I found this amazing site called Critique Circle. It’s a members-only site for published authors, wannabe published authors, and people who just enjoy writing and want someone to read what they’ve written. Basically, you become a member and start by critiquing other writers’ stories to earn points. Your points are then spent to post your own stories to be critiqued. The brilliance is that you can’t just critique a story with “Liked it!” To earn points you must write 300 words or more, and you will be judged by the writer as to how helpful your critique was. So, you have to put some real thought and time into your critique. Of course, there’s a forum for sharing ideas and experiences, and published members post articles with tips for the aspiring writers. Writers from all over the World are members. The enthusiasm and support is brilliant (as my new English writer friend would say), and I love it!
I posted my first story a couple of weeks ago and received six critiques–every single one providing positive feedback, pointing out weaknesses, and offering suggestions and encouragement, as well as correcting my grammar and punctuation (although maybe not all). As a result, I’ve rewritten my first story, “The Man in the Backyard.” If you read the first draft, you won’t notice too may changes in the main story. Most of the suggestions were to delete words and content that were unnecessary and detracted from the story instead of strengthening it. The big change is that I added an ending. All six critters (that’s what we call ourselves…”critters”) were in unanimous agreement that my story lacked an ending.
So…my story now has an end…or maybe a beginning…and I like it. I hope you do as well.