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29

In contrast to others here, I don't think specific edit questions are appropriate for this site, so I will answer your question in a general (do-it-yourself) way: This is a method from Andreas Eschbach. If you know German, read the original text. I will only summarise it here: First print out your text (yes, you need it on paper). Pick a small text passage ...


24

Fictionpress is a popular website that allows anyone to upload stories, read those stories, and comment. As the site is wide open, the quality of comments varies wildly, along with the quality of stories. Earlier in my life, I frequented the site, but I eventually left, as I wanted more constructive feedback than I tended to get there. It does have the ...


18

We now offically allow writing critique questions here: Policy change: Writing critique questions now welcome Provided: It is your actual real world writing You provide context for the writing critique. That is, you must tell us: what you were shooting for when you wrote that piece specifically what kind of critique feedback you are looking for ...


16

There is a wonderful book by Dorothea Brande called Becoming A Writer, published in 1934, but still widely read today and often cited. In it Brande talks about developing two selves for the writer, a split personality, with one self being a creative, sensitive and artistic person and the other being a detail-obsessed sharp minded editor. The two ...


13

I used to love loved running on the beach. It was best in the winter, when the grey skies and (1) cold air kept the beaches clear. I Ru *ra*n as far as you I could, marking the perfect sand with the print of your shoes shoe prints, turning ed, and following your ed my prints home , a Alone with the waves and the birds. (2) I remember running, and finding ...


11

Choose your friends wisely! I started with a group of ten friends when I first started writing who had volunteered as beta readers. Five responded very quickly that they really loved my first book, even though I felt it still needed a lot of work. Three more came back a week or more later with glowing remarks. The last two took at least a couple more weeks, ...


10

One of the more popular sites is Critters Writers Workshop. I participated for a year before finding a local workshop, and I found it very helpful. It used to be SF/F/H only, but it looks like it has expanded to include all genres.


9

Check out Overcoming Writer's Block. It's hard as hell, but you have to push past it and keep writing. You've got be prepared to let your first draft suck. Finish it, and then edit it. Maybe leave yourself little notes as you work through it: "This sucks, but I'll fix it in the redraft", and keep going. Whatever you do, keep going.


8

If you are writing science fiction, fantasy or horror, then you should check out the Online Writers Workshop specifically for those genres -- Ethan posted the link above. Elizabeth Bear, Josh Palmitier and CC Finley all came out of OWW. If you write erotica, then you'll want to check out the Erotica Readers and Writers Association. They host a Storytime ...


7

I used to love running on the beach. It was best in the winter, when the grey skies and cold air kept the beaches clear. < This is fine. Run as far as you could, marking the perfect sand with the print of your shoes, and then turning, and following your prints home. < This, on the other hand, is clumsy. It's something I'm terrible for, cramming too ...


7

Here are a few from my bookmark collection. I don't have deep knowledge of any of them, though I have posted a story on the first one. Online Writing Workshops Authonomy -- Careful with this one. Google it first. It's a bit spammy. Critique Circle


6

Critiquing specific text is important, but you can always improve the writing. If the book has structural problems, weak characters, or sections that don't mesh with each other, then these larger issues need to be addressed before you worry about the language. It sounds like you don't have a clear idea where (or if) your manuscript is weak. That being the ...


6

"Just write" is the first part of your answer. You have to kick your personal editor out of your head while writing. He is silencing your voice of creativity, so silence him! You need him after you have written everything down, not before and not while you are writing. The second part is: find other critics. Not your friends, not your family. People who ...


6

Scribophile is a nicely organised site with an active community of writers. Its tools for helping with structuring critiques are quite helpful. You earn points to make submissions depending on the length of critiques and whether they are appreciated by other site members.


6

Interesting question. For me, a first novel is like an introduction, both for the author to the world of novels and to himself, and for the readership to the author. Let's consider if the first novel is a complete clanger. Those who read it didn't like it, and not many did read it. It may be that the author thought they could write, wanted to test that ...


5

All the other answers are good and practical, but in a way they might be missing the most critical (pardon the pun) part. Writing is a very personal thing that exposes aspects of who you are (and of who you think you are - which may be quite different.) One approach to this might be to do some journaling. Ask yourself questions like the following ones and ...


5

To give a more philosophical point of view, your opinion of your own work as a whole really doesn't matter. Finding out what you're doing relatively better and worse is important, as is having some way of knowing whether you're improving or not. Write, and let other people decide how good it is.


5

Have you ever looked back over your old writing? With a positive look? I caught myself going "This is a great turn of phrase" in some old email and then realized that email was mine! So... go back over your previous stuff and try to find the good bits. Don't dwell too much on the bad bits (you won't, very likely, be able to totally ignore it, natch). ...


5

Share your work as a revision-enabled word processor document (e.g. Word) or a cloud service (e.g. Google Docs): People are more likely to add comments while reading rather than facing you with verbal criticism. Their opinions are more considered because they can take time to write them. They also have the time to phrase it without hurting your feelings. ...


5

I read your story. It's not that Tony is boring; the problem is that he's too predictable and easy to understand. You only have to read the beginning of the story to know what's going on with him: he's depressed and emotionally unresponsive. There's very little the reader need to discover or know about him after that. In order to engage the reader you have ...


4

Inspired by your second-person turn, I switched the whole thing over to that voice. I fear that in my reworking I may have made it too much "mine," however. Still, maybe you'll find something worthwhile here. Beach-running is best in the dead of winter. Mark the perfect sand with your shoe-prints; later, follow yourself back home. Commune in solitude ...


4

This list comprises well-known online critique and discussion groups that require varying levels of paticipation in exchange for feedback:: http://www.writing-world.com/links/critique.shtml.


4

I don't think there's anything wrong with 'solid', 'consistent' or 'well-crafted'. From the sound of things, you MEAN this to be faint praise... you're saying that the book has achieved "the minimum requirements to be enjoyable". It's what you say AFTER this that adds the shadings. Like: This book is a well-crafted, light beach read. It won't stay with ...


4

You have to look at it in a different way, different perspective, different mindset or different time frame. Go away and do something different, come back and look at it again. Anything you write will generally need to go through a number of revision, editing and proof reading stages to correct and sharpen the writing. Whether you apply these as actual ...


4

A good way to assess yourself from a new point of view is to: Read your work out loud. Your ear catches things your eye misses, both on the level of content and form. Some things your ears will notice better than your eyes: unwanted repetition of words and phrases word choice how well you've achieved a desired tone rhythm emotional range how ...


4

Find a good beta reader or a good editor. I ran into this problem myself: I had a plot which was solid and detailed but left room for expansion, I had characters I absolutely loved, I spent months in world-building, wrote 125+ pages, and then showed it to a few trusted, intelligent people to get some early feedback. What I learned: One of my main ...


4

Write a synopsis. Then get feedback on that. Your synopsis should be as brief as possible, conveying only the elements that are absolutely crucial to the story - the elements without which the story would be absolutely different. If you were summarizing the first Harry Potter book, you don't need to say "and then he went to a Potions class, and then he went ...


3

Yes, many reviews mention whether the book is the first, or second novel by this author. Good critics usually take care of knowing the basics about an author they review. A careful publisher has sent the book together with information material where it can be stated. But this information can be misleading, and as others remarked, many writers use ...


3

Well, I do find it a little conflicting in terms of your praise. You seem to switch between enjoyable and forgettable. The impression I get from what you've written is that you're firmly in the middle. Words like "fine", "enjoyable" and "pleasant" are fairly mild in terms of their praise, in my opinion, and signify that the anthology is, on the whole, just ...


3

Try checking out http://www.critiquecircle.com/ Not sure if it is good, sorry havn't used it (I'm waiting for the confirmation email now)



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