Tag Archive: critters

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.

Critique sites (Critters)

So I’ve tried different Critique sites. Critters and now giving Scribophile a shot. I’m…frustrated.

Critters

Critters

Critters

I actually really like Critters. It would be the site I’d recommend for SFF short/flash authors. But …I’m me? And I have my own personal bullshit to deal with. This means it is good and bad.

Pros

It really encourages you to review something every week. Make a habit of it. Sit down, read, give feedback. It has great information about how to give a good critique. I think I’ve gotten a lot better at giving feedback because of Critters. And not just feedback for writing, in general, at work. I really appreciate the skills I’ve learned.

You also get to read the other critiques later (scribophile seems to let you do this right away – which I don’t like) so you can learn. Do you view things the same as other people, differently? How did they say something? Is what you are saying valuable? But without feeling (for me) like I need to read everyone else’s critiques first. That is probably something I can get over, but with Critters? Not even an option. As an author, this is great because you get multiple critiques and if 5 people say the same thing, pay attention. If only one person does? Eh..maybe it isn’t as big of a deal.

MORE CRITIQUES. From what I’ve seen Critters is usually much better for the number of critiques. Almost everything I ever sent in got at least 10. The basic number for Scribophile is …3 or sometimes 6?

No…bullshit? I mean yeah, sure there is bullshit. But, basically, it is unseen. Or it was to me. In the years I participated (under more than one name – sorry Critters, I know you have a real names only policy, but you are letting clearly fake names in so whatever) I never saw more than a couple of blog things, which will be in the cons below.

No other stuff. 99% critiques. Yeah, there are forums, I went there once, that was enough, there wasn’t much there, I left. It was ok. No one sent me messages saying I had to read them. I never felt like I wouldn’t get critiques if I didn’t make friends. Making friends wasn’t even encouraged. That’s my kind of people!

More short fiction and flash fiction. For me, this is a pro. For others, I’d think it is a con.

The weekly cycle. You don’t have to always be looking for new stuff, you just get the message once a week and you know you’ll have until the next Wednesday to do your critique and get credit for it.

Cons

The website feels so old. Like 10,000 internet years old. Everything about the site feels super old. The colors, the layout, the way it works. So old. So dated. But that is really all surface, it works fine everywhere I went.

You have to push to take full advantage of it. This is my biggest problem. By so very very much. I’ve done a lot of critiques. To fully take advantage of the site you need to always have something in the queue. If not? Your % goes down and you might as well have not critiqued at all. This is honestly 100% of my problem with the site. I’m bad at going HERE READ MY SHIT! And all the work I do every week I don’t send something in for critique is wasted, other than the value of doing critiques, which is a value! Don’t get me wrong. That is a huge value. Would I have kept doing Critters for several years if it wasn’t? (…Well maybe…)

I do find other ways to get feedback, but then…why am I doing this? This is the point where I throw up my hands and deflate like a popped balloon.

So?

I don’t know. I really don’t know. More stuff later this week about Scribophile. I don’t know.