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  1. #1
    I r curious cuttlefish BlueAngel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Tampa Bay Area, FL, United States

    Worried about my progress and objective critique

    I currently have only one person editing my work, but in the last few months they've been pretty busy and I feel bad adding to the pile. I've stuck to the one-on-one basis for the ease of it, and I haven't had multiple critiques for some time. I admit I'm afraid of multiple crits because of the possible confusion it may cause me. I also haven't felt comfortable sharing anything online because of fear that someone would take my ideas, and write them better than I could.
    My writing, even though it could only be considered a hobby for lack of income, is a deep emotional investment to me. I'm afraid that it'll to out to be garbage to others reading it. I have sewn intricate ideas together trying to make something unique, and I'm afraid it'll fail to show the effort I've put in it.

    I read back a couple threads and saw a critique site mentioned,, and I was considering joining, but I'm not sure. I don't know what to do yet. Any advice? ~Angela

  2. #2
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Sinking in the quicksand of my thought
    2,326 may be a trifle to brutal if you're not yet used to critiques. I hear it's for, let's say, critique-hardened people.

    I do remember you posting excerpts way back. Am I mistaken? If not, what has changed? Bad experiences?

    You can reduce the number of people who can see your story if you use the new stories subforum - only logged-in members can see that. Ultimately, if you want feedback, someone will have to read your stuff.

    Finally, you can start a thread and ask for readers whom you mail the story. I do hope that's allowed, because I did that, heh.

  3. #3
    Speaks fluent Bawehrf zachariah's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Manifold A
    If you're worried about story ideas being taken, just watch Avatar and tell me how valuable originality is. The value lies in the execution, not the high-concept.

    That said, I know how nerve-wracking it is to put stuff up for random internet yahoos to critique. Only you can decide if you want to do this. It's not for everyone. I put bits and bobs up in the forums and do a fair bit of critting there as well, and I've found it invaluable.

    You cannot be a wilting flower about your writing. You want to sell it and have people read it, don't you? You think editors, agents and the paying public wil be kinder than internet crit groups?

  4. #4
    Edited for submission Holbrook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    In the Shire
    Blog Entries
    Quote Originally Posted by zachariah View Post
    You think editors, agents and the paying public wil be kinder than internet crit groups?
    Crit groups are beginners ROFL.

    I have a wonderful one from an agent that rejected me. I often wonder what was so bad about the work that they were moved to scribble all over the first page listing my faults, rather than just send me the bog standard reject letter.

    As for crit groups is good, but it is fee paying. Has a good track record, Elizabeth Bear and Scott Bakker have both been members at some point. You have to earn points to put up work. You do this by doing crits for other people, but you can't get away with I like/don't like type of crit, a lot more detailed and constructive crit is required . There is also a limit to how many sections you can put up at one time and word limits on the sections.

    Also you can not tell anyone your idea, and still find that someone is, or has is the past worked on a similar idea. Can't copyright ideas, but you can and do the moment you write it your way.
    Last edited by Holbrook; January 22nd, 2010 at 05:11 AM.

  5. #5
    KMTolan kmtolan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Near Austin TX
    Yahoo Groups has quite a few writing groups in there - some huge, and some not so. Many of these groups go down to line-by-line editing, and it is all free. Of course, you will have to reciprocate in kind.

    There is, of course, the hassle that goes with finding the right group for you. My ideal group would be relatively small and include at least one professional writer in it. I'm not much for the cattle-car critique group approach.

    You can often get help from creative writing professors at local colleges. They tend to know where the groups are - and if you are really fortunate you can hook up with a local group for actual face-time.


  6. #6
    Urbis Morpheos Stephen Palmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Shrewsbury UK
    It's amazing the number of authors who've kept every rejection letter they've ever had...

  7. #7 may be a trifle to brutal if you're not yet used to critiques. I hear it's for, let's say, critique-hardened people.
    BlueAngel, in all my honesty I have to tell you, I would never use any service or website with people who claim to be 'professional' critique-ers.

    As Holbrook said:
    Crit groups are beginners ROFL.
    The bottom line is this (as flows with my opinion): The best critiques you can ever receive for your written work are from reputable agents and editors from publishers. Why? because these are people who work in the business, and know what has the potential to sell.

    And yes, I said sell. Some people will say that quality of said work is more important than sales, but the truth of the matter is; if there is no potential to makes money, publishers won't care how 'touching' your book is. And if your debut novel is dreary in sales, everything short of washing the car and cleaning the house of the Acquisitions Editor will help in getting your 2nd work out.

    My opinion always gets reinforced by a local commercial I see on TV from a large carpet cleaning service: 'Stick with the pros, they know stains'.

    Of course, equating aspiring authors to stains, isn't the best analogy.

    It's amazing the number of authors who've kept every rejection letter they've ever had...
    I keep mine as well, but someday I will find a very comical use for them...
    Last edited by JT Billow; January 22nd, 2010 at 11:31 AM.

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