Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Word About Our 1000-word Crits

Yes, I double-checked to make sure I typed WORD instead of PAGE. I've lost count how many times I've made that same, silly error!

We've got lots of newbies these days, so I thought I'd do a quick "this is what it's all about" before I post the 1000-word excerpts.

* Don't feel compelled to do a full, blown-out, detailed critique. If that's what you WANT to do, I know the authors will appreciate it. But this blog doesn't exist to eat away at your writing time (which needs to remain a priority, since you are, yanno, a writer). So it's up to you how much time you spend on the critiques.

* You can begin by making a statement as to whether the excerpt HOOKED you, and if you want to read more. A sentence or two explaining WHY you were or weren't hooked is helpful.

* Beyond being hooked, you might want to comment on the overall writing. Is it too purple? Are there too many adverbs, too many adjectives?

(One of my favorite lines from the movie Adameus is when the Emperor tells Mozart that the opera had "too many notes" and that he ought to just take out a few. But I digress.)

* If the piece, overall, isn't working for you, you might want to comment on why it doesn't "work." Not a good place to start the story, perhaps? Or the voice doesn't work for the age of the protag, or for the genre? These are often general comments (and highly subjective), so you won't have to go into a lot of detail here.

* And, of course, I don't have to tell you to refrain from saying things like, "This was a complete waste of my time," or "The word BORING doesn't begin to cover my initial reaction." That is not "critique," my peeps. That is criticism. Two different animals.

I suppose I've acquired a heightened sensitivity to the need for writers to WRITE THEIR OWN STUFF. (I smell a blog post coming...) So for as much as I want you to be generous with your time when we have public critiques here, I also want you to remember your WIP, which is tapping quietly from the other side of your monitor while you're in a different window.

Questions? Comment below! I will post the five excerpts shortly.

(Want to submit your 1000 words to the queue [which is currently over 50]? Send your SCREEN NAME, TITLE, GENRE, and first 1000 WORDS in the body of an email to facelesswords(at)gmail.com with 1000 WORDS in the subject line. You will receive a post number, and that's your place in line, as it were.)


  1. Question:
    Is there a way to send the critique directly to the author or only in comments?

  2. I have previously submitted 1000 words. I revised based on the critique I received. May I resubmit and are there any regulations covering that?

  3. Send your revisions with "1000 Words" PLUS the post number I assigned you in the subject line of the email. When your number comes up, I will post the most recent revision. =)