Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The 1000-word Critique Pool

Well, here it is. Thanks to your VERY helpful comments yesterday, I think I've honed it on The Way To Do This. Always open for tweaking, of course.

Please don't rush to hit your "send" button. Carefully choose which novel opening you'd like to send. Make sure it's polished, ready for constructive critique (not bogged down with grammatical errors and purple prose).

(Disclaimer: "Polished" does not mean "Perfect".)

Here are the guidelines:

  • Submit the first 1000 words of your novel to me at facelesswords(at)gmail.com.
  • Put the following in the subject line: 1000 Words (this is important, as I need to be able to quickly spot submissions for this category and place them in the proper folder).
  • Follow the same format as all our other critiques: SCREEN NAME, TITLE, GENRE
  • Make sure your 1000 words is in the body of the email. NO ATTACHMENTS.
  • You will receive a POST NUMBER. This is your "place in line." When it's your turn, your excerpt will show up on the blog for public critique.
  • If at any time you wish to redact your entry, send me an email to that effect.
  • If at any time you wish to UPDATE your entry with an edited version, send me an email with the edited version (put 1000 Words - Post ## in the subject line, with ## being the post number you were given).
  • If at any time you wish to enter a Secret Agent contest with the material you have in the queue for the 1000 Words, you must REQUEST REMOVAL of your submission from the queue. After the Secret Agent contest is over, and if you've done some editing on the first 250 words, you may RE-ENTER the 1000 Words pool. Please know that you will receive a new post number and will move back in the queue. (This is all in the spirit of fairness.)
  • Submissions will be posted in groups of 5 at unannounced intervals. I will post the first 5 tomorrow (Wednesday).
  • You may only have 1 submission in the queue at a time. Once you've had a public critique, you may submit a new manuscript, which will go to the end of the queue.
A special note about our upcoming Secret Agent contest: Many of you may be planning on entering. Please wait until after the contest to submit to 1000 Words, unless you have two separate manuscripts. That way, we can avoid the request for removal and subsequent re-submission.

Go ahead and start sending. And leave your questions in the box!


  1. Thanks so much for taking this on! I am not submitting to the Secret Agent contest as my novel is finished but not yet polished so I am hoping to do that over the next while. I sent my submission to you and hope I got it right. Wait to see what number I get and look forward to the crits.

    Thanks again!

  2. Thanks for giving fantasy writers something immediate to look forward to! (Yes, I did say "oh poo" when I saw the Secret Agent genres. But it'll be nice to read the SA submissions without having one of my own to worry about.)

  3. "Submit the first 1000 pages of your novel to me at facelesswords(at)gmail.com."

    *laughs* I'd cry for your inbox if someone took you at your word.

  4. Oh nooooo - I've done it again! LOL Thanks, Anonymous; I'll fix that directly. (You really should have signed your name to take credit for saving my inbox!)

  5. This is really well thought out. Very kind of you to care enough to help fellow writers. :-)

  6. LMAO- 1000 pages- what a scary typo!

    Well, I sent my entry off to you! Here's hoping that email didn't screw with the formatting too much. Can't wait!

    And, by the way, you are awesome for doing this!

  7. I'm looking forward to this! Thanks for giving everyone a great opportunity to give/get crits.

    Also, thanks for taking the comments and suggestions into account. I think it will really help on the quality of the crits.

  8. "Submit the first 1000 pages of your novel to me at facelesswords(at)gmail.com."

    Oh nooooo - I've done it again! LOL Thanks, Anonymous; I'll fix that directly.

    Darn it! I was about to submit the first half of my 2000 page novel to you, Authoress. Looks like I'll just have to ship it off to a bunch of unsuspecting agents instead *wink*.

  9. Hey, you know how long it took me to copy and paste my novel THREE times into the body of a REALLY long email to hit 1000 pages??? :)

  10. Any rules about profanity? I have a chick lit that I'm working on and needs some crit. But there's a bit of profanity.

    Is that still appropriate with the proper warnings?

  11. Heather,

    I have a standing guideline on the blog that all profanity beyond what I deem acceptable (e.g. the occasional "damn") will be ***ed out. So if that bothers you, you can either a)edit out the profanity yourself before submitting, or b)choose a less profane manuscript to submit.

    My goal is to keep this site PG at all times. Aside from other considerations, I have young writers frequenting this blog.

    Thanks for asking! :)

  12. No problem. If I decide to use the chick-lit, I'll censor appropriately.

  13. How about memoirs? Are they allowed?

  14. Thank you, Authoress! What fun! PS - my verification word is entimate...as in, what an 'entimate' setting you've created with the groups of five.

  15. You've probably covered this before, but on another site, the website owner warns that posting work on a public site like this can constitute "publishing" the work.

    Should we be concerned?