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Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Amanda Marie, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Amanda Marie

    Amanda Marie Dreamer

    So, I sought out a place to get critiques on my works and so far have posted the prologue to my novel. The thread has had 13 views and I haven't gotten one comment on it at all. Just feeling a little disappointed and makes me wonder if it's that bad that no one wants to comment and tell me so. :confused:
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    I'll try to look tonight, Amanda. Don't worry about it - that's par for the course on writing web sites, particularly if you are new. I have a piece in the Showcase that had around 80 views and only two people commented. Most of those views are probably from people just clicking into the thread for whatever reason, the moving on to the next thread.
  3. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    Unfortunately it is pretty normal, not only here but elsewhere. Asking someone to review your work takes an investment of time. I'm sure someone will comment, but it may take a few days.

    If you take a few minutes to review other people's work, I'm sure people will reciprocate. Another thing which might work is to change your signature to link to your thread and ask people to review it. Take a moment to review my work in the Showcase, here.

    You can also bump it, now that it's getting to the bottom of the page.

    But get involved a bit and people will warm up.

    I have two kids, so it's hard for me to focus enough on critiquing a story. Otherwise I would offer.
    Black Dragon likes this.
  4. Leif GS Notae

    Leif GS Notae Closed Account

    I commented, though I am not sure if it is what you want to hear. I hope you get more feedback.
  5. Shockley

    Shockley Maester

    I'm usually too busy with my own project to look at other people's, but I will do what little I can to read it now (comment later, as I have late dinner plans).
  6. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

    I don't usualy comment on peoples work.

    I'm generaly not a very talkitive person.
  7. Rikilamaro

    Rikilamaro Inkling

    Liar!!!!^^^^^ lol

    Amanda, I'll go look at right now. :)

    Just a word of advice, posting is great, but telling people it's there is even better. Find someone you chat with, or have reviewed and send them a message letting them know it's available. Including the link is also much easier. The more you comment on other's works the more they will look at yours. It's all about finding a few folks that will see your name and say, "Oh, her. She helped me, I'll help her." :D
  8. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

    Okay, first let me say that posting something to the showcase hoping for an honest critique is probably not the best idea. People here have been burned when they have opened up, and it has left a bad taste in their mouths. I know when I post a critique, I do so with respect in my heart and the best intentions. If you want honest, deep critiques perhaps you should team up with another person and exchange work with them. Before you do that, though, I would recommend asking yourself what type of help you want. Do you want someone who will read through and just let you know what sticks out as unlikely or unsuccessful, or do you want someone who will help you clean up your work? So you asked for a critique and I respect you for putting yourself out there. It isn't an easy thing to do.

    As far as the prologue you posted, the title itself might have been a turn-off for many people here who don't read prologues. I have no such biases. I gave it a read-through, and the first thing I noticed was I found the beginning combat confusing, not knowing what the lights were, and you kept using the word lights. That wasn't very interesting to me. I don't know whether you were being vague to keep the mystery or whether you simply need to clarify what she was fighting.

    The word "she" is simply overused. I think this is in part due to how you are structuring sentences, but I think with that in mind, this could stand to be cleaned up a little and it will become much more readable.

    This in particular emphasizes my point: She turned, taking in a deep breath. Where had she gone? A twig snapped behind her and she raised her staff.

    And again here: She should have attacked, but she was frozen, unable to think

    And especially here: She was in the forest, too far from the town square. Where had she been when the queen went down? She stood; her head swam, but she shook it off. She paused, waiting for that familiar feeling, but she couldn’t feel him anymore.

    With these above examples, consider trimming excess off and making one strong sentence rather than three or four which don't mesh well. EXAMPLE: She turned after a twig snapped behind her, and taking a deep breath prepared again for battle.

    Another thing, when I read the sentence the silence that followed was deafening, my eyes literally rolled involuntarily. That description stood out in this piece in a bad way because it completely doesn't match the flow of your own words. I would carefully consider how you could best use your own words in a way your character would perceive things. (That's always a challenge for me, and I can tell I have failed when my dialogue starts to sound like me speaking).

    Then you mentioned the horse's wings three times in rapid-fire. Once is enough, and if it were up to me, I'd keep this one: She sighed and climbed on, positioning herself in front of his wing-joints. and ditch the other two. This is a small excerpt. You ought to maximize your impact with it, and erroneous detail will only detract, unfortunately.

    The great horse shook beneath her and then shook his head; his black mane danced in the wind. It was cold and icy at this (that) altitude; she shivered. They were above the green mist now (then), and she couldn’t see anything below. “I hope you know where you’re going.” The main problem I had here was that you used the wrong tense twice. Admittedly this is nit-picky, and I hope you don't feel I'm being unkind in pointing it out, but these are the sorts of things a partner would be able to really get into with you. I have recently learned some similar grammar lessons (mostly dealing with quotation marks).

    So up to this point, I was not really interested. The details were either not making sense to me or erroneous. Then I read this:

    He had put her in another clearing, this one much larger. A small breeze blew through the trees; the leaves rustled across the ground in different shades of green. There was a pained groan a few feet away, a silver, jewel-encrusted sword lying beside the figure. Her red curls framed her pale face; her chest struggled to breathe. Her legs were turned in ways not humanly possible. Tynacia’s stomach dropped. “NO!”

    As I read through yet more erroneous detail, I was like "Woah, what was that?" Well at this point I really wanted to know who this woman was. The description of how her legs were positioned unnaturally was brilliant, and I instantly wanted to know more. Simple clean explanations are often best because they create a visual that isn't later contradicted by erroneous details.

    And from there to the end, I was interested, attentive, concerned, and intrigued. I'm not sure what goals you want this prologue to accomplish. I don't know whether it's to show the battle or the death of the woman, but I might suggest you think about which bits you think are critical to setting the tone/ scene you want to portray and cut the things which slow the flow. I think the second part is much stronger than the first. That being said, I would be happy to re-read a cleaned up version of this, because the concept I think is very interesting; some sort of epic battle against a dark force and then a brief flight on a mythical creature back to the place an important person is, but alas, they have suffered a mortal wound before the hero can return? I really think this could be a strong prologue and set the tone for an epic story.

    Please consider this my humble opinion. I absolutely hope that my comments are things you can use to hone your craft. I'm a firm believer that steel sharpens steel (which is why I ask some tough critics to read my work and expect to receive nothing less than honesty from them). No one gets better unless they find a situation in which they can give and receive honest critical feedback, both positive and negative. I have spent about two hours of my time on this critique and if I get a negative response to this posting, that pretty much seals the deal for me as the last time I put myself out there on this forum. Best wishes. I hope you find someone who will exchange work with you so you can give and get some consistent feedback from someone you respect.
    Black Dragon and Rikilamaro like this.
  9. Xanados

    Xanados Maester

    And if you're lucky, newcomer, you'll get a response like Anihow's.
  10. Argentum

    Argentum Troubadour

    Oh pooh. I really should dedicate myself to critiquing some of the stories up in Showcase just to give some measure of feedback, though I'm not really good at such things. My excuse is that I feel like I'm swamped with things to do (but that's probably just me being unorganized). I'll try to sort my to-do list and help out with the feedback, yours as well as other writer's. ^^
  11. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

    I think we all feel like this from time to time. I certainly wish more people had commented on the one Showcase entry I made, but it is what it is. You're better off exchanging with a partner in email than trying this open feedback sort of thing just because everyone's scared off by what's been said before.

    Unless you're posting something really clean and edited, people tend to not comment because they don't want to look like they're being negative. Unfortunately, that leaves me stuck not knowing which bits specifically aren't working for people, and it's hard to get better when you don't know.
  12. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

    I joined many creative writing websights to learn as much as I can, and then to get critiques on my work.
    Mythic scribes gave me the best reponse, writing.com was second.
    Deviantart.com got me the most reads, but very few comments.

    If you post a long story, I think people are intimidated by it and avoid it. I try to put what I consider the best parts and limit them, not because I am afraid someone would steal my work, but because I am afraid people won't even give it a try.
    I am telling on myself, when I look for a work to read, I look at the size, and what its about. If I have no interest in the topic(like Werewolves or modern vampires) I don't continue.

    If you give, you will get. Critique others, which will help you see how others do it(right or wrong), and a fresh view on a subject, and in doing them a favor, they might do you one.
  13. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

    Something else that helps is to try and develop a rapport with the community before posting large sections of your work. Seek out discussion threads and contribute, critique other people's work, have conversations. People will be more inclined to give your work a look if they respect you or have a personal connection with you. I'd also recommend introducing yourself and your work to the community a little bit at a time, a snippet here and there in discussion threads at first (as long as it actually contributes to the discussion topic), then maybe start a thread or two. After you've done this for a while and made a small reputation for yourself, feel free to get bolder and post more and larger things. :)

    And yeah, there is a lot of Prologue prejudice around here. So don't feel too bad.
  14. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    Are you suggesting that my strategy of alienating the community is undesirable?

  15. If asked to I will happily critique. Sometimes, though not often, I will browse the showcase because that is what I feel like, but I only occaisionally critique. This is because I'm still relatively new to writing, I have a lot to learn, and I do not consider the critique I give to necersarrilly be professional, correct, well-informed or reliable, or even relevent, its just my personal opinion. Having said that I do find myself wishing that a piece had recieved more feedback, and I take the opinions of those who critique my work seriously. What goes around comes around I guess, thats just how my mind works.
  16. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2017
  17. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    Not bad, Mindfire. I'll keep the URL for that one.
  18. Elder the Dwarf

    Elder the Dwarf Maester

    This. I think everyone on the site considers themselves to be busy people, and it is hard to make yourself critique something when it is going to take a really long time. That being said, I've gotten a great response on all but one entry, so I think the showcase here really is a great place to post.

    I have stopped visiting the showcase almost completely because it seemed like it was kinda being bombarded with entries and I felt overwhelmed. I apologize for that, and I'll get back to critiquing soon.

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