Author Topic: Read my crap?  (Read 7646 times)

Paranatural

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on: June 03, 2009, 06:00:12 AM
I have a couple of stories I'd like someone to read over. I don't want it to be people who I know, I want people who will be harsh critics. I am not a writer, I wrote a couple of flash-length stories on a whim and just want a few people who like stories to read them and temm me either like 'Ok, you could be better if you did X and Y' or 'Jesus, stop writing, you make my brain bleed'. Does anyone know of an appropriate place?



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Reply #1 on: June 03, 2009, 04:34:13 PM
I've never used critters before but I know several people who have that seem happy with it.


Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #2 on: June 07, 2009, 02:10:34 PM
In my opinion, the online writers worskhop (http://onlinewritingworkshop.com/) yields better results.



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Reply #3 on: September 09, 2009, 08:29:18 PM
Critters is alright, especially for new writers.
strengths: 
emphasis on politeness
it's not a big deal to post an unpolished story
weaknesses: 
-most of the users are beginners,
-most of the comments are "i hate it" or "i love it" without much explanation of either. 
-There's a queue of about a month between posting a story and hearing crits.
-The admin suggest that if you don't finish a story, you shouldn't critique it (counterproductive)
-You have to critique a minimum number of stories to maintain your account

I prefer Baen's Bar (bar.baen.com)
strengths: 
-most of the critiques are honest (but not necessarily nice),
-no critiquing requirement to maintain account
-can post more than one story
-Story can get comments immediately after posting
-Counts as submission to major magazine (for a little while longer, until Jim Baen's Universe officially closes the Introducing slot)
-Some of the critiquers are staff members of JBU
weaknesses: 
not for the faint of heart (honest criticism often hurts)
PG-13 requirement

Otherwise, it never hurts to ask people you interact with online if they'd like to exchange a critique.  Most of my critiques come from and go to people I've met on forums.  Don't be offended if they say no--they really might be busy.



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Reply #4 on: September 09, 2009, 08:31:44 PM
And my biggest piece of advice for critiquing:
Don't just receive critiques, make sure you give them.  Besides doing your part to maintain critiquing communities, it will help you.  Honest, it will.  I wrote for more than a year in isolation, and I really struggled.  Then I started participating in critique groups, and I learned more in a month than I did in that whole first year.  Much of that was because I critiqued other people.  You can apply a cold analytical eye to another person's work and decide what you like and don't like.  This can train you to look at your own stuff in the same manner, something you have to do if you want to improve. 



Listener

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Reply #5 on: September 09, 2009, 08:39:50 PM
The community here was really good until it faded. Any news about re-introducing it?

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Heradel

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Reply #6 on: September 09, 2009, 09:02:08 PM
The community here was really good until it faded. Any news about re-introducing it?

I think all we need to do is just have some new stories posted on a somewhat frequent basis and bend each others' arms to start critting again.

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600south

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Reply #7 on: September 13, 2009, 05:41:46 AM
Another one to try is Urbis (www.urbis.com) though I've never used it myself, so I can't vouch for its quality.

I tried Critters for a while but the quality of stories is pretty low -- you'll feel like you're the teacher of a 10th grade creative writing class most of the time.



Anarkey

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Reply #8 on: September 13, 2009, 11:43:27 PM
The community here was really good until it faded. Any news about re-introducing it?

I don't know where therinth went but I'm officially too busy to crit stuff on the writing forum here anymore (which, to be fair, I always warned might happen).  Not that I'm necessarily part of the "really good" crowd, but I was pretty consistent for a while.  My face to face crit group is still poking along at a pace I can keep on top of, but now several people periodically ask me to read stuff directly which is actually kind of nice and flattering (and I'm currently at a minus one here, because I owe a crit I haven't given yet), and that plus slushing pretty much makes my plate full.

Sorry! 

I would, however, love to know where Liminal went and if he ever got that thing he posted for crit published.  I really liked that thing.

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Reply #9 on: September 14, 2009, 04:26:32 AM
Critters is pretty good for getting a sort of "general survey."  You can see how a relatively large number of people react to your piece, and sometimes find a piece of very good advice (or a really good story).  I also enjoy the opportunity to just totally dissect things on a semi-nonymous basis.  (Real name/e-mail, but so many submissions that it's pretty rare I read the same person twice.)

However, it's not so great for the back-and-forth discussion that I find is really best for banging a problem piece into shape.  I've got a first meeting for a meatspace group scheduled for this week, but I'm not holding out a lot of hope.

It'd be interesting to see a smaller group of more dedicated critiquers, and I'd certainly be willing to give it a try, presuming we can have a password-locked area to post stuff in.



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Reply #10 on: September 14, 2009, 08:51:11 PM
It'd be interesting to see a smaller group of more dedicated critiquers, and I'd certainly be willing to give it a try, presuming we can have a password-locked area to post stuff in.

Yes, password-locked is vital, else many magazines count it as prior publication.

Honestly, I don't know if I could join in or not as my critiques via email take up most of my time available for critting, and I've been offered a slush reading job I think I might take.  But there's no such thing as too many crit forums, so if one does start up I hope it works out and I'll try to stop by some time.



Heradel

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Reply #11 on: September 14, 2009, 09:19:07 PM
It'd be interesting to see a smaller group of more dedicated critiquers, and I'd certainly be willing to give it a try, presuming we can have a password-locked area to post stuff in.

Yes, password-locked is vital, else many magazines count it as prior publication.

Honestly, I don't know if I could join in or not as my critiques via email take up most of my time available for critting, and I've been offered a slush reading job I think I might take.  But there's no such thing as too many crit forums, so if one does start up I hope it works out and I'll try to stop by some time.

As stated, this already exists in the forum, it's just been somewhat dead over the last month or two. I'll ping Rachel to figure out about Therinth, but if you guys want to join the crit group I can add you if you private message me. We can always use the new blood to drink, er, crit.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 09:58:39 PM by Heradel »

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Scattercat

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Reply #12 on: September 24, 2009, 03:31:28 AM
So...  did anyone besides me sign up for this at this point?  I'd love to do more critiques, but everything that's in there is a bit stale at this juncture...



Anarkey

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Reply #13 on: September 24, 2009, 08:52:27 PM
So...  did anyone besides me sign up for this at this point?  I'd love to do more critiques, but everything that's in there is a bit stale at this juncture...

Scattercat -

If I were you I would PM Windup, eytanz and Swamp who have all in the past given very thoughtful and helpful critiques to stuff on the crit group board asking them very nicely if they would be willing to read and crit your material.   Oh and DKT, though he's also in the now helping out around here and therefore busier than before set, and may not have time.

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Heradel

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Reply #14 on: September 24, 2009, 09:17:38 PM
I'm going to, but I may not get to it until this weekend.

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Scattercat

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Reply #15 on: September 26, 2009, 04:16:46 AM
If I were you I would PM Windup, eytanz and Swamp who have all in the past given very thoughtful and helpful critiques to stuff on the crit group board asking them very nicely if they would be willing to read and crit your material.   Oh and DKT, though he's also in the now helping out around here and therefore busier than before set, and may not have time.

I'm actually wanting to DO more critiques...



Anarkey

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Reply #16 on: September 26, 2009, 12:40:52 PM
If I were you I would PM Windup, eytanz and Swamp who have all in the past given very thoughtful and helpful critiques to stuff on the crit group board asking them very nicely if they would be willing to read and crit your material.   Oh and DKT, though he's also in the now helping out around here and therefore busier than before set, and may not have time.

I'm actually wanting to DO more critiques...

I know that, and in the case of Swamp and Windup and DKT, who've both posted stuff for crit but not recently, asking them to crit might be the kick in the ass they need to post more.  I'm just being all sly about it.  Eytanz has always expressed extreme reluctance to post anything, but his crits are invaluable.  More activity on that forum will generate more activity is my theory, and some folks are just worth prodding, is all.

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Listener

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Reply #17 on: October 22, 2009, 04:06:39 PM
My face to face crit group is still poking along at a pace I can keep on top of

I wish I had one of those. Every one I try to find around here either has faded out or flaked on meetings I tried to attend via meetup.

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Scattercat

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Reply #18 on: November 01, 2009, 09:02:09 AM
I and the founder were the only people who regularly showed up to the last meatspace critique group I tried.  I expect total flaking from online groups, but I figured real life would be more reliable...



knigget

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Reply #19 on: December 04, 2009, 03:37:21 PM
Is Baen's bar still open?  It does not seem to have a Register link.

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Reply #20 on: December 04, 2009, 05:35:29 PM
I'm not sure about the Bar, but Baen's Universe has closed submissions and will be closing itself next year :(

Link here.