Posts Tagged Critiques
Firstly, I’ve had some extremely positive feedback from Dorinda Cass on her short story critique, which I supplied as a prize a week ago on this blog.
She told me, “Your critique was helpful and insightful. I have no qualms in recommending your critique service to others.”
Therefore I am pleased to announce that the First Impressions Critique Service is now open for business.
The cost is £10.00 for a critique of a story or piece of non-fiction up to 2,000 words in length. Full details of what’s included can be found on my First Impressions Critique Service page. Why not pop over and have a look?
Secondly, The Writer’s Coffee Shop is currently open for submissions. This is an independent publisher based in New South Wales in Australia and it is also the publisher that first released Fifty Shades of Grey as e-books and print-on-demand paperbacks. I thought that EL James had initially self-published the e-books but according to her website, this was not the case.
The Writer’s Coffee Shop is currently looking for stories between 20,000 and 30,000 words (a good stepping stone from short story to novel?). The stories must fall into the genres of either romance or erotica. Stories can be emailed and full details are here.
Finally, I’ve had a couple of nice surprises in the past week. I was shortlisted in the Writers’ News ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Short Story Competition – I was pleased about this since I’d gone to the trouble of reading the book (for the first time) especially so that I could enter the competition.
And today I heard that I’d won a £25 Tesco gift card for leaving a comment on Hire Bloggers Facebook page. Hire Bloggers is a new undertaking that aims to match bloggers to businesses for paid work. Wouldn’t it be nice to earn money from blogging?
A pair of fresh eyes looking at your work is a wonderful thing and can be especially beneficial when those eyes don’t belong to your other half, best friend or anyone else who is very close to you.
My husband never reads anything I write and it’s probably just as well. If he told me it was excellent, I’d accuse of him of just saying that to keep me in a good mood. If he told me it was rubbish, I’d accuse him of not knowing a thing about writing short stories and then I’d probably storm off.
It’s much better to ask someone who’s ‘at a distance’. That’s why I value my fortnightly ‘swaps’ with Helen. We both know that we can trust what the other says and we don’t take any criticism personally. After all it’s just this one story that is being pulled apart not our total writing ability. Other people often comment to me that they could do with a ‘Helen’ of their own.
So, I’ve decided to put my experience, gained over the last few years, to good use and offer a critiquing service. It’s still in the planning stages at the moment. Sharon from A Quick Read bravely put herself forward as my first guinea pig and she’s given me some very useful feedback on the critique that I sent her and the sort of price that I should charge (we also had a mild disagreement on the number of words required in stories for The Weekly News – can any of you confirm whether it’s 1200 or 750/800?)
Before I open for business, I’d like to make sure that I’m offering what people want (and are willing to pay for). So I’d like to critique a story of up to 2,000 words (for free) for a reader of this blog.
So if you would like me to look at your work and, in exchange, you are willing to give me feedback on the service that I’ve provided – please leave a comment below. Any comment will do and I’ll pick one at random. The competition closes at midnight (UK time) on Saturday June 1st 2013. (By the way I’m going to be tied up with other things for the next day or so – so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t appear. I’ll moderate them all as soon as I get a minute).
A couple of months ago I entered the National Association of Writers’ Groups short story competition and I paid £3 extra for a critique by Linda Lewis. The story I sent had already been in 2 competitions (without success!) but I am fond of it and decided it deserved one more chance.
Again, it came nowhere but this time I found out why. Linda was very gentle but constructive in her comments. She explained that the story didn’t include enough information about the heroine to enable the reader to care what happened to her. Essentially I was writing about a lonely old lady in hospital but I didn’t explain why she had no visitors or what she’d done with her life (all rather obvious stuff when I look at it now). Linda also said that this kind of story had been written many times before (and I thought my idea was original!).
So now I know where I went wrong. I still like the story so I’m going to add some background information and try to think of a twist to make it a bit more unique. Then I’ll look for somewhere else to send it.
Linda writes a regular column in Writers’ Forum magazine and is offering a critique service through her website (don’t be scared – she knows how to phrase things kindly!).