I initially spent several hours just exploring the different features, forums and aspects of the site.
From my initial overview the site and community seemed really friendly, supportive and constructive. A great place to post your writing and have it honestly critiqued by like-minded people.
So I started out by introducing myself on the forums and favouriting a few people, joining a few groups. This just let me get a better feel of the site.
I then though ‘bugger it’, I had nothing to lose and went to do my first critique!
The system of critiques built into the software at the site are relatively easy to use and help guide you through the complexities of giving a constructive and well-mannered critique. I’ve started by giving critiques to relatively short pieces of flash fiction as that is what I like writing at the moment.
The process was very easy and hassle free, and afterward the people that I critiqued were able to comment on how I had done, nobody seemed to get their knickers in a twist and all saw the critique as what it was meant. A constructive and helpful look from the outside on their writing.
The process of being able to upload your own work is that you have to earn Karma before you can post, this is done by making critiques, easy really 😉
After a few critiques I had earned enough Karma to upload one of my pieces, a drabble, 100 word story with a twist or unexpected conclusion.
Two of the three critiques I received were excellent and even pointed out problems with the tense that I hadn’t noticed even though I had read it several (hundred) times previously, the third critique didn’t understand the drabble form and therefore critiqued it as a short story. What he said was excellent for a different form, but wasn’t applicable to the form I used. I wasn’t worried as it was all meant to help.
Joining in the groups is also a good idea as this is where the more personal form of support can come in and you can get regular small reading group together to mutually critique work and join in together on discussions about writing and the industry.
Overall I’ve really enjoyed my less-than-a week there and have gone for the premium option as I think it really deserves to flourish.
As a break from writing my assignment for the Open University I thought I would join in at Scribophile in the poetry group I’m part of.
The first poem is an entry to the Valentine Day competition
In your eyes.
From your lips.
Knife in my heart.
The second is a Haiku in response to the Frantic Friday Weekly Prompt thread.
Blue haze distant hill
Evening falls stars awake
Bright night smiling moon
I had got the prompt wrong though through not reading good…
The current prompt was to write a Landays, a traditional poem form of Pashtun women of Afghanistan and Pakistan. There was a linked article http://www.poetryfoundation.org/media/landays.html and after reading that article I felt shamed that I was going to use such a strong part of their culture as a writing exercise and initially thought that I wasn’t going to write one but here is mine as a response to that feeling:
Bearded or not, the men take and hold
Steal the hearts, souls and bodies, give hate in return