It's still about a week off from my next paycheck, so I know I can't actually buy a subscription yet, but I was wondering if there was some way I could get a real preview of the "talent" around here and the types of feedback that gets given. All I've seen is praise of the (one? two?) pieces and no real "here's that you need to work on" and that makes me nervous. I am one of those types who really wants their writing just *eviscerated* by reviewers. Otherwise, what's the point, right? Anyway, if someone could point me in the direction of public submissions/reviews or something, I'd much appreciate it! Thank y'all!
I promise you (if my word means anything), there is no one here who is going to just try and be nice. if your work needs help, you will be told. Usually in a polite way, but there won't be any feelings spared. No one in the workshop is going to just say "it was nice..."
We aren't worried about bruising your ego, don't worry.
Yeah there aren't any actual public submissions/reviews. That is all behind the closed doors of the workshop.
And I'd echo what Sean said about the workshop.
That was my worry too, but people came through amazingly: honest, informed critiques on you work. They'll tell you when somethings not working, but you'll also get advice on to how to tweek it for revisions.
That's good! Thanks, guys :)
Now that I'm not at work and have more time to post:
I highly recommend the workshop. I joined fairly recently, and was lucky enough to join just as the Scare Us! Challenge started (if you haven't looked at that yet, check it out. It was a ton of fun! AND you'll get to see a preview of how reviews go, but on a very simple level). I hung out for a little bit, much like yourself, and then decided to give the workshop a go. It helps a lot. You get to put a story out there, give a little info, and guide the reviewers to look at your trouble spots. They'll review based on your specific goals, as well as the overall content, and more often than not, include an LBL (line-by-line) where they go into more specific detail. There are people like BryanHowie & R Moon who are neck and neck right now as to who is the best reviewer (which says a lot about both of them) in a poll over here.
People put a lot of time and effort into reviewing your stories. We're all here for the same thing, so we try and help each other out. Plus, a lot of us see the reviewing process as something that can make US better writers.
So you're in luck, you've stumbled upon the right website. I'm sure you've been looking around some already, you'll only find more great stuff in thw workshop. Not to mention the craft essays by Craig Clevenger & Chuck Palahniuk that are exclusive to the workshop.
In other words, you have no excuse...join up.
(now all I need is monies!)
It won't beat an actual face to face group, but if you don't have access to one of those, this is probably the next best thing.
The workshop here is invaluable. The vast majority of reviews are in-depth, insightful, and helpful. The ones that aren't super in-depth are usually newer people getting their feet wet.
I like being mean in reviews. It makes me feel like a big man.
Also, read all the Palahniuk and Clevenger essays in the Craft Essays section. They are referenced a lot in LbL (Line-by-Line) critiques. All the essays are great, but those ones have become the jargon of the site ('thought' verbs, shark music, submerging the "I", "on the body", Head and Heart authority, etc.)
And read the Storyville essays, too.
The essays are worth the price alone. The workshop is twice as helpful if you've read them.
I was hesistant at first, but the it's more than worth the price.
I love the workshop, even though it makes me cry on a regular basis.
Sorry, Emma, I'll stop including naked pictures of me with my LbLs. I didn't know you were so sensitive.
I know, I know, I'm trying to grow up and get over it. I'm *trying* to look at one dick pic a week. It's really hard. I may never make more headway than that, but at least I'm trying. I'm sure everyone else appreciates it, though, Howie.
lol And this is why I love you guys!
You have convinced me--as soon as I can, I'm going to join. Thanks everyone--I'm so excited!
You just want the naked pictures of Howie.
That's why I joined.