wearecreative's picture
wearecreative from SE Pennsylvania is reading A Simple Act of Gratitude, When the Body Speaks, The Emotion Thesaurus, The Intercept January 17, 2013 - 11:55am

It's me again. 

I've been looking in the Writers Workshop and wondering... Is there any general guidelines on which writings to critique?  Do I go for ones that have the lowest number of reviewers?  How about ones on the first page?  Last pages?  There's so many out there and I'm not sure how they are arranged so I'm looking for some guidance here.



ReneeAPickup's picture
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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books January 17, 2013 - 12:28pm

I always go for stories with a low number of reviews that interest me. If a story already has 7 or 8 reviews, chances are the writer doesn't need much more-- too many reviews can be overwhelming, and not everyone pulls a story once they've decided to rewrite, so you may be critiquing a story that's already been rewritten.

I say I choose stories that interest me, because I want to give good, helpful, in depth advice, and I find that difficult to do if the concept doesn't grab me.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest January 17, 2013 - 12:34pm

The stories are arranged in order of the most recent submissions. It doesn't matter how you decide to review. You can start at the top and work your way down. You can choose the ones with the lowest number of reviews. There's a search to the right where you can search for stories in a specific genre. Normally, though, most people don't want much more than six or seven reviews. What I'll do a lot of times is review a flash piece first to get warmed up. They don't take as much time to review. Then I'll move on to something longer. In the event of chapter excerpts, I'd recommend reading the chapter first, see if it's something you're into then decide to review. If it's something you're not interested in, skip it. If you're into it, review it, but try keeping up with the chapters as they come along.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated January 18, 2013 - 2:27am

I pick the ones I have something I think might be useful to say that are in Word format.

fport's picture
fport from Canada is reading The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond January 19, 2013 - 12:33am

I'm a sucker for someone who has no reviews and is in the help a brother out column too. I may be somewhere around third string but at least it lets people know that they have been noticed.

Ideally I'd like to be able to spend a lot more time on everything and do the line by lines but I'm not so fast at doing that and it takes me a long time so I usually do stars and then ask some questions about the way things went in the story.