Websites for Writing Feedback

Just a short post this time, because I’ve been busy writing. Inspiration struck and I’m two chapters into a new novella and revelling in that wonderful ‘first draft feeling’ (a little like stepping onto the moon), even if I was supposed to be working on my rewrite of The Sapience Assessment.

Something that’s not so great is the news that another writers’ website is shutting down. I was gutted when my go-to site Authonomy vanished just over a year ago, but decamped over to Writeon, an Amazon version which I assumed would be sticking around. The idea of these sites is that you can post chapters of your work for people to comment on, so it’s a useful way to get feedback. The problem is that they’re set up by publishers hoping to spot new talent, but because they’re sites serving writers they’re just not accessed by the quantity of readers needed to do the publisher’s work for them as intended and weed out the good stories from the bad.

So now Writeon is also going the way of the dodo, it seemed like I had two main options. One was to post my work on Wattpad. This is much more of a site for readers, so in theory it should be possible to get your work out to a bigger audience, maybe start developing a pre-publication fan-base. On the other hand, the comments tend to be one-liners, not particularly useful as feedback, and I’ve heard there’ve been serious issues with people’s work being copied.

What I’ve done instead is started posting my work on Scribophile. This is not set up for readers but neither is it a ruse by publishers to get their job done for free. What I like about Scribophile is that it’s not intended specifically to spot talent so there’s no sense of competition and works are not rated. No back-scratching or back-stabbing to get to the top. The basis of the site is that you critique others’ work, gaining you karma points, which you the spend to post your own work up for critique. It can be a bit hit-and-miss whether you’re going to get a good critiquer or a bad one, but (shrug) you’re guaranteed three critiques of each posted piece and the basic level of membership is free. All it takes is a little time and effort.

I’d be interested to hear which websites, or other means, people use to get feedback on their writing. And how much feedback is enough? After how many people have looked at your manuscript do you say: yes, that’s good to go?

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4 thoughts on “Websites for Writing Feedback”

  1. I tried all three you mentioned, found all three wanting in many ways, some big, some little. I’m on Scrib now, which I do agree is the the best for getting crits that aren’t used as a way to get ahead in some area. Although I’ve seen a discussion or two about people who write long, pointless crits in order to get enough karma to post their own pieces. It doesn’t seem to be a real problem, though. I don’t have a lot of time for critting, so most of my participation there is on the forums, and there’s a wide variety of those. It would be nice to have a novel critted, but that would require a real effort to accumulate karma, so I’m sticking to posting only short stories, and that’s all I crit, normally.

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    1. Yes, the main problem is the time it takes to do the critiques. When I used it before I put up about 3 chapters before running out of steam, so I’m not sure how far I’m going to get with it this time. But so far, so good.

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