A few years back, I joined a site called Scribophile as a free member. This site allows writers of all types of genres to post their works for critiques. How it works is that in order for you to get feedback, you must give feedback for karma points. Once you accumulate five karma points, you can post something you want critiqued. The concept is great because in order for anyone to get feedback, they must give it, therefore, everything posted on there will receive at least three critiques.
I’m writing about Scribophile because I think it’s important for a writer to see where they are in their writing, especially self-published authors. To me, it’s beneficial to get feedback from strangers, and it allows me to sharpen my critique skills. Whether or not I have a critique partner, it doesn’t hurt to get more input. Reading peoples’ works also helps me see where my own writing works and fails. Recently I read a chapter of someone’s story and I saw the “beginner me” in their writing. The person used big or odd words that didn’t go with the character let alone with the sentence, and that is exactly what I did when I first started writing. Instead of saying something as simple as, “Carl got out of the car.” I would write, “Carl ejected himself from the car.” I thought choosing different words made me smarter, but it had the opposite effect. Anyone who read my works knew I was a novice writer.
Of course, no one ever pointed this out to me. I figured it out along the way. When I first considered publishing, I joined a writing forum to get some help. Unfortunately, no one wanted to bother, including the site’s owner. The long-time members on the forum found it much more interesting to argue politics or belittle newcomers than guide them. It’s one of the reasons I stay away from the forums on Scribophile—to avoid discussions and arguments. I stick to critiques and check out their contests.
What I like most about Scribophile is that I can throw something up whenever I want feedback, which is why I always make sure I have at least 5 karma points. Last November, I wrote a book, which I am revising now, and I’ve written some poems to submit to magazine publications. I’m not sure I’d post my novel on the site because it’s much better for me to exchange with someone so they get the entire novel, but small things such as short stories and poems are good. I did post my poems. The feedback was wonderful, and I can pick through the comments and suggestions to see which ones will make my poems better.
If anyone asked me about critiques, I’d definitely recommend myself first and then Scribophile. It’s a way to get quick feedback on something you’re working on.
Have you heard of Scribophile? What sites do you use for assistance?
Critiques and Writers,