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Thread: Critique for Critique

  1. #1
    Moderator Philip Overby's Avatar
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    Critique for Critique

    Update-We now have 8 people so I'm locking the group now. Sorry for anyone else who wanted to join! I really don't want this group to get too big!

    Phil the Drill
    JCFarnham
    Reaver
    Muqtada
    Steerpike
    sashameridith
    San Cidolfus
    Benjamin Clayborne



    What does everyone think of the idea of trading stories or chapters and discussing them privately? I know the Showcase is already used for that, but I'm hoping to get some more intensive feedback on several chapters I have written. Also, I understand some people don't like sharing their incomplete material, which is why I don't use the Showcase often. I really love it and I think it works for a lot of people, but I guess I prefer my critiques a bit more private.

    So my idea is offering critique for critique. You critique something of mine, I critique something of yours.

    I want honest feedback, but that doesn't necessarily mean brutal. Meaning, yes, I want you to tell me what didn't work or what needs fixing, but no need to just completely bury me.

    I like to follow the philosophy of tell me what didn't work first, then tell me what you liked next. I like the bad news first!

    I'll do the same for you.

    If anyone is interested, I'll develop a sort of "Critique Form" which you can fill out that way I can get a clear idea of what is working and what isn't. It will also make it easier to critique that way (when I was a small press editor I enjoyed those because it helped structure things so much easier).

    However, I don't want to read whole WIP novels. I personally don't have time for that, but I would be open to read in-progress stories, or several chapters. It's all negotiable (up to 30-35 pages?). Pretend I'm a busy, yet conscientious editor if you'd like!

    Also if several people are interested, we could form a small critique group, for those that prefer private critiquing.

    Anyone interested? Send me a private message. And please, no one too thin-skinned.
    Last edited by Philip Overby; 2-24-12 at 10:56 PM.
    Undead unicorns make me happy!
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  2. #2
    Moderator Reaver's Avatar
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    I'm in. I'll PM you with my contact info. I honestly don't know why I haven't yet...
    I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

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  3. #3
    Senior Member JCFarnham's Avatar
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    Oh what the hell, I'm in. I don't have too much ready for critique... or maybe I do and this little feedback group will help me realise that

    I'm also going to echo only submitting a couple of chapters to the group at a time. I'd be happy to help and be helped in return but with the best will in the world I'm not going to have time to be reading entire manuscripts.
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    more important things... like finishing a story and publishing it ;-)

  4. #4
    Moderator Philip Overby's Avatar
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    Cool! Let's see if anyone else wants to join in and then we can pair off and go from there. If not, we can swap manuscripts amongst each other. (ex. Phil to Reaver, Reaver to JC, JC to Phil)

    But maybe someone else will be interested. Most of my stuff are aborted novels, so I mostly want to know if they're worth continuing or maybe need to be revamped. PM contact info to Reaver and I and we can correspond easier.
    Undead unicorns make me happy!
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  5. #5
    I'm in. At the moment I don't have anything ready for critique but I am more than willing to critique for others until I've gotten a little bit farther in my projects
    Judge nothing, learn everything

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  6. #6
    Moderator Philip Overby's Avatar
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    Cool! For the purposes of sending attachments and stuff, it's better to correspond via email. So any other people who are interested, send a PM to me with emails and then we can pair off with each other soon. Please only give emails that you're comfortable sharing with other people.
    Undead unicorns make me happy!
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  7. #7
    Moderator Philip Overby's Avatar
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    So here's what I want to do:

    1. Wait about a week

    2. Get everyone's emails who is interested in trading critiques via PM

    3. If you don't have anything you want to share, maybe find something old? If you don't have anything old, critiquing only is fine, but I really want this to be more of a trade-off.

    4. Once we get everyone involved, I'll pair us off and share the emails you PMed with for the whole group

    5. I'll send everyone the "Critique Forms" that I'm writing up. It makes the critiquing easier, more focused, and straightforward. Of course I'll have a spot on the bottom for you to just write whatever you want. I'll send the forms in RTF format, since everyone seems to be able to use that, right?

    6. Critiquing should take 2-3 weeks or less. In order to get a good critique, you have to put a little work into it, but I don't want this to be a "pressured" type of group. Meaning I hope people don't hound each other about their manuscripts. Just send them off and give a chance to leisurely and accurately critique said piece.

    7. Remember to give fair critiques. No bashing or burying. If something doesn't work, explain it in a way that won't be looked at as overly negative. Also, if something is good, feel free to express that. I think glowing positivity can be helpful for writer confidence, but also be honest. Don't oversell something just for the sake of the writer's feelings.

    Sound good?

    Good. Hope more people join up here.
    Last edited by Philip Overby; 2-24-12 at 2:41 AM.
    Undead unicorns make me happy!
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    Blog that discusses fantasy related topics! Updated 8/27/14 How Living in a Foreign Country Has Helped My Fantasy Writing Link: Philip Overby's Fantasy Free-for-All!

  8. #8
    I am in as well.
    Come visit my blog, and see what I've been up to.

  9. #9
    Senior Member San Cidolfus's Avatar
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    You know what? I'd like to join in on this endeavor. I'm always willing to lend an eye, and I'm about to start a new project which may benefit from being seasoned with opinions.
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  10. #10
    I'm up for it. I've already critiqued a few things for people here, and I'm happy to continue.

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