Critique Week: Are you up to the challenge?
One of the most difficult parts of writing is revising your work. In general it is my observation that people do not know what they need to do. Someone says, "Revise this paragraph", and so the author simply rewords a few things (leaving the flawed content behind).
I also noticed that the review room is dreadfully empty. Most threads in there (I'll be bold and allege a solid 85% of first-page threads) have not seen any action in over a week. On a forum dedicated to writing, that number seems pretty sad.
So here is a solution: CRITIQUE WEEK.
The rules are simple: For one full week, all participants will critique at least one story a day. Each day's critique will focus on a different aspect of critiquing, so participants get practice finding (and correcting) seven of the most common errors.
Why should you do it?
Because you want to be a better writer, don't you? Learning to spot errors in other's work makes you better at spotting them in your own as well.
Because we have lots of people who are putting their work out in the public arena and not getting the constructive feedback that will keep them from making the same mistakes over and over to ad nauseum.
Because it will get you off you ass, out of the lounge, and back into practice WRITING.
The list of benefits goes on and on...
I'm excited now, show me more neat stuff about CRITIQUE WEEK!!!
When is it?
Critique week will start on October 18 and run until the 24th. That's 7 days of solid reviewing and pure love.
There sure are a lot of sub forums in the Review Room, and each one has lots of threads. How do I decide where to begin?
Anywhere in the review room is perfect. Bonus points if you find a thread that has very few critiques already offered, and double bonus points if it's in a less popular forum. The idea is to give feedback to people who need it, and the person with 3 pages of discussion is less needy than the person on page 3 with only 3 posts in their thread.
You mentioned something about critiquing styles...?
Not so much style as focus. Each day do a full critique, but force yourself to pay extra attention to the daily emphasis, as seen below:
Monday:Commonly confused words - Check for common spelling errors (there/their, oar/ore, affect/effect, etc) people miss these more often than you may realize.
Tuesday: Narrative angle and distance - Does the narrative style work for the story? Would a different POV work better? Is the narrator too close or too far removed from the action?
Wednesday: Dialog - Are conversations natural? Is the author Walloftexting?
Thursday: Language - Does the story contain language that does not fit the characters or that seems awkward ($5 words and foreign languages can fall in this category)
Friday: Pace/Tension/Flow - Does the story progress at a rate that is appropriate to the story? Are there scenes which are too intense (or not intense enough)?
Saturday: Tense - Big one here. Is the story told form a consistent tense, or is the author switching between past/present/future constantly?
Sunday: Depth check - How deep are your characters and plot? Are they shallow and '2D' or fully thought out and real?
What do I get out of this?
Aside from a warm fuzzy feeling, self-confidence, and improved skills? I'll probably make a cool "Critique Week Participant" Avatar for everyone, thats cool right?
So what are you waiting for? Got off your butts and get ready for a week of AMAZING. Maybe this spark will start a fire of writing and PUBLISHING. Maybe you could be that success story. Maybe you just need something better to do. I'm not judging you *(unless you don't participate, in which case I am judging you like you wouldn't believe)*
JUST TO CLARIFY:
The point here is to increase the amount and quality of reviews on this site (and others). Take your time and offer SOLID good feedback. Everyone has an opinion, everyone is capable of critiquing, every critique helps the author.
And here are some cool Critique Week avatars!!!11one
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