Critique Sites (Scribophile)

I broke this one into two posts. The first focused on Critters, this focuses on Scribophile.

Scribophile

Scribophile
Scribophile’s icon even looks more modern

Scribophile is much more of a writing community. Which, I could use a little of…even if sometimes I wish writing was really the solitary pursuit we are lied to and told it is.

Pros

So much more modern. Omg the website…it feels current. It feels like it isn’t 10,000 internet years old. (Sorry Critters, but it is true.) There are some cool tricks along with this, like inline editing tool. This tool is amazing. Just drop your comment right into the line of the content it goes with. Done! (The potential downside to this would be a focus on line edits when someone is looking for something more developmental.)

It is a community. Like there are groups and forums and it is far more interactive. This is both a plus and a minus for me. Having a community to talk about things like marketing and using tools and the rest? Could be seriously helpful.

Karma (like the credits from critters) doesn’t expire. This is the biggest pro for me and why I am trying it. I don’t want to go back and do all the math, but my rough guestimate would be if the points were the same I’d have way, way over 200 Karma sitting around unused. With Critters, I just stop for a month because I’m busy and it all goes away. So I don’t use it like I should. From everything I can see, Karma doesn’t expire. Having that giant number there mocking me would be an incentive and pressure to use it. I need that. This is entirely personal. I need a giant number mocking me.

Cons

There are so many rules and feelings. Don’t critique unless you ask someone first, don’t critique if they are in this or that thing, don’t critique when it is a blue moon on a Tuesday. Aren’t you a critique site!? Don’t you want people to critique?

Seriously, I did one critique and now I feel bad. Don’t get me wrong, I think the critique itself was good and valuable, but I don’t know if I followed the magical unseen rules or not. So much bullshit. I don’t know if I want to, or currently have the capacity to, climb bullshit mountain to figure out if I can critique things or not.

YOU ARE A CRITIQUE SITE! No one should get pissy about a decent critique. Sure, one that is brutally bad? I get being upset. But so many rules. So much demand to talk to people. I don’t want to be your friend. I want to give you good feedback on your work and go to the next. A fucking blood pact that we super swear that we will read and critique each others work, not what I signed up for. This is like a store saying they don’t want to sell you anything.

But…

None of that seems to be official site policy. The actual site makes critiquing really nice and easy. It is like HERE have a thing to read! Nice, simple, straight forward. But I read a few posts from the forums and now I’m feeling very much like I should take my ball and go home.

So?

I don’t know. I really don’t know. Anyone know of any other good critique sites that combine the best of these two. I really want to give Scribophile a good try. I want to push myself harder to talk about my work and myself. That might sound crazy because I’ve put out several things this year plus the podcast… Is that crazy? Do I do enough marketing? (No.) Do I get enough feedback? (No.)

I still feel towel throwey iney.

6 thoughts on “Critique Sites (Scribophile)

  1. These critique sites are interesting.  I do like the idea that karma builds up, because frankly, I don’t always have new work ready for review. Like right now while I am churning out a very rough first draft. No one should read this until I’ve done at least a pass or two, Perhaps they have a wider draw, too, including Romance.

    But the whole rules around critiquing . . .WTF?  It’s a critique site. If someone is going to spend their time to give a good critique, why all the hoops? I do think Critters had some very useful tips for how to critique in a way a writer will listen to so you aren’t wasting your time. Perhaps they need that rather than so many rules, especially as Critters posts your review, so everyone can see what you said and how you said it.

    1. I’m still up in the air on this. I’m going to keep trying scribophile. I plan to give it a solid 6 months. So far no one I’ve critiqued has gotten all crabby about it and all the rules are unwritten that I’ve stumbled across not written actual guidelines. Which might mean it isn’t actually bad. Just a few bad apples-they are everywhere.

      My favorite bad apple from critters was the guy who lashed out at me for asking a couple questions about the believability of a time machine when he is the only one and advertising it. Did he say oh it’s just the hand wave, or yeah I know I’ll throw in a line? Nope. He launched into a big thing about how the government had time machines and they were using them to…something…steal his work? I wasn’t sure. But I was very concerned and blocked his email.

      So we’re the things I read on scribophile just that nutcase? I don’t know yet, but I’ll keep you in the loop 🙂

      I do think critiquing makes my work better even if no one looks at my work so that is good.

  2. Mariah, have you heard of The Write Practice? I’ve been writing with them for a while now, and the community there has helped me develop a steadier writing habit and given me the honest, genuine feedback that I need. I prefer it over Scribophile, personaly. Much more supportive, and it’s a very active community that’s engaged in all sorts of writing, from literary fiction to blog posts to memoirs to speculative fiction. There also aren’t any bad apples that lash out when someone tries to give their two cents worth of feedback.

    I’ve never heard of Critters, though. I’ll have to check it out.

    1. Critters is pretty focused on sci-fi and fantasy. Also some horror. Lots of short fiction. There is a way to do novels which a lot of people do but I think they get less critiques, which is to be expected. I will definitely check out the Write Practice. I am interested in is it will address my problem (it’s my blog I can worry about that! :)) and sort of get me submitting work for feedback more.

      I don’t know that I’d believe there are no bad apples, but if you haven’t seen any then that says good things about the ratio!!

    2. I finally got some time to sit down and read through The Write Practice site. It is an interesting model. And very surprising how many different models there are out there for sites like this. Paying for one critique a week is sort of appealing and sort of scary, I’m not sure if actually paying for it would make me more likely to do it or just more resentful when I didn’t? It seems like it would be really good for someone trying to finish a novel, especially a first novel. Each site really has their own focus.

      Thank you so much for telling me about it.

      1. I’ve missed weeks before, and they don’t get upset. Someone may reach out and seen what’s happening, but there’s no penalties. It’s a young site, so they’re always trying more things. Also, they do writing contests where everyone gets published.

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