Super Senior Member
The Writing Critique Megathread (1000 words or less)
A major problem I've noticed on this forum is the inability of anyone to get decent critiques of their work, and I know a few members other than myself are frustrated by this. Other writing forums operate on a 1-for-1 policy, where you're not allowed to post stories up for criticism unless you've already criticised someone else's piece, but for obvious reasons, that's not feasible here. I think the fact that stories are spread out over multiple threads, and of highly variable quality and length, also makes many reluctant to give edits or critiques of others' work.
This thread aims to foster critique and creative exchange between the writers on this forum, for our mutual improvement.
If you break these rules once or twice, no big deal, we all make mistakes. If you break them horribly or often, expect to be reported to the mods and shouted at.
If you think of any more rules, ask about them and I'll edit them in if I think they're a good idea.
- You must criticise others' work at least much as you post your own work. This won't be strictly enforced, but don't post piece after piece without helping anyone else. This is selfish and will end up killing the thread.
- All pieces must be 1000 words or less, with a slight margin of error. Feel free to post something that's 1241 words long or something, but don't go crazy and post the entire text of your novel, no matter how choice it is. You can post excerpts from longer works or whole short stories, so long as they're the right length. For poetry about 50 lines is the maximum, even if that's significantly less than 1000 words. This is because poetry is much more condensed and elaborate than prose, so it's harder to critique.
- Give helpful criticisms. You don't have to be nice or balanced or give 'criticism sandwiches' (although the latter would be appreciated), but you do have to give criticisms of some actual substance. That means not saying "looks good" or "this is shit, you are shit, go kill yourself". It's fine to enjoy or loathe someone's work, but give reasons for it. Say things like "I enjoyed your portrayal of the dragon as a misunderstood but destructive creature, rather than simply an evil hoarder." or "All the women in your story are weak and seemingly incapable of talking about things other than shopping and men. This isn't very believable and makes you seem like a massive misogynist." Be specific if possible; give examples of why the women seem weak and unbelievable.
- Respond to critiques. Either edit your piece in line with what others have pointed out, or explain why you're not going to use that particular part of their critique. (Hint: "It's my style." is very rarely a valid excuse.) Or, indeed, accept their criticism but change the piece in a way differently to how they suggest. This is an interactive, organic, dialectical process. Don't just post up your work and forget about it; why should anyone criticise your work if you don't do anything about it?
- Put your pieces in spoiler tags. Because we don't want huge walls of text dominating the thread.
Last edited by Delphinus; 09-27-2012 at 12:42 PM.
Originally Posted by Fenn