Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply

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CMMai

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Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2017, 10:34:44 PM »
Personally i get the hesitation to give feedback. I once gave a friend feedback on one of their stories and they got quite annoyed about it and stopped talking to me for a while. I meant no harm i was trying to help. I know with my work I have a lot of concern and worry. I have questions like do the relationships seem believable?  Does the story flow okay? Does the mood of the story change?

I don't really have to much concern with the challenges though they are just a nice side project for fun.

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2017, 10:53:49 PM »
Haha, I just realized that I gave the wrong link earlier regarding information about the library. -__- My bad.

@Rohierim (and anyone else) this is the post I meant to link you to earlier.

Personally i get the hesitation to give feedback. I once gave a friend feedback on one of their stories and they got quite annoyed about it and stopped talking to me for a while. I meant no harm i was trying to help. I know with my work I have a lot of concern and worry. I have questions like do the relationships seem believable?  Does the story flow okay? Does the mood of the story change?

I don't really have to much concern with the challenges though they are just a nice side project for fun.

I could have sworn this was on the list for the new Librarium, but now I can't find it in the Google doc...but I THINK there MIGHT (and @Xyem and/or @Sheepy-Pie  can confirm this, 'cause I can't find it at the moment) be a spot when you submit a story for giving a list of some kind of what you're looking for for feedback...I THINK. Don't quote me on that, 'cause right now I can't seem to find it in the Google doc so I'm not positive. But if we do have that, then I think/hope you'll be able to set those kinds of questions up for people to answer when they're giving a review. Again, don't quote me on that. :P

And yeah, I get the hesitation with feedback, too. I beta read a prologue and chapter for someone a few months ago...I might have been overly harsh in my notes, because I basically told the person that they needed to just start fresh with the story.  :-\ But I didn't want to sugarcoat it and lead them into thinking that the story was good, when...I don't know. The general concept was okay but honestly, the most I got out of it was a lot of world building information and not a whole lot in the way of, like, action and dialogue. It sucks because I think I scared them off, but I did try to tell them as nicely as possible. Giving feedback is such a hit or miss thing...either someone's going to accept it graciously and say thank you (or just not respond at all) or they'll overreact. Luckily this person didn't overreact, but they haven't been back on the site since, so... :-\

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sapheyerblu

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Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2017, 11:03:19 PM »
I suck at giving feedback because I don't like to hurt a person's feelings. I don't want to say it's good if it's not, but I know first hand what it feels like to have all your hard work torn to shreds.

I also want to apologize for this month's prompt. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but even I'm having issues with it. I have a million ideas, but not all are epic. Lol

I am going to start working on some prompt ideas to keep us all going. I love @HSCook 's idea on first/last lines and have some things already in mind for that.

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2017, 11:33:09 PM »
For me, sometimes it's depended on the situation. Like when I used to go on Fanfiction.net and Fictionpress a lot, I didn't care about giving harsh feedback (especially since I was given harsh feedback, too, on a lot of my stories)...but as an admin, and an older, mature writer, I try to be more careful because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, either, and scare them off. But I admit that I haven't really given a ton of feedback over the past year...a large part of that was because I had school, especially from August to December, so that kept me busier. Though even without school I admit to having not been that great about giving reviews, but I have been trying.

So from what I'm gathering, it sounds like MOST people don't care about getting feedback on their challenge entries necessarily...but the bigger issue is getting feedback on the non-challenge entries. Like I said, I do NOT want to start enforcing a critique ratio, because I really don't think we're the kind of site that should have that. But maybe having a designated day to get X amount of reviews done in one day by a team of members would work? The site I got that idea from does it on Sundays. I imagine any day Friday-Sunday would work best? But then you have to deal with time zones- i.e. it might be Saturday night for me, but for someone in, say, Australia, it's Sunday morning. Any more thoughts on that?

Yeah, I liked her prompt ideas, too. I found a bunch of prompts on another site that I'm mostly a lurker on, so I grabbed some of those to stick into a list for future use, and I'll stick some of the ideas that people have given in this thread in there, too.

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Sheepy-Pie

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Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2017, 03:13:15 AM »
I THINK there MIGHT (and @Xyem and/or @Sheepy-Pie  can confirm this, 'cause I can't find it at the moment) be a spot when you submit a story for giving a list of some kind of what you're looking for for feedback...I THINK. Don't quote me on that, 'cause right now I can't seem to find it in the Google doc so I'm not positive.

Doesn't look like it, but I only scanned the doc and it'd probably come under the tagging system. Tag your piece if you want feedback.

As for feedback, I think the suggestion when submitting your entry to put if you want feedback is good because then people can focus feedback on those who need/want it. For example I really want feedback on all the things I do, especially as I write in first so I want to make sure I am doing better. I've also been putting up draft pieces from my WIP and that's under edit. Personally I would add with mine that I want a full on honest review. Even if it's hated. The key is constructive criticism. No matter how you feel about the writing, if you explain why and make it constructive, it's good feedback. I know what it's like trying not to hurt feelings, cause I am wary too! But you also might fall the other way and by not saying x they don't improve it or they keep going and it causes more work in future.

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GeneBWell

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Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2017, 09:25:55 AM »
As far as feedback for general library submissions go, this is just me personally but I'd trade 50 reviews of my first chapter for just 1 person to beta read the whole MS. I think rather than trying to emphasize single submission reviews the goal should be to match up beta readers or writing buddies. I'm currently exchanging chapters with another writer, and I think having someone who comments while seeing your story as a whole is more effective than a bunch of people looking at one snapshot (except in cases where you want opinions on a very specific thing).

Story cohesion as a whole is more important than fixing individual flaws in each chapter. An editor can fix a lot of the minor stuff once you land one, the important thing is having a solid tale from beginning to end that an agent will want.

I dunno how we would get people more interested in Beta-ing and MS exchanges but I think it's what folks should focus on.

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Sheepy-Pie

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Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2017, 09:42:13 AM »
I don't know how to get beta people more interested either, as we have a whole section for it but nobody has ever really agreed much :/ I bumped my topic for a long time and had no replies. I get the impression that there might not be many people who want to beta, but then there have been a ton of new people recently so who knows now.

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2017, 11:44:30 AM »
I THINK there MIGHT (and @Xyem and/or @Sheepy-Pie  can confirm this, 'cause I can't find it at the moment) be a spot when you submit a story for giving a list of some kind of what you're looking for for feedback...I THINK. Don't quote me on that, 'cause right now I can't seem to find it in the Google doc so I'm not positive.

Doesn't look like it, but I only scanned the doc and it'd probably come under the tagging system. Tag your piece if you want feedback.

As for feedback, I think the suggestion when submitting your entry to put if you want feedback is good because then people can focus feedback on those who need/want it. For example I really want feedback on all the things I do, especially as I write in first so I want to make sure I am doing better. I've also been putting up draft pieces from my WIP and that's under edit. Personally I would add with mine that I want a full on honest review. Even if it's hated. The key is constructive criticism. No matter how you feel about the writing, if you explain why and make it constructive, it's good feedback. I know what it's like trying not to hurt feelings, cause I am wary too! But you also might fall the other way and by not saying x they don't improve it or they keep going and it causes more work in future.

Hm. I could have sworn that was a discussion that I'd had with either you or Xyem...maybe it's something that can still be added, though. I'd imagine something with a checklist, like "characterization, plot development, plot holes, etc" for the author to check off for things they want focused on, and then a text area where people can write "I really want to know X, Y, Z and 1, 2, 3" and ask questions...or something like that. It'd actually be easier if there was a way for the author to create a customized form of sorts for people to fill out when critiquing, but I don't know how easy that would be to do. Or we could come up with a list of questions ourselves and have it be in the review...thingy...or something. I dunno, I'm not describing it right. :P

As far as feedback for general library submissions go, this is just me personally but I'd trade 50 reviews of my first chapter for just 1 person to beta read the whole MS. I think rather than trying to emphasize single submission reviews the goal should be to match up beta readers or writing buddies. I'm currently exchanging chapters with another writer, and I think having someone who comments while seeing your story as a whole is more effective than a bunch of people looking at one snapshot (except in cases where you want opinions on a very specific thing).

Story cohesion as a whole is more important than fixing individual flaws in each chapter. An editor can fix a lot of the minor stuff once you land one, the important thing is having a solid tale from beginning to end that an agent will want.

I dunno how we would get people more interested in Beta-ing and MS exchanges but I think it's what folks should focus on.

Yeah, I really want to encourage people to start beta reading/being writing partners for each other...I think a large problem is that we're all at different points with our writing. Like for me, I'm still writing the first draft, so I don't need a beta reader yet. If I get to the point of needing a beta reader, I will be jumping for joy XD. But I am writing partners with @Ahryantah, so we bounce ideas off of each other. She's been helping me for YEARS with me writing and brainstorming.

There's an entire beta reading section with forms that people can fill out asking/offering to beta reading/be writing partners but not many people have used it.  :-\ We also have a huge list of people who...I mean, the majority of them say "depends/other," but they MIGHT be willing to beta read? Lol. I think the other issue is that a lot of people don't have time to dedicate to reading a whole manuscript, 'cause they already have their own writing projects to focus on and such. So it's almost easier to agree to only reading a few chapters, or only reviewing a few chapters that are up on the library, because then you don't have to commit to a full novel.

It's hard to focus on doing beta-ing and manuscript exchanges when you don't have anything in return to exchange for actual editing purposes. Like for me, Ahryantah has a story that she's sent me Google doc links for a few chapters at a time that I've given feedback on, and I have basically nothing that I can give her in exchange to actually beta read but she helps me figure out world building and plot stuff in exchange.

I don't know how to get beta people more interested either, as we have a whole section for it but nobody has ever really agreed much :/ I bumped my topic for a long time and had no replies. I get the impression that there might not be many people who want to beta, but then there have been a ton of new people recently so who knows now.

Well we do have the list of people who are willing to beta, although some of them aren't as active as they were when I initially added them to the list...I think part of it is that people need to be willing to reach out to others and ask to exchange chapters.

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2017, 10:15:49 AM »
Bump!

I'd be curious to know what anyone else thinks about this, if there's anything else to add. We're discussing the possibility of doing a designated review day. If we end up doing that, we'll have an info/possibly sign up post up for it.

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ReddieRobin

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Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2017, 12:20:54 PM »
An idea for prompts, in college, my professor, would switch it up with images and songs, as well as word prompts.
I'm a visual person, so that always helped me get ideas.

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Sheepy-Pie

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Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2017, 12:24:51 PM »
We had some image prompts before, but at the time people were preferring word prompts so we stopped them. There are image prompts in the normal prompt area though :)

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2017, 04:31:09 PM »
Yeah, pretty much what Sheepy said. I don't mind tossing in an image prompt every once in a while, though, just to shake things up. Songs we haven't done, though. That could be interesting and fun to do.

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Silver

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Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2017, 05:21:00 PM »
Yeah, I really want to encourage people to start beta reading/being writing partners for each other...I think a large problem is that we're all at different points with our writing. Like for me, I'm still writing the first draft, so I don't need a beta reader yet. If I get to the point of needing a beta reader, I will be jumping for joy XD. But I am writing partners with @Ahryantah, so we bounce ideas off of each other. She's been helping me for YEARS with me writing and brainstorming.

I think this is definitely part of it. I am happy to beta read or go over ideas with someone, but I don't really need anything in exchange because I have a co-writer/writing buddy and we do that for each other. I don't care, I'm still happy to help people out if I can but I don't know if people like asking for help when there isn't anything they can offer in return.

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Myffanwy

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Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2017, 03:00:50 AM »
As someone who is currently going through the process of (hopefully) getting published, one of the things I have trouble with is trying not to info dump on readers. I often skip pages if there is page after page without dialogue because to me it sounds like there's no interaction between characters.

So I'd love a prompt that could force me to give information in a manner that is not an info dump and creates action and/or dialogue for the characters involved.

Is that what you're after?

Julz.
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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2017, 11:46:21 AM »

EDIT: I thought of something else we did in out writing group that was loads of fun but really challenging. Either open or themed, we would have a no-dialogue challenge and a dialogue-only challenge. No dialogue means only narrative and no speech of any kind (including telepathic)  to work on building a strong narrative. Dialogue-only was the opposite to create strong, identifiable voices. No narrative was allowed, which includes dialogue tags. The indication of speaker can from structure, voice and good writing. Done well, it could be followed.
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Yeah, I like this idea. I admit that I'm not very good at writing things without dialogue in them. @Arc is an expert at it, though. :P

As someone who is currently going through the process of (hopefully) getting published, one of the things I have trouble with is trying not to info dump on readers. I often skip pages if there is page after page without dialogue because to me it sounds like there's no interaction between characters.

So I'd love a prompt that could force me to give information in a manner that is not an info dump and creates action and/or dialogue for the characters involved.

Is that what you're after?

Julz.

Hm. Coming up with a prompt for that could be tricky but I think it'd be doable.

Yeah, pretty much any kind of prompts that are going to be likely to get people interested and actually write something that will still fit the fantasy genre.

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