 AM
I'm in, though this means I'll actually have to get something other-people-ready, and I have zero experience with critting outside of lit classes, so I probably will be of little utility until I figure out the ropes.

I wouldn't worry about your utility.  You'll do fine.  Also, the beauty of this method is that you can see how other people compose their crits, and learn quickly from them (both in the to do and not to do categories).  Most people develop a basic template to follow.  Mine is usually: strengths, weaknesses or missteps, questions or stuff I wasn't sure about, nitpicks + line edits.  If there's a persistent line edit issue I bump it up to weaknesses where it will get noticed.  (Now that you know my sekrit formula, you'll see some of my story evaluations in the comment threads follow this same format).  Rachel's flash contest crits are well-composed, and that's a good place to look for guidance.

Looking forward to reading a story from you.

Thanks, but don't say I didn't warn you once you've read it.

Are we doing this as a subforum of this forum (as in an area like the PC/PP/EP subsections) or as a separate forum?

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


qwints

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Reply #13 on: June 02, 2008, 04:11:23 AM
I'm in, though I'll probably go silent for a few weeks around finals. I've done some writing, but I've never felt good enough about any of them to try and develop them for publication.

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CammoBlammo

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Reply #14 on: June 02, 2008, 06:39:45 AM
Alright, count me in. I've got a pretty good list of ideas for stories and a few chapters/sections lying around the place I'd like to work up. I'm the sort of guy who needs deadlines and drill-sergeants standing over him to get anything done, so feel free to ask me to drop and give you twenty if it looks like I'm slacking off.



Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #15 on: June 02, 2008, 10:59:12 AM
Alright, count me in. I've got a pretty good list of ideas for stories and a few chapters/sections lying around the place I'd like to work up. I'm the sort of guy who needs deadlines and drill-sergeants standing over him to get anything done, so feel free to ask me to drop and give you twenty if it looks like I'm slacking off.

Ditto to that drill-sergeant bit... I need an off-the-wall suggestion and a kick in the arse to get anything "done", normally.

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Alasdair5000

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Reply #16 on: June 02, 2008, 11:15:34 AM
I'm in.  I've been challenged twice now to write outside my genre, so I'm going to give it a go.

I'm up for this:)



jodymonster

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Reply #17 on: June 03, 2008, 02:36:29 AM
I'm in... I think I need the kick in the pants to get me to finish something. I am really excited to see everyone else's work too.

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therinth

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Reply #18 on: June 03, 2008, 02:47:31 AM
I'm in, though this means I'll actually have to get something other-people-ready, and I have zero experience with critting outside of lit classes, so I probably will be of little utility until I figure out the ropes.

I wouldn't worry about your utility.  You'll do fine.  Also, the beauty of this method is that you can see how other people compose their crits, and learn quickly from them (both in the to do and not to do categories).  Most people develop a basic template to follow.  Mine is usually: strengths, weaknesses or missteps, questions or stuff I wasn't sure about, nitpicks + line edits.  If there's a persistent line edit issue I bump it up to weaknesses where it will get noticed.  (Now that you know my sekrit formula, you'll see some of my story evaluations in the comment threads follow this same format).  Rachel's flash contest crits are well-composed, and that's a good place to look for guidance.

Looking forward to reading a story from you.

Thanks, but don't say I didn't warn you once you've read it.

Are we doing this as a subforum of this forum (as in an area like the PC/PP/EP subsections) or as a separate forum?

Subforum of this forum, AFAIK.



Liminal

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Reply #19 on: June 03, 2008, 03:43:54 PM
I feel like I'm at a very large poker table, with a large group of rather intimidating players, looking at my cards, fingering my chips, taking a sip of 18 year old scotch, then throwing my chips into the middle of the table with a practiced nonchalance that belies the fluttering nervousness in  my stomach as I say . . .

"I'm in."

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Russell Nash

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Reply #20 on: June 03, 2008, 03:47:34 PM
I feel like I'm at a very large poker table, with a large group of rather intimidating players, looking at my cards, fingering my chips, taking a sip of 18 year old scotch, then throwing my chips into the middle of the table with a practiced nonchalance that belies the fluttering nervousness in  my stomach as I say . . .

"I'm in."

I'll probably have something ready for months before I could get the guts to post it.



DKT

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Reply #21 on: June 03, 2008, 04:02:52 PM
I'd like to give this a shot, too.


BigNutter

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Reply #22 on: June 03, 2008, 11:57:02 PM
I don't exactly write? crits well.. I receive them well.. So far, the only ones I hated are "Good" and "Go away!" (Which I got For the same piece.)

Well, I've got something that I'm not happy to Submit to Pod Castle. Well, I'm not happy with it and but I'd send it otherwise.



therinth

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Reply #23 on: June 04, 2008, 07:39:43 AM
I feel like I'm at a very large poker table, with a large group of rather intimidating players, looking at my cards, fingering my chips, taking a sip of 18 year old scotch, then throwing my chips into the middle of the table with a practiced nonchalance that belies the fluttering nervousness in  my stomach as I say . . .

"I'm in."

I'll probably have something ready for months before I could get the guts to post it.

I swear i'll try to make this as unscary as possible. I know what pre-crit jitters are like.

(Also, i fully intend to submit broken pieces. If i knew what was wrong with 'em and how to fix 'em, i wouldn't be putting them in the kitty, as it were ;))



birdless

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Reply #24 on: June 04, 2008, 01:30:11 PM
I would love to be in this, too. I need writing experience and practice, as the only "training" I had was in high school. Hopefully this will help my self-discipline, too, giving me some motivation to write... if I actually get up the nerve to post something!

Would it be too out of line for the moderator-type-person to actually propose a topic or setting or theme every few months or so for which we could all submit a story on? Maybe that will be too scholastic for some, but it might help people feel they are entering something on a somewhat level playing field... does that make sense?