Writers, I Wanna Read Your Stuff (Again)

A number of writers began following my blog recently, so I decided to re-post this running offer I have for free critiques of existing stories or works in progress. The title says it all: I wanna read your stuff. Why? To meet you, to hear your stories, and to give you feedback.

Every writer needs feedback, and another writer can often be the best source. I’m a writer myself with a published novel, a web comic, a handful of corporate blogs, a collaboration on a short film, and several other projects in the closets of my mind. And more often than not, I’ve been lonely, having no one with whom to share my tales.

Because I know the artist’s loneliness, I’m on a mission to befriend artists, particularly writers looking for someone to read their work and respond to it. I want to show writers that their stories are indeed valuable and try to help them fish out the nuggets of wisdom and polish them to a perfect shine.

WHAT KIND OF STUFF?

Mostly, fiction and poetry. I’m a fiction writer, so that’s my specialty. Within that, I’ll take most any genre: action, suspense, romance, sci-fi, fantasy, historical, memoir, comedy, drama, artsy-fartsy, whatever. Poetry is acceptable, too, be it a single poem or a collection.

ALSO!! What if you have something a little outside the fiction/poetry “norms”? Like a comic or a screenplay or stage play or video game script or song or blog post or anything like that? Shoot me a line. Writing takes many, many forms.

As for non-fiction, I’m not against it, but it’s not my specialty. I do read a lot, but write very little outside of blogs. However, if you just want an audience, I’ll certainly consider it. perhaps the layman’s POV will be helpful. Biographies are fine!

A word on mature themes: while I’m perfectly fine with violence and some sexual content, I’m not into ultra-violence (like Hostel) or erotica. Language doesn’t bug me too much, but I’ll certainly tell you if I think it’s empty shock value. So in short, I’ll read mature themes unless it’s just endless gratuity.

WHAT EXACTLY AM I OFFERING? 

For works in progress, I’ll give simple critique: plot flow, character development, voice, etc. Things to help build and develop the story itself. I can also edit spelling and grammar if you want, but that’s not my forte and perhaps best left to a copy editor.

For complete, published works, I’ll simply give a review and post it on my blog, Amazon, B&N, and/or any website you prefer. I’ll also link to your blog/webpage/other works/whatevs. HOWEVER, I will only post online if i think they’re 3/5 stars or higher. Any lower makes you look bad and I don’t want to shoot your book in the foot.

That being said, all critiques are confidential, 1-on-1 via email. I’ll only publicly post with your permission and I promise to never use or sell your work as my own. Plus, via conversations, I can know you, your work, and your intentions a little better and give you better feedback.

Warning: I’m going to be honest. If I like it, I’ll tell you. If I hate it, I’ll tell you (nicely). If I think it’s just okay, I’ll tell you. However, I’ll strive to tell you both good and bad no matter the review. Here’s how I rate books:

*–I want those hours of my life back.

**–I finished the book, but it was hard due to the many problems.

***–I’m glad I read it. There were problems, but it was enjoyable enough to keep reading.

****–Definite thumbs-up, would buy it and recommend it.

*****–I’d buy the super-deluxe hardcover edition with a figurine of your main character, it’s THAT good.

Critiques are mostly first-come, first-served, but I’ll try to get to everyone who emails me.

WHAT’S THE CATCH?

None. This is a free critique. I’m not a professional editor, so it wouldn’t be right to charge as one. I’m just a writer trying to connect with other writers and help them cultivate their stories because a good story is the greatest joy in the world.

Now, I’d be tickled pink if you would also read and critique one of my own stories; I’m not above having my own works laid out and criticized. However, this is not a requirement; I’ll happily read your stories either way.

My ulterior motive is to meet other writers and go on the writing journey with them.

LET’S GET STARTED!

Send me an email at fencingwithink@gmail.com. Tell me what your story’s about, how long it is, whether it’s published or not so I know to critique or review, and I’ll get back to you on whether or not I can read it at the moment. As I said, I’ll try to read all who email, but I’m just one guy. If I can’t get to it, I’ll keep it on the back burner until I can get to it; I won’t just drop it.

So…what’s your story?

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2 thoughts on “Writers, I Wanna Read Your Stuff (Again)

  1. This is so fantastic! I actually just started writing (including this blog) but my intent was to meet other writers who I can learn from, and get unbiased critiques! I’m not exactly ready to get reviewed yet, but I would definitely take you up on your offer by the end of the summer, and I would love to return the favor! Feel free to contact me shannonmarie8722@aol.com

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