Every other Thursday and Friday, we will have a community-wide effort to make someone's fanfic better. That means pulling no punches.
Rules for Readers/Critiquers:
- Anyone, member, non-member, or even (for now, as long as things remain civil) anonymous commenter, is welcome to leave constructive criticism on the Sponsored Fic at any time, even after two weeks have passed and a new Sponsored Fic has gone up.
- All community members are asked to leave a comment with at least one critical thought on every Sponsored Fic, as time allows.
- Comments should NOT have nothing but praise. Comments can certainly include praise, and may use compliments to balance criticism if the commenter feels more comfortable leaving crit that way. Just remember that praise can be specific and useful ("you do X very well, you could try to use it more, especially in scene Y, or to do Z") and that is the kind we're looking for here, not just encouragement.
- Criticism need not be accompanied by compliments. The effort of reading a fic and taking time to leave constructive feedback on it is a compliment itself, and the poster is expected to understand that so critiquers are free to leave honest concrit without worrying too much about hurting the author's feelings.
- All commenters/critiquers are asked to read the comments that have already been made on the Sponsored Fic, and to make an effort in their own comment not to simply repeat what has already been said. If you want to repeat something that has been said because you feel it is particularly important and really want the author to make a change there, you may mention it again for emphasis, but should give your own reasons. Otherwise, comments should try to find something to critique in the fic that has not been mentioned so far.
- Commenters are free to disagree with each other – if you see someone suggesting the author change your favorite line in the fic, feel free to reply to that person's comment and engage with them to try to figure out why you think it works and they don't, and if there is perhaps a different change that might satisfy you both.
- Similarly, if the author replies to a comment you leave asking for more clarification or help, please give it. Engaging with the author is probably the most helpful thing you can do.
- Criticism may be broad, focusing on plot or characterization, or as specific as nitpicking grammar and punctuation.
- No flames. "Line A bothers me, though I'm not sure exactly why or how to fix it" is not the best concrit ever but it is concrit; "This story sucks!" is not. Flames will be deleted.
Rules for Fic Posters
- Do not submit fic to be critiqued by the community unless you are honestly prepared to get lots of criticism and little praise, and genuinely wish to improve your writing.
- Feel free to engage with the commenters and ask them to clarify their crit or go more in depth if you need them to.
- Do NOT simply reply to every comment defending your choices; you may explain a few particularly important choices you made, but you should do it in such a way as makes it clear you are willing to try and figure out why those choices may not have worked for some readers, and how you might make adjustments.
How to Get Your Fic on the Community Critique Schedule
Anyone is welcome to have their fic critiqued by this community.
If you are a member:
- You may simply email a mod and request to be added to the schedule. You may ask to be scheduled on a certain date and we will attempt to make that happen, but can make no promises. We will email you back and make sure we find a date that works for you.
- When your Thursday comes, simply post your fic in the community with a subject line that makes it clear this is the Sponsored Fic for community critique.
If you are not a member:
- Email a mod with the fic you wish to have critiqued attached. We must see a complete-ish fic for you to be added to the schedule. It does not have to be a polished draft. We will email you to make sure we schedule you at a time that works for you.
- You are free to continue editing your fic until your turn comes; if you wish to have a different version of your fic critiqued than the version you originally sent in order to be added to the schedule, simply email the new version to BOTH mods by the Wednesday before your assigned Thursday, and the mod will post the new version. (Non-members do not have posting access, so non-member fic must be posted by a mod.)
*All these rules may be adjusted or added to as we start doing the actual critiques and better understand how they are actually working and what needs improvement. If you would like to suggest a rule change, you may leave a comment here or email the mods.