Tag Archives: writing critique

Answering the LadiesWhoCritique.com

Laura Pepper Wu is the author of Wow! Glowing Bride in 30 Days and The Stress-Free Guide to Leaving Japan. She’s also the co-creator of the LadiesWhoCritique.com writing forum.

If you’re a creative writer (age 16 or older) who doesn’t belong to a critique group, let me recommend LadiesWhoCritique.com. It’s a straightforward group with a generous attitude, and they have plans to work with gentlemen who critique before long.

 
Ladies Who Critique beta
Obtaining unbiased feedback on their manuscripts is the step aspiring authors skip more often than any other crucial phase of their career development. I’m more likely to encounter a writer with an online platform than one who has obtained forthright criticism and then revised his or her work before contacting me about representation.

This week, and again in January, I’ll be answering a few questions from members of LadiesWhoCritique.com who want to know more about working with a literary agent. Take a look at their blog and add your comments.

If you don’t happen to find the perfect critique partner for your subgenre over in Laura’s forum, then you can always check the list of online critique groups here at Treated & Released. No excuses. It’s a sensible new year’s resolution for a serious writer.

A novelist’s guidebook

Thriller writer J.A. Konrath has organized the information posted on his blog—about writing, book publishing, marketing, and promotion—and made it available as a free ebook. The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing Book can be downloaded in PDF.

Along with scores of other tips in his guide, Konrath suggests four good methods to help you edit your own writing and outlines a critiquing worksheet used to determine whether a story is publishable. If you’re serious about writing fiction, I urge you to get a copy of his ebook. Konrath is frank, and he speaks from experience. Here’s just one example of his observations about making a living as a writer: “I’ve talked money with a few close writing friends, and I’ve learned something pretty shocking; there’s no rhyme, reason, or sense as to who gets paid what and why.”

The grueling critique process

To all poseurs, Marsha Durham announced yesterday on her blog, Writing Companion, “Don’t Even Think About Joining My Writing Group.” With glib humor, she then described the traits exhibited by annoying critique group members.

I can’t imagine how a legitimate critique group survives, but I do know that writers seem to have trouble locating them, whereas writers’ clubs that function as support groups are plentiful.

A writer who hopes to be published in a traditional medium needs to develop a thick hide. Editors and agents are desperate for talented writers who are willing to take direction. Conversely, writers who are sensitive and difficult had better be worth—in cold, hard cash—every bit of the time and trouble it takes to coddle them. Given the intense competition, any novice would be foolish to display the slightest hint of petulance.

How badly do you want to be published? Are you willing to spend time in a workshop or with a critique partner? Do you have the funds to hire a freelance editor? Can you face the prospect of revisions that will make your work more marketable—that is, more appealing to a publisher?

Online critique groups have the potential to take some of the sting out of the process, as they often allow members to participate anonymously. I very recently began collecting the following links, which I hope are helpful, although I’m not able to recommend any of the sites. I’ll be happy to add your suggestions.

Online critique groups for writers

ABCtales.com

Authonomy.com [added on February 1, 2009]
[Updated on May 4, 2009: You might want to read ""When Mainstream Publishers Link with Self-Publishing Services," on Jane Smith's blog How Publishing Really Works, for criticism of HarperCollins, which administers Authonomy.]

AuthorNation.com [added on April 16, 2008]

Baen’s Bar [added on July 15, 2010]

Bibliophorum [added on September 1, 2014]

The Book Oven [added on August 17, 2009]

conjunctions [added on April 20, 2009]

Critique Circle

Critique Groups for Writers

Critique.org or Critters Workshop [added on February 16, 2009]

Deadly Prose Novel Critique Circle [added on March 30, 2009]

Desi Writers Lounge [added on July 8, 2012]

DocuToss [added on September 21, 2012]

Edit Red [added on August 18, 2009]

Editor Unleashed » Critique Forums (aka Tough Love) [added on March 27, 2009]

Eratosphere [added on September 2, 2008]

The Frontlist [added on February 1, 2009]

The Internet Writing Workshop [added on February 1, 2009]

Ladies Who Critique [added on November 24, 2011]

Literary Den [added on April 16, 2008]

Lit.org

Lulu Poetry [added on April 15, 2009]
[You might want to read Self-Publishing Review editor Henry Baum's criticism of the Lulu Poetry site's launch.]

MagicalWordsBetas [added on July 19, 2010]

Morningside Writers [added on March 27, 2009]

My Writers Circle [added on February 3, 2009]

Nathan Bransford » Forums [added on February 11, 2010]

The Next Big Writer [added on February 1, 2009]

NovelMaker.com

NovelPro

Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror [added on February 1, 2009]

Poet & Critic [added on February 20, 2009]

Profwriting [added on May 30, 2010]

Protagonize [added on July 9, 2009]

Quilliant.com [added on October 25, 2010]

Scrawl: The Writer’s Asylum [added on April 22, 2009]

Scribophile [added on April 7, 2009]

Shakespeare’s Monkeys [added on September 11, 2012]

Trigger Street Labs [added on December 14, 2007]

Two Adverbs [added on February 1, 2009]

The Writer » PREMIUM forums: Critiques [added on March 27, 2009]

WriteRomance Critique Group [added on February 1, 2009]

The Writer’s Beat [added on June 6, 2010]

WritingForums.com

YouWriteOn.com [added on February 1, 2009]
[Updated on February 6, 2009: You might want to read Writer Beware Blogs' Victoria Strauss's post criticizing this site.]

Zalso Writing Forum and Workshop [added on February 1, 2009]

Zeugma Poetry Workshop [added on February 1, 2009]

Zoetrope.com [added on December 14, 2007]

Forwriters.com maintains a list of online writers’ groups as well as local groups and writers’ associations. Writing-World.com also offers a list of critique and discussion groups. You can search Google Groups for a critique group that suits you, and Yahoo! Groups exist for the same purpose, although I found the Yahoo! site difficult to navigate.

The GalleyCat Writers Group Directory helps registered users locate critique groups that meet online and offline. [added on May 16, 2013]

Please proceed with caution whenever money is involved. Plenty of businesses exist solely to encourage writers’ fantasies. Chalk it up as a form of entertainment or therapy, if you can afford it. Otherwise, do your research and avoid the remorse.