mutterhals's picture
mutterhals from Pittsburgh November 10, 2011 - 9:41am

I've been writing for about ten years but have only attempted fiction in the last few. I'm not as satisfied with it as the other things I write and what I really lack is any sort of feedback on it from a writer's perspective.

I wanted to know if anyone was interested in a one on one critique to be held chiefly through email. Basically you give me your thoughts on my stuff in exchange for mine on yours. To get an idea of the kind of stuff I write please see the link below. 

As far as fiction the two authors I most enjoy are Bret Easton Ellis and Martin Amis and I find myself writing things along those lines, i.e. darkly comedic with some elements of horror. If this interests you at all please let me know and hopefully we can go from there. Thanks in advance.

http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/author/sadams/

 

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break November 10, 2011 - 9:44am

Why not join workshop?  You'd get more than just the one opinion there.

mutterhals's picture
mutterhals from Pittsburgh November 10, 2011 - 10:55am

I just prefer to do it this way, I haven't had a lot of luck with workshops and things like that. I feel like I can better critique one person's work as opposed to an entire group.

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading November 10, 2011 - 11:24am

Well, one of the main features of this site is our workshop, so you might want to give that a try and then see if you have bad luck with it.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break November 10, 2011 - 11:30am

There's also the benefit of looking at someone's work from a critical standpoint.  You'd be surprised how much you learn (what works/doesn't work) by reading the other people's WIPs.

.'s picture
. November 10, 2011 - 1:43pm

Try this workshop for a month dude. It's only 9 bucks a month.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break November 10, 2011 - 1:50pm

She's a dudette.

.'s picture
. November 10, 2011 - 2:07pm

Try the workshop "dudess."

Frederick's picture
Frederick from Southeast Connecticut is reading Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs By Chuck Klosterman November 10, 2011 - 2:51pm

Dudess,
       Try the six month opportunity. I have been a member for less than a month and this site is honestly groundbreaking. 

P.S. Brandon, you still owe me a workshop!

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break November 10, 2011 - 3:02pm

I do?

Shit man, I must have spaced it or something.  Things have been crazy lately.

Frederick's picture
Frederick from Southeast Connecticut is reading Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs By Chuck Klosterman November 10, 2011 - 3:26pm

No problem, and best of luck @mutterhals

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin November 10, 2011 - 4:48pm

I workshopped my novel this way, and I don't mean to downplay the style.

But you can't do it with only one person. My main partner was this one guy who wrote in a style similar to my own who gave me a lot of insight into how the book reads, but I still very much appreciated the input of the YA Fantasy authoress, the Childrens book guy (even though I thought his time travel book was terrible), the guy who wrote a non-fiction book about his experience becoming a grandfather. There were others, sure, but I hope that these examples help explain how important I think it is to diversify your demographics in your critiquing partners. Also, reading a lot of different people's stuff is equally helpful, especially when you do so with an eye to fixing mistakes.

And this is why I think that a top notch workshop, like the one at Litreactor is more efficient way to get the benefits of story and manuscript exchange.

On the other hand, if we are talking a full on novel, I can understand. As far as I can tell, that doesn't work with the workshop. You can do it up piecemeal there, but, if you ask me that isn't a strong way to evaluate a novel in its totality. I would rather read a whole novel and then give you my line by line rather than giving you a line by line chapter by chapter. That shit drives me crazy. Also, the way it is structured here, if a person were to write the book chapter by chapter and post them as they were written, taking ideas and improvements as the story is being constructed, well isn't that just a novel by committe? No offense intended, although that comment is sure to ruffle feathers.

So, there are a lot of positives, there is that potential which I am speaking of that one might become over-reliant on it, but the workshop is in fact very good and very useful. For short stories.

TZ's picture
TZ November 11, 2011 - 2:29pm

Can you choose who you want to swap with in the workshop?  To be able to choose/ask who specifically you'd like to swap with ----  is this one of the options of LitReactor that requires paid membership?

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts November 11, 2011 - 4:05pm

No, but if you review the good writers' works, they will most likely review yours (the "friends" feature is good for this). There is also a stable of writers that will help pretty much anyone (there's a "points leaderboard" that is a good reference), and they are really really good at it. The other people that comment you could ignore, but they generally will let you know if your story works or not so it is not without merit.

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter November 11, 2011 - 4:08pm

Anyone can critique work in the workshop, but everyone is sensible enough to only give feedback on work that they like.  What's great about the workshop is that you get all sorts of opinions.  We all have our own strengths in writing, and it's interesting to see that in the workshop.  With one submission, you'll have feedback from different people on voice or character or word choice.  THAT is the benefit of the workshop.

However, I do understand where you're coming from with the whole "writing parter" thing.  There's another guy on the community here, Greg, who I've been exchanging stories with.  Our writing is pretty similar, so it's nice to have somebody I know I'm comfortable sharing with.  So after I get feedback from him and I revise my draft, then I'll post it here and get more feedback from others. 

 

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. November 11, 2011 - 4:57pm

dude.

EricWojo's picture
EricWojo from Livonia, Michigan is reading The Brothers Karamazov November 11, 2011 - 7:06pm

When I finished the first draft of my novel, I sent it out to about six or seven friends willing to have a look-see and tell it like it is.  I took the advice and revised.  I revised again and again until I felt I had reached a point where, although a bit unsatisfied with the first chapter, it was OK.

Well, I didn't want it to be just OK.  I joined LitReactor, threw up the first chapter of my novel a week or so ago, and the reviewers pointed out the flies in the ointment.  What I couldn't see, they saw.  And they saw different things than the friends of mine. 

I've since re-written the first chapter again, taking in the Workshop advice, and am very happy with it now.

The lesson?

Having people I hardly know review my work, churned out more honest critics.  And, we're all writers here.  Or am I presuming?

@mutterhals, I think it is acceptable to find a one-on-one.  But I also think it a good idea to submit to Workshops like the one offered here at LitReactor.  Do both.  You will benefit.