1. The Backward OX
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    The Backward OX Senior Member

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    Novel writers

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by The Backward OX, Apr 2, 2009.

    Do you ever seek assessment of only one chapter of your work, either to get feedback on your writing skills generally or to see if the particular chapter works for readers?

    If so, where do you do this? On this site, or somewhere else? Maybe even somewhere offline?

    What is your opinion of the value of a review of just one chapter?
     
  2. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    For me any review is beneficial.

    It's hard to find people that are willing to review a whole piece, though.
     
  3. crimsonrose
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    crimsonrose Senior Member

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    I post my rough draft on fanfiction.net. You can tell pretty quickly there if your work is interesting enough to hook people. Though they generally don't appreciate you just posting one chapter. It'll leave ya feeling mighty fine though if they beg you for more, no?
     
  4. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    What section do you post in. I only see sections for fanfiction and not original fiction. I have my novel Bending Nature on fictionpress.com. It has the same layout as fanfiction.net, but it is for original work. I was actually surpised that over 100 people read the whole thing there.
     
  5. crimsonrose
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    crimsonrose Senior Member

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    crap! that's what I meant too, sorry. fictionpress.com. I have some of my work posted on there as well. I only use fanfiction.net because it has a fairy tales secion.

    sorry about them. fictionpress it is :)
     
  6. ModestKittee
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    ModestKittee Member

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    Do you guys not worry about your stuff being stolen on there?
     
  7. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Who's going to steal it?

    I mean, if someone stole it, and got it published, I would be flattered. Also, I can prove I actually wrote it, so they would be looking at law suits.
     
  8. crimsonrose
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    crimsonrose Senior Member

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    These were my same thoughts when i was asked this question just a few days ago. I too would be flattered if someone actually got my piece of crap rough draft published. And id make more money suing them than publishing that story.
     
  9. The Backward OX
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    The Backward OX Senior Member

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    Umm . . . what's the point of stealing one chapter? What could anyone do with it? You don't really think these things through, do you?
     
  10. crimsonrose
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    crimsonrose Senior Member

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    Both architectus and I post our entire stories on there. But mine is in so rough a draft form that it isnt worth stealing in its current state anyway. She had a good point :) Its just that most people wouldnt be brave enough to do it, considering the legal crap they could go through.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I posted one chapter (actually a prologue) of Neverending when I was first considering making it into a novel. When I decided to goi ahead with the project for real, I stopped posting.

    I haven't posted anything of the other novel I began for NaNoWriMo, but I may at some point.

    I see no problem with getting feedback on an excerpt of tat size, but I wouldn;t post more than that. It's not theft I'm worried about so much as not placing my first publication rights at risk.

    What I look for in a critique is feedback that I can apply to more of my writing than the excerpt itself. Catching typos and brain farts is useful, but if someone picks up on a bad writing habit I'm slipping into, that's gold.
     
  12. crimsonrose
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    crimsonrose Senior Member

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    This is why i post my work. :) I agree with you. The feedback that some people give is perfect. For example... I have two characters related by having the same father, and I accidentally used the word "maternal" to describe the situation. One of my readers caught it for me.

    As soon as I begin revising the story, when the rough draft is finished, I'll take it down off the site. But for now I need people to tell me whether or not the characters are developing properly and such.

    I've been told a few times that my readers are falling in love with my main male character.... I suppose thats a good sign. lol.
     
  13. ModestKittee
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    ModestKittee Member

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    Pretty rude don't you think?

    Say you posted your chapter and it was brilliant and original. Someone else could steal it and could base an entire book off your idea.

    Imagine your surprise as you picked up a book and started to read it...to your horror you realize that the chapter your reading is amazingly like the one you posted a year ago on some random web forum.

    I don't know about you, but that would leave me pretty darn perturbed.

    I come from a background where I've had some of my stuff stolen before so perhaps I'm rather jaded.


    Anyways... *cough* That is my 2cents.
     
  14. The Backward OX
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    The Backward OX Senior Member

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    That is so childish it's not worth the time to destroy the reasoning behind it.
     
  15. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    I think you need to get out for a bit of air before coming back to do a course in being polite. If someone's trying to help, there's absolutely no point dissing them, however much you disagree.
     
  16. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    Personally I don't like posting any of my novel excerpts on other sites because as cogito said, it can affect your first publication rights. Anything that you post on any site is then considered a published piece (because it's then in a public domain where anyone can access it) and some publishers won't touch work that has been web-published.

    When it comes to novel excerpts, I get people IRL to look over it rather than post any of it on the web, simply to avoid the whole publication rights thing.

    ~Lynn
     
  17. PS Foster
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    PS Foster Member

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    Now, Ox, be a good boy!!

    Nice to see some familiar faces, I mean names, here!
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Watch it

    A reminder that respect for other members is a requirement on this site. Any more of the bickering I see above will result in infractions.
     
  19. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Lynn, this is something I have been wondering about. If you submitted your novel to a writing group for example, would that ruin your first published rights? Besides, if a publishing house agreed to publish my novel, how would they know if it was on fictionpress.com before? If I took it down already?
     
  20. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    A publishing house most likely won't know, but there's always the risk and it's just one I'm not personally willing to take. Submitting an entire manuscript to a writing group is just a bad idea in general because someone there (no matter how nice they all may be) may be someone who just comes in order to try to steal the work of other members. I personally only share novel excerpts with real life friends, people I know for sure will never try to rip me off in such a fashion. I'm just very paranoid about that sort of thing I guess. I mean, right now I'm writing a vampire novel and I won't even disclose the "original" idea I had for it to anyone because I have to write it all first to make sure it's going to work the way I want it to. Once it's all written, then I'll probably let one to two very very close writing friends (published writers) view it and get their opinion on the first couple of chapters (which is normally all publishing houses want you to submit anyways).

    Now if it's a novel I'm writing that I don't have any intention of trying to publish, I'll post it on fictionpress in no time. A lot of the time I really don't care whether or not my work is published, but there are some things that I'd really like to see in print (and my current work is one of them).

    ~Lynn
     
  21. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Hmm, you are sort of freaking me out about having a full story or full novel on fictionpress or Webook. Not because of the stealing thing, but if a publisher did want to publish it, but said if I had it put online anywhere before, they will not.

    The thing is some of the people on Webook and Fictionpress have been a big help in the rewriting process.

    The same as the sthort stories I have posted here. The reviews I have gotten really helped me polish the stories.

    I wonder if a publisher would really care if it appeared on Webook before, and some people helped you refine the story. Say a publishing house loved one of my stories and wanted to publish it. I wonder if after I told them it was on Webook or some other site like that, if they would then say, "Sorry, we can't publish it now."

    For example: What if after I refine Fembot Anne, a magazine wanted to buy it. They ask me if it has been on any sites. I say, "Yes it has been on writingforums.org." They say, "Sorry, we're no longer intereted."

    Cog or Maia could jump in on this as well.
     
  22. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    Most writers I know don't post full versions of their novel anywhere on the web. As for publishing houses, I don't know if they normally ask questions like that... I think it's just that if they have seen it themselves... I'm pretty sure the contract for my book didn't ask anything about whether or not I'd ever posted it on a site like that before and the subject never really came up.

    I'd still say that you should only post an excerpt (like the first couple chapters) on any site you go to and then if you really like someone's critiquing style, then pm them (if they're on here) or talk to them and send the full thing to *only* them that way there's no risk of theft/copyrights issues. Always make sure, of course, that the person you ask for a full edit/critique of your novel is 100 percent trustworthy.

    ~Lynn
     
  23. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    I agree, it is better to have someone review your work that you know rather than risking it on the internet. Publishing Companys and Lit Agencys do look on the internet to see if any of the work had been posted in the past. Reviews, things like that. I feel that you should only give work to people that you trust, and if it is something you want published that you should'nt put it on the internet at all.
     
  24. The Backward OX
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    The Backward OX Senior Member

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    Sorry mate but I thought I was commenting on the opinion not the person. And I thought that was allowed.
     
  25. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...nope... not a single whole chapter... but i have asked for feedback on the start of a novel, regardless of whether it's a whole chapter, or more than that, or just random scenes i've come up with, prior to starting the 'serious' writing of a first draft...

    ...never have and never would do it anywhere online... only by giving/sending the material to 2-3 people i know well enough to be able to trust their judgment and be assured i'll get honest, unbiased feedback with no sugar-coating...

    ...i don't have one, as it's too broad a question... its value would depend on why the person is asking for feedback on just one chapter and what kind of feedback is being asked for, as well as the quality of the review itself...
     

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