I’m starting a new series here at Daily Mayo, called Improve Your Writing. I will outline simple steps you can take to improve your writing skills without any expense.
Today’s topic: getting online critiques.
You have probably heard the tip that says you should write something, then come back to look at it a few days later to check for errors. I have written before about the importance of getting someone else to look over your writing, because they will identify pitfalls that you cannot see. However, if you cannot find someone willing (or qualified) to look over your work, here are some excellent online resources:
Critique Circle: Here you will find a forum-style critique board that allows members to read and critique each other’s work. This site focuses on fiction only, and has many useful privacy features that prevent others from pirating your work. Critique Circle also offers writing workshops that are free to any member.
2nd Draft from Writer’s Digest Shop: This service offers a look at your manuscript (over 50 pages), short stories (over 5 pages), or picture books. Picture books cost $39.99, and stories start at around $3 per page. This service gives you feedback about your content, target market, story strengths and weaknesses, and general tips on how you can improve your writing.
Review Fuse: This website is a place where you can have your work reviewed by qualified professionals and other writers, while also working to improve the work of others. You’ve heard that experience is the best teacher, and Review Fuse follows this philosophy by allowing writers to review other’s work, and thereby improve errors in their own future writing. This service is free to join.
Scribophile: This website is a unique critique group that makes members critique the work of others using a specific formula. Members earn “karma points” by reviewing, and must earn a certain amount of points before they can have their own writing reviewed. Membership is free.
Local review groups: You can also search online for local writing groups. Many local groups only allow members of the community into the group. All you have to do to find a relevant group is to type in “writing groups _your city” and many different options should pop up. Some are fully online, while others meet in person. Facebook and other social media sites also have many writing groups focusing on various topics from fiction writing to blogging.
Do you use any writing critique groups? What are your favorites?