1. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    Seeking volunteers for a critique sample

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by doggiedude, Aug 24, 2016.

    I'd like to start adding samples on my blog of what a critique looks like.
    To that end, if any of you are willing to offer up a few pages of material, I will go through & critique it, and then post the material along with my responses.
    In turn, it would also be nice if I could have one of you do the same to a sample section of my writing.

    When I do the post, if you would like it to be anonymous that's perfectly fine with me. Or if you would like me to use your name along with a link to your blog (if you have one) or website or even an ad for something you have published, I can do that too.
     
  2. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    You are basically asking writers to give up first publishing rights. That's a pretty big thing. I'm sorry, but if anyone is going to do this, they need to be aware that this would be considered publishing and those first rights would be gone.
     
  3. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    I'm not exactly sure how much that matters for a small (maybe 1000 words) sample of a first draft. Many of us do that all the time on this website. For some people maybe it does matter. I assume those people won't volunteer.
     
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  4. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    Is it really any different to posting here for critique though ? - surely any work that is posted for crit is then rewritten to take the crit on board and thus the final draft has not yet been published ?

    I'm happy to offer up a page or two from my 'ah fuck it' pile (which consists of stories which didn't quite work or of which i got bored before finishing)
     
  5. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    I'm not sure about that @deadrats . Maybe if the extract submitted for critique was short enough to be called an excerpt (whatever that length officially is?) it'd be okay.

    When writing appears in a members' only forum for 'workshopping' or critique I'm sure it retains the status of unpublished.

    I'm willing to put something up @doggiedude
     
  6. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    Thanks. Anyone willing can send me a sample (let's call it between 1000 & 2000 words.) Preferably Word format.
    Nothing will get posted on my blog until you get to see what my comments are & you're okay with it going up.
    If I get several people sending me pieces, I may extend the experiment over several blog posts.

    We can work out the details through e-mail
    doggiedude1 then use that @ symbol along with a dot and gmail
     
  7. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    @deadrats writes short stories, so he would be giving up first rights by posting 1-2k in a public domain.

    I believe Andrew and other posters are thinking of novels, where a 1-2k extract online isn't going to bother a publisher.

    Andrew - I'll email you something :)
     
  8. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    Not too interested in critiques, but if you ever get into copyediting, let me know.
     
  9. ToBeInspired
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    ToBeInspired Contributing Member

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    Been wanting to start critiquing. I'll make it easy on you and just put my latest version of my short story "The Cold Ones." It's eventually going to be an except, but it's still a WIP. However, I'm fine with what I have standing alone. Will go copy and paste it to you.

    Not sure if it's against the rules, but posting it here in spoilers as a failsafe. If it is, I'll remove it. Just not sure how you wanted it presented.

    Part 1

    I could feel it. The stench, the smell of the rot, the undertone of decay. Clinging to the surface, eating away. Devouring, stripping away all vestiges of humanity. Left with the dark thoughts, the empty feeling, the hollowness. Alone, isolated, more dead than alive. Seeking human contact, the intimacy of flesh, the almost unbearable warmth. An all consuming hunger; spreading, invading, mutilating my senses. Clawing at my reason, craving more, demanding everything. Always there, a struggle to not abandon myself. To forget the pain, the anger. To immerse myself in the warmth in the comfort of another's flesh.

    Held back by a lingering touch, a shard of sanity, almost too faint to feel. I sway to the dance between life and death. In and out of existence, bordering between delusion and reality. A moan escapes me, until I'm overtaken by laughter; wild, manic. I think I've gone insane.

    Part 2

    "John. John, wake up."

    A small grin creases the corner of my mouth.

    Angelic laughter tickles my hearing, I can feel the warmth of her smile without needing to see it.

    "Don't make me come in after you."

    I slip one eye open to gaze at the woman standing in front of the bed.

    "Please do."

    I burst from the sheets, grasping her along the waist, pulling her towards me. My other hand finds its way to her face, my fingertips gently tracing her outline. I caress the side of her face, making my way to her soft tresses. My lips descend to the nape of her neck, almost desperately, hungering for the taste of her flesh. Need overtakes me, I delve into her lips, consuming her.

    I break away staring into her hazel eyes.

    "I love you."

    Part 3

    Cold, so damn cold. My body violently shivers, burning calories it doesn't have. I struggle to keep moving, to reach a place not haunted by the memories. A void, created through mindless action, too far for the demons to reach. I take a swig from my flask. It no longer warms me, just helps with the preservation. Keep moving, don't think about it. One mile or a thousand, one foot in front of the other.

    Fuck. I look down to see my right foot is getting close to be unusable. Ice has begun to creep upwards, almost as if climbing towards me. Shadows flicker across, playing with my dementia, and my head snaps up in alarm. Fire means danger, fire means people. I can't see shit in this weather, wind and snow, and then it dawns on me. It isn't fire, it's the last of the daylight. I start coughing, pieces of phlegm flying into the snow. I have to find shelter, but I'm too weak to keep fighting. The last ray of light leaves and it becomes too late. The dead own the night.

    Part 4

    "John! John! Wake up!"

    I feel a pair of soft hands roughly shaking me by the shoulders. My whole body aches, sweat drenching through my clothes. It's hard to say if I'm feeling hot or cold.

    An angelic laugh fills my hearing and I see a warm smile from the woman staring down at me. Her hand gently rests on my cheek cool to the touch.

    "Don't make me come in after you."

    Wait. That's not right. I weakly open my eyes not to see a warm smile but to a face marked with worry.

    "Don't move, the doctor's coming to look at you."

    I open my mouth to respond, but nothing comes out. I can't even remember what I was trying to say. It's so hard to think. A wave of pain overtakes me and convulsions rip into me. My hands claw into the sheets, my back arches, I begin writhing and twisting. I'm enveloped in a sea of satin, drowning in agony, as another spasm crashes into me.

    "Stay with me. Please, please don't leave me. I love you. I love you. I love you."

    I feel a sensation of wetness on my face, a contrast to the sweat, and I drift away. Fading from the pain, from the torment, enveloped by the darkness.

    Part 5

    I scream, tears raking across my face. No sound comes out and I can almost believe that it's not me. Not my screams, not my pain, just a sick joke of a fevered mind. I press my hands into my face, surrendering to the sorrow, defeated with dismay.

    My face becomes painted in red, a canvass of the truth, the blood on my hands testimony. I break away to stare into her eyes. No longer hazel, no longer her; empty. Lifeless, gone, bereft of anything. I can't tell if I'm talking about her or myself. Because I am talking to myself, spewing senseless apologies to a piece of meat. She was the love of my life and yet that's how I now see her, a piece of meat; half-eaten, going to waste. I feel cold, hollow inside.

    There's pieces torn out along her neck leading to her face. I can still taste it. The metallic flavor of her blood, the chewy texture of her flesh, the warmth, the need, the hunger. I must be in shock, too horrified with my actions to feel to properly respond. I should be vomiting, purging myself. I want more of her, I want to have her with me, I want to be with her forever. No, no, no, no. I deserve to die, I want to die. I need to die. My hand fumbles for the knife in the drawer, shaking hands clasping it in a loose grip. I have to get it out, I can't live with it. I cry out her name and plunge the knife into my stomach. Over, and over, and over, and over, and over. Frantically twisting, plunging for pieces of her, fueled by guilt.

    It hurts, it hurts, it hurts. Not the knife, I barely feel it. Because it's not me, not my pain, not my screams. It's a monster who consumed me the same as Angela. I want to die, I need to die, but the damned deserve no mercy.

    Edit: Have not sent a PM since new conversation functions. Not sure how this works... do we exchange emails... am I expected to flood your profile page... not sure how this newer system works. Not figuring it out at 4 in the morning.

    Edit 2.0: I figured it out. Conversations is more like e-mail than PM. Was thinking it posted on their wall for some reason. Makes sense. Tired brain out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016

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