Community rules (Read this first)
Hello and welcome to the new Community!
This forum is free to writers all over the world and is ran by writer's club, Jericho Writers. Go check us out if you haven't heard of us - we have plenty more where this came from.
Below are rules on how to keep this a safe and supportive place, and how to critique each other's work productively. We do ask that ALL users follow these rules, please:
How to keep this a safe space
Your Community is a place to share writing, meet friends, vent frustrations and celebrate achievements. It is a safe space open to ALL writers, no matter where you are from, how many words you have written before, or what genre you are choosing to write in. Therefore, we ask that everyone in the Community follow these rules:
Be kind. Writing means a lot to us. Treat others how you would like to be treated.
Be supportive. All writers face rejection. This space supports writers through that until they get that 'yes'.
Be constructive. If a writer asks for feedback on their work, then follow the rules below.
How to give effective feedback
- Always start with a positive. Doesn’t matter how many books you may have had published, receiving feedback is always a bit scary. So start with something nice, and end that way too, if you can.
- Be honest. Publishing is bedeviled by bland, nice and evasive feedback. That’s useless. If you think a certain chapter isn’t working, the author needs you to say so.
- Be respectful. It should always be possible to give negative feedback in a respectful way. Please do as you would be done by. If you do inadvertently cause offence, be quick to say sorry!
- Respond to specific requests. If someone is asking you for help with their characterization, then the more you can say about that, the better.
- Be specific. The more you illustrate your comments with examples drawn from the text, the more useful it’ll be. It’ll also help you to understand how writing works in a way that will help you in your own work, too.
- Be expert. By giving good feedback to others you are training your own critical faculties, in a way that will really help you analyse and improve your own work. The more you understand about writing technique, the more your skills will improve.
How to seek a critique
- Don’t post too much text. About 3,000 words is the outer limit for comfortable on-screen reading. You’ll get better, more detailed feedback if you can stick within that limit. If you get into a detailed discussion with other members and they’re keen to exchange larger amounts of text, then go for it – but 3,000 words is a good maximum starting point.
- Be clear about context. If your manuscript is aimed at a literary audience, it’ll need to be written differently to a children’s novel. Explain in 3-4 sentences what your project is, and what the story is about.
- Be clear about what you want. Is it your style that concerns you? Is it the way your character emerges? Are you worried about establishing a clear sense of place? Is your pacing OK? Naturally, you’ll want to know about everything – but if you do have particular concerns, then letting your readers know will help guide them towards more effective feedback.
- Be prepared for honesty. Critiques are useless if they’re not honest, so do be prepared for some negative feedback (which should, of course, be politely expressed – see above). If you just want reassurance and support, then say so! All writers need a cuddle from time to time, but do say this, if this is what you’re after.
- Give back. It takes time and commitment to write an effective critique. As a rough guide, we suggest that you should give feedback at least 3-5 times for every time you post work looking for feedback. If you’re more generous than that, then you’re a very lovely person. Thank you.
We hope all of this sounds fair enough to you!
For full terms of this Community, see the dedicated page, here.