1. doggiedude
    Offline

    doggiedude Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    1,248
    Location:
    Florida, USA, Earth, The Sol System

    Seeking other writers to join online critique group

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by doggiedude, Jul 7, 2016.

    I'm looking to create a new SMALL group of people to exchange chapters in progress for mutual critiques.
    I'd like to limit us to five people to begin with. We may be able to expand later.

    Proposed format: Email everyone in the group a section of their work about five days ahead of time. We should probably limit the material to approximately 5000 words.

    Everyone reads the work on their own during those five days & enters notations.
    Then we meet via Skype (or other internet based service) once a week to go over everyone's comments and opinions.
    Email document back to the original author with comments.

    The group I work with currently meets every two weeks. I realize not everyone has the amount of time available that I do. If we can't meet every week, we could make it every two weeks.

    Don't worry if you feel you can't give a detailed examination of someone else's work. This is not a group intended to have us all editing each other. I'm most interested in people misunderstanding concepts I've presented, boring the reader, plot holes, what works, what doesn't.

    So if anyone is interested respond here & we can figure out the details.
     
  2. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,821
    Likes Received:
    2,377
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    This sounds interesting. I haven't got much done on my WIP though, maybe five chapters - are you looking for full novel? First drafts or final drafts?
     
  3. doggiedude
    Offline

    doggiedude Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    1,248
    Location:
    Florida, USA, Earth, The Sol System
    The people I work with in my current groups are working on novels. The material is generally at what I would consider to be alpha reader level. Meaning, the chapters are done, SPAG issues and proof-reading have been completed to the best of the authors ability. Pretty much the same level most of us expect to be posted on this site for critique. It certainly doesn't need to be perfect. If anyone is interested, I can email them a sample of one of my chapters with the comments one of my other group members entered on it.

    ETA: I've also had people send a few chapters of one story on one week & then a separate short story on another week. I'm not going to be picky about what someone wants me to review.
     
  4. FireWater
    Offline

    FireWater Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    139
    Yes please, sign me up :)
     
  5. izzybot
    Offline

    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    848
    Likes Received:
    932
    Location:
    SC, USA
    I'd be interested, but fair warning I'm prone to flakiness so I'm not sure if you'd really want me, hahah. Every week should work for me and I'd probably mostly be interested in send shorts, but I'm fine to read anything.
     
  6. Platypus Manifest
    Offline

    Platypus Manifest New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have about 35,000 pages in my novel and would be highly interested in joining this group and getting help from other writers. I haven't had to opportunity to present my work to another writer yet.
     
  7. doggiedude
    Offline

    doggiedude Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    1,248
    Location:
    Florida, USA, Earth, The Sol System
    Still in the process of getting organized. I have one other definite person so far.
     
  8. Catrin Lewis
    Offline

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Any inclinations as to genre?
     
  9. doggiedude
    Offline

    doggiedude Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    1,248
    Location:
    Florida, USA, Earth, The Sol System
    I would prefer we stick to people writing fiction novels other than that, no.
     
  10. Dearest Mothership
    Offline

    Dearest Mothership Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2016
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    44
    I'll do it.
     
  11. Brindy
    Offline

    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    394
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    I hope this gets going for you. I would be keen to read of your journey and discussions. Not something I feel able to join in with, but love reading your blog on your attendance at meetings.
     
  12. laurasiren12
    Offline

    laurasiren12 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    3
    I'm interested for sure. I need a critique badly.
     
  13. ToDandy
    Offline

    ToDandy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2013
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    205
    Location:
    Bozeman Montana
    This sounds like a great idea and I wish I could join in. Unfortunately, I am only halfway done with my latest story and not close to an alpha yet.

    You should let us all know how this works out and how well it goes. It could help inspire people to create more miniature critique groups.
     
  14. Terrie000
    Offline

    Terrie000 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Yes, good idea. But I'm not at the same level as the rest of you. I would prefer a less intense group... I will probably make a new thread asking for people to help critique each other's work. I feel just by posting on the Novel section, not many people are going to really willing to take their time to read and seriously put in much efforts to make a constructive comment.
     
  15. Lewdog
    Offline

    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,530
    Likes Received:
    2,825
    Location:
    Williamsburg, KY
    Are the Skype meetings clothing optional? :pop:
     
    Dearest Mothership likes this.
  16. Johncrawfordz
    Offline

    Johncrawfordz Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    8
    I am interested but unfortunately I do not have any concrete story to participate with. Is it still possible for me to join one of these sessions (irregularly) while I work something out?

    Regards
    John Crawfordz
     
  17. deadrats
    Offline

    deadrats Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    625
    Likes Received:
    291
    Now there's a reason to join.
     
  18. doggiedude
    Offline

    doggiedude Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    1,248
    Location:
    Florida, USA, Earth, The Sol System
    I suppose you could sit in with a meeting but this really hasn't gotten going yet.
     
  19. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    I'm interested if there's still room. This might be a good way of getting me to write.

    Who's in the group for definite right now?
    When's the submission date?
    When's the first meeting? (and based on which members are in and where they're from, what time will it be held?)

    Considering the issue of everyone coming from all over the world, you may wanna limit participants within a particular country or group of countries? For example, between Germany and England, timing would be easy to work out with only one hour's difference. England and America, quite a bit harder, esp if some folks have full-time jobs and families.
     
  20. doggiedude
    Offline

    doggiedude Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    1,248
    Location:
    Florida, USA, Earth, The Sol System
    Since we haven't actually started anything I can't give you a definitive schedule. The way my other online group works is to have everyone send out a selection of material (about 4000-8000 words) several days ahead of time for each of us to read & make suggestions on. Then every two weeks we meet on Skype and go over everything.
    Strictly speaking, the Skype meeting probably isn't necessary but it helps when someone brings up a point and everyone else can discuss the issue. It's also handy for keeping us to a regular schedule. I'd be happy to just swap material through email with people if scheduling is a problem. As of now, it's only me & @FireWater.

    We both agreed that the material should at least be at Alpha reading level, meaning the author has taken the time to fix the basics and clean it up as well as they can. I don't think it matters if someone has a complete story yet but it could cause problems if someone wanted to participate and then wasn't able to have material frequently.
     
  21. FireWater
    Offline

    FireWater Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    139
    What's the difference exactly between an alpha read and a beta read? Just a difference in the level of how good the manuscript is?
     
  22. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    But that's my point - start something. Start the meetings already - there are the two of you after all - and allow others to join as they come until you feel the group is big enough. If you wait around, nothing will ever get done. Leaders are awfully hard to find. Allow newcomers to sit in if they join too close to the date of the next meeting, allow them to contribute only as much as they are able based on how much time they have between joining and the submission date, and they can make themselves ready for the next meeting.

    Dropbox is a good one to use, btw.

    Anyway this is how a writer's group I'm technically part of but never participate in works :D It works well and has maybe 4-6 members, meeting every two weeks I think, or at least once a month. They go through each person's WIP as a group and discuss it etc.

    How come there're only the two of you when there's a whole thread of folks saying they're interested? Have you PM'd any of them? You need to give people a date for submissions/meetings so people have a deadline to work towards, otherwise, as the Chinese say, they'd all just kinda "hang around" (eg. do nothing)!
     
  23. doggiedude
    Offline

    doggiedude Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    1,248
    Location:
    Florida, USA, Earth, The Sol System
    You'd probably get a million differing opinions of what the difference between alpha & beta read is.
    To me, a beta reading is when you've already edited everything to the point where you consider the MS done. You give the entire piece to someone for feedback on how the overarching story turned out. Areas they liked & areas they didn't. This is also where it can be helpful to find people outside the writing world to read the story. It's less technical writing opinion based and more did you enjoy it.
     
    Brindy likes this.
  24. big soft moose
    Online

    big soft moose Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,315
    Likes Received:
    930
    I'd have been interested , but i'm in the Uk so i suspect that your meetings will either be in the middle of the night or the middle of the working day (I can never remember whether the time diff is forwards or back)

    On this side of the pond and away from big cities decent crit groups are few and far between - in fact the main reason i joined WF is that the Uk based forums are so slow and sprarsely attended
     
  25. doggiedude
    Offline

    doggiedude Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    1,248
    Location:
    Florida, USA, Earth, The Sol System
    I haven't been able to get anything started as a regular group. But I have done some chapter swapping through email with several people. Some of it has been useful -- others, not so much.
    I keep trying.:)
     

Share This Page