Friday will be critique day for this blog, at least for as many Fridays as I can manage. We’ll see how it goes.
There are two ways you can participate:
1. If you subscribe to or follow this blog, you may send in a writing sample to be critiqued by me as well as other readers. You need to be ready to receive input, both positive and negative, so bring your thick skin. Submissions must be fiction and 1000 words or fewer. No porn, obscene language, or gore allowed. Some blood is okay, but no splattered brains, disembowelment, and the like. If you include “mild” swearing and it seems appropriate for the story, I will consider allowing it. It is best to send the beginning of your story. Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I cannot guarantee that I will post your submission for critique.
2. In order to be critiqued, you need to participate in critiquing others. If you have posted a critique comment on at least one existing post, you are eligible to have your own work critiqued.
3. Help me critique the submitted piece by posting a comment. It is best to give a positive comment before saying something negative. If you think something should be changed, then try to give a suggested alternative.
No personal criticisms are allowed. Always be kind and thoughtful. It is okay to make an attempt at humor, but remember tone is hard to communicate in text, so be careful. You might even post a video of your commentary. Don’t be scared to be creative.
To the person who is being critiqued, you may chime in as well, but it is best not to defend yourself or your work beyond explaining something that is unclear. Just acknowledge the critiques, accept what sounds right, and reject without comment those that are not helpful. Remember that the critiquing people are trying to help, so be grateful for their comments.
Before you submit something to be critiqued, please review this list of common mistakes and do your best to correct any you might find in your work. This will make critiquing easier.
I am no longer accepting stories written in present tense. I realize that present-tense stories are popular, but I cannot critique them. I am confident that other critiquing sites will allow present-tense submissions.
This critique group is not designed for beginning writers, that is, writers who are still learning basic concepts such as punctuation, grammar, and paragraph structure. Such writers are not ready to be critiqued in a public forum. This service is for writers who understand how narrative, dialogue, and interior monologue function. If someone sends in a piece to be critiqued, and the work shows that the writer is not ready for this step, I will not post it.
Please let me know if anything is unclear or if you have suggestions that might make these critique sessions really super.