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Old 09-16-2010, 09:14 PM   #1
jaxx6166
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WD 2nd Draft

I noticed a new offering on the Writer's Digest page. $4/page for a 50 page critique.

I wonder if it would be worth it. You can't select less than 50 pages though, and it's a steep investment for what could very well be crap.

And WD doesn't have the best reputation (Cosmo for Writers)

Anyone ever experiment with the paid critiques?

I know there's plenty of free/low cost crit options. But, I just passed round 1 with two groups and the feedback was....see below.

Quote:
Comments: Wow, ok so to start, your descriptions and metaphors are fresh and vibrant; you bring the place you’re creating to life clearly and without any problem. I do feel however, that part of the time you are using these fantastic descriptions and then further explaining them as if the reader isn’t going to get it, so there are moments that it feels very slow and repetitive. I think you just need to trust your description more to make your points for you. If you cut the length of this down a bit, it could help speed things up a little and probably help your pacing. I suppose that it probably depends on the audience you are trying to reach in some ways, I know that some genres are more forgiving of slow build ups than others. Personally, I wasn’t really hooked in until I got to the end of this section. What kept me reading before that was based only on the fact that it’s really good writing, I didn’t feel connected to the story until much later on. Hope this helps
Overall however, to the right audience you could pretty much leave it alone, your writing is strong and you're very aware of the intricacies needed to create characters and how to show me what is going on instead of telling me about it. I'll be very interested to see more.
And this one:

Quote:
Hi
I’m going to make some notes at the start.
I liked the first line.
Your writing style is descriptive and clear, so I enjoyed reading it, despite my preference for longer sentences.
What genre do you class this as? It felt very westerny, which is good, with a hint of post apocalyptic.
I would not normally have read it all because I am strictly a speculative fiction reader and there wasn’t enough of that for me.
I have put some notes, mostly at the start, which cover things I’ve picked up from other writing groups.
I think you need to show us the story sooner and give us something to hook us emotionally. As vivid as the descriptions are, they are not enough on their own to keep a reader engaged.
Your tag line and summary are great. I think if you can bring that story alive sooner, this will have real potential.
Hope this helps
This reviewer picked out an adverb, pointed out when my sentences got too short for their liking, and where the chapter started to drag (everything prior to the 1300 mark)

I wonder how it compares to the 150/service.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:08 AM   #2
kcmay
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I once paid a published-SF-writer-turned-editor about $100 to give me a quick review of The Kinshield Legacy. I wanted an idea of whether it needed more work or if it was ready to submit to publishers. He said it was publishable as is, but he'd still be happy to take another $350 to tell me what nips and tucks to make. I said no thanks. :P

There are some pretty good *free* critique groups where the writers will brutally rip your writing to shreds. I credit them with helping me to improve. To me, it seems the feedback you're getting is as good (if not better) than what you'd get from WD. I wouldn't trust Writer's Digest for that kind of feedback. But that's just me.
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