Okay, I'm not totally sure if this is allowed or if it's in the right forum, but I think it is! So, if it's not, mods, please remove it for me. I truly don't want to cause trouble or break the rules, I'm just not sure about what to do. Okay, so - I have this plot/outline/story thing that I've been working on since I was sixteen (I'm twenty now). I didn't know very much about writing then, and I'm still learning. My dream is to get this story completed and written to the very best of my ability. I also would really like to see it in print, but getting the thing written and completed comes before I even think about that part, you know? My problem with the story is that even though I've learned a lot about info-dumping and head-hopping and flow and ten billion other things, I don't feel ready yet. I'm a person who relies heavily on outlines, and while I do realize you need to leave some room for spontaneity, I like to have a definite plan/direction in mind before I start writing. I've gotten a spot of critique for it here and there, and some of it was painful, but all of it was invaluable. The story has changed so much since its conception - events, places, and people have all been swapped around. I've been working on it for four years and the fartherest I've ever got in writing it was something like...three chapters? Every time I manage to find a person generous enough to critique it for me, they usually point out that part of the plot is weak. Going back and revising the plot means scrapping the three or four chapters I wrote and starting over. Of course, when I was sixteen, I didn't know very much about plotting or what cliches to avoid. I wound up restarting my book several times, and it just got disheartening to never get to any of the great moments I wanted to write, the ones I've been seeing played out in my head for years, the ones that made me want to write the story to begin with (some people will suggest here that I should write the book out of order, but I've tried it and it gets me very confused and mixed-up). I decided after restarting the book yet again that what I was doing was never going to work. I felt like I had to make sure the plot was at its strongest, work out the larger picture before adding in the details. I'm not saying the thing has to be 100% completely and neatly outlined, but I need definite landmarks to get me from start to finish. So I plotted and replotted, and cut characters and cliches, and renamed things and moved them around. But I'm still not sure about the whole thing. I feel like maybe I need a second pair of eyes, a fresh point of view. I've been working on it so long and it's so real in my head that it's impossible for me to see it objectively anymore, and the scenes that were so vibrant and powerful in my head when I began are growing bored and outplayed (and they haven't even been written yet). It's not a perfect plot. I started with a poor idea and had to do a lot of rearranging to make it work a little better. I still don't know if it ever could. But it's my first real attempt at creating an original story for myself (as opposed to fanfiction), and I love it, and I want to try and do it justice, to save it, if I can. I don't want to start writing again only to realize three chapters down the line that my opening is all wrong and I need to start over; that wears down on my willpower and enthusiasm, and I really don't want to do the same old song and dance over again. I need someone to bounce ideas off of and give me honest, objective feedback on what I'm doing so I know I'm getting it right and I can start writing without having to start over again. For most people, the logical thing to do here is give the idea to a friend, family member, or writing/English teacher. I feel like every other writer in the world must be related to someone else who understands the craft, or have a group they meet with at coffee shops or something, but not me. I have very few friends to begin with, and the ones I do have are not interested in writing or don't have time to help me. Most of my family is unfortunately uneducated; many of them didn't even finish high school and aren't into reading for pleasure, and certainly aren't well-versed in the writing craft, and we aren't that close anyway. I'm not in high school anymore, so handing the novel to my English teacher isn't really a valid option, and my professor in college (tech school, really) is also a very busy person and barely even knows who I am. So, that doesn't leave me with any options except to turn to the internet. So how do I go about finding someone to help me with my plot? I feel like posting a plot here and going "Is this good?" is discouraged, and I'm reluctant to post the whole outline because a) it's long and b) I'm worried (probably unnecessarily so) it could get stolen. I can't look for a professional editor because I don't have a manuscript yet. So how do I go about finding critique for the plot itself? Do I make a thread here? Is there another site that someone knows of where I could do that sort of thing? Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Any advice you have for me is much appreciated. Again I'm very sorry if this is not allowed or if it's in the wrong forum!