New Writer? Never Scored higher than an HM? I'll crit you!

For confidential exchange of story critiques

New Writer? Never Scored higher than an HM? I'll crit you!

Postby s_c_baker » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:58 am

Hi all,

I am bored. And, in an effort to avoid writing my work-in-progress, I am willing to critique up to 3000 words of your work-in-progress! (Or a completed story, if you'd rather.)

This is a limited offer because even if I am bored and procrastinating I still--alas--have a life and a job, so I am only opening this up to relatively inexperienced writers. Likewise, I will turn it off below if I am busy.

This offer is currently closed but I will probably re-open it after I finish the current queue.

Here are the rules:
    * Your highest score in the contest must be an HM
    * You must not have published more than one story professionally
    * You must not have taken me up on this offer before

If this defines you, comment below and I will send you a PM with my e-mail address. While I say above I am only going to critique up to the first 3000 words of your story, please do send the entire story (if it's completed) so I can read the whole thing.

The rest of this is TL;DR.

Disclaimers:
While I no longer believe that "brutally honest" is a good thing in a critique, I generally will not pull any punches about what I perceive to be flaws in your story. If you have a thin skin and that worries you, please let me know in your e-mail and I will put my filters on.

I reserve the right to decline to critique a story upon receiving it. I may or may not tell you why, and I may or may not ask you to send another instead. (Generally, this will be due to stories I consider to be quintessentially racist, misogynistic, or some other kind of objectionable in intent.)

I welcome follow-up questions if you have any, but please do not write me angry e-mails telling me I'm an idiot because XYZ. My critiques are just my considered, professional opinion, and I am only one reader. If what I suggest is not helpful to you or you have a reason to strongly disagree with it (e.g. Neil Gaiman said that line was awesome), ignore what I've said and move on. (If you do not have a reason and are just upset, I suggest setting the critique and the story aside for a month and then reading both again.)

And who the hell are you anyway, you pompous ass-hat?
I am an academic librarian, haikuist, and speculative fiction writer. My fiction has appeared most recently in The Sockdolager, Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, and Galaxy's Edge, and is forthcoming in a little anthology you might maybe have heard of, Writers of the Future (Volume 32, 1st place, Q2), among other venues.

This doesn't mean I necessarily have any idea what I'm doing, but it does mean I've been somewhat successful in tricking other people into thinking I do. wotf007
Last edited by s_c_baker on Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Stewart C Baker - 1st place, Q2 V32
My contest history: Semi-finalist, R, HM, R, R, HM, HM, R, R, R, R, HM, R, R, R, R, Winner
My published fiction, poetry, &c.
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Re: New Writer? Never Scored higher than an HM? I'll crit yo

Postby MattDovey » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:25 pm

a) You're a liar, stop trying to steal JW's glory. You won the 2nd quarter, not the 1st. Pfft.

b) How's the social media break going, then? Feeling productive with all these extra minutes?

/continues avoiding the writing work he is meant to be doing to deadline

ETA: more seriously, though, Stewart is an excellent critiquer and properly good at the higher level stuff--i.e. what is missing with plot, character, all that stuff you never knew you knew as a reader and are now having to learn formally as a writer. This isn't just a line-edit deal.
Golden Pen winner V32 (2016)!
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Re: New Writer? Never Scored higher than an HM? I'll crit yo

Postby s_c_baker » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:41 pm

a) I AM JW. (Fixed that... thanks!)

b) As you can see, it's very productive. At reminding me how easily bored I am... wotf001
Stewart C Baker - 1st place, Q2 V32
My contest history: Semi-finalist, R, HM, R, R, HM, HM, R, R, R, R, HM, R, R, R, R, Winner
My published fiction, poetry, &c.
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Re: New Writer? Never Scored higher than an HM? I'll crit yo

Postby disgruntledpeony » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:42 pm

I'll probably send something your way, if that's okay.
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain
wotf029 wotf042 wotf027 wotf042 wotf043
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Re: New Writer? Never Scored higher than an HM? I'll crit yo

Postby amoskalik » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:05 pm

I'll take you up on that.
Trajectory HM R R HM R R HM HM HM R
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Re: New Writer? Never Scored higher than an HM? I'll crit yo

Postby alpha » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:25 pm

I'd love to take you up on that.
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Re: New Writer? Never Scored higher than an HM? I'll crit yo

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:56 pm

I would add a joke here at Stewart's expense, but I'm too tired to think of one just now. So imagine your own joke here, please...

wotf013

Now, with the obligatory joke out of the way... Stewart's a brilliant critiquer, folks. He's really insightful about what makes a story work. He has a better track record at perceiving what I'm trying to accomplish than almost anyone (Brain excepted). If he reopens this generous offer, you could really learn a lot from him.
Martin L. Shoemaker
F:1V28,1V29
SF:4V28
HM:2/3V28,2/3/4V29,1/2/3V30
3rd:1V31

WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT!
REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT!
Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.
NNiNN
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Re: New Writer? Never Scored higher than an HM? I'll crit yo

Postby Ivy Fairhaven » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:16 pm

Hi,

If you're still available I would love to have you take a look at the first couple thousand words of the story I'm writing for Q2. I am currently working 13 hour work days so I can't send it until Saturday night after I've given it an initial edit. I hope that's okay.

-Ivy
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HM x3
R x1
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Re: New Writer? Never Scored higher than an HM? I'll crit yo

Postby Kitty » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:51 am

*Kitty aims flamethrower at Stewart and tosses story onto his lap*
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