Welcome to Women Writers I created this community because, quite frankly, other live journal writing communities scare me. My hope is that this community will blossom into a tight circle of women who can trust and encourage each other. I want it to be a place where serious writers can come and get (as well as give) real feedback.
- Yes, this is primarily a writing community, but in order to build relationships and trust, I am not going to ban off topic posts. Go ahead and chat. Introduce yourself. Get comfy. There are limits, though. No community promos, no quiz or survey results, no selling or random junk posts. No flaming. No cat fights. This shouldn't be a problem.
- Don't join the community if you can't be active. I'd hate there to be a ton of members and yet someone posts a piece and only receives 1 or 2 comments. We're building a community. We're here to help each other. Don't take without giving and vice versa.
Here are some things consider when giving feedback. This is only a set of ideas and examples in case you need a starting point. Not every story needs to adhere to these guidelines. Some characters have no names. Some stories have no setting. Some stories are all dialogue. Don't worry about a piece following "the rules." Just Make your feedback important and useful.
Phew! I had to bust out the english books for these. I'm getting rusty!
Anyway...Commence English Refresher Course.
Praise: Make sure to give praise for what works! Praise is fantastic, and we all need it. While I love getting praise, I find that “Great piece. I really enjoyed it.” is not satisfying feedback on its own. Try to avoid blanket praise like “I liked it.” Without discussing what worked for you or why you liked it.
Characterization: Are the characters real and believable? Do the actions of the characters seem believable? Do the characters appear flat or too dynamic? Are they stereotypical? What more would you like/need to know about the characters? Does every character serve a relevant purpose? Is there a stand-out character that you really loved? Were there too many characters to keep track of? Can you identify a protagonist or antagonist?
The Hook: Does the story capture your interest from the beginning? If not, when/where did you become interested? Did you lose interest anywhere? Where you compelled to keep reading? Was there more than one part that hooked you?
Setting: Was the story strongly rooted in a time or place? Did it need to be? Do you know all of the necessary information about the place and time?
Plot/Conflict: What happened and why? Did it make sense? Did the piece unfold well? What was the major conflict of the piece and is it important, relevant and effective? Was there a climax? Did the story "lead you on?"
Is the conflict Individual vs. individual Individual vs. society Individual vs. nature Individual vs. self.
Mood: Was there real, tangible mood? How did the mood of the piece feel? Was it effective or lacking? Was it creepy, dark, upbeat, sunny, etc?
Themes: What major themes did you take away from the piece? What themes were weaker and which were stronger? What was the overall message of the piece? Was this message well conveyed?
Language/Voice: Does the writer’s unique or intended voice or style come through? Is there too much style and not enough substance? Is the voice unique? Does the writer make the best word choices?
Description: What particular passages did you just love? What similes worked or didn’t work for you? What metaphors were or were not effective? What details would you like to see receive more or less emphasis? Is there too much description and not enough action? Does the description help move the story along, or does it stall the action?
Use of misc. literary Device: Irony, allusion, Assonance, hyperbole, Personification, satire, allegory, symbolism, anthropomorphism, repetition, foreshadowing,, flashback, alliteration, foil, and on and on
Dialogue: Is it realistic? Is it important? Does it move the story? Is it stiff? Too much slang? Not enough? Just right?
Point of View: Who is telling the story? Is the POV consistent? Does the story change from first person to third person for no reason? Do you stay the same distance from the events that take place, or does your involvement/knowledge change?
Tense: Are their unintended tense shifts? Does the story begin in the present, then shift to past tense, then back to present tense when it shouldn't?
Grammar and Spelling: Self explanatory
Technicalities: Random examples: Did the character pick up a baby with two hands and then answer the phone with the third hand? Did the story take place in Rome, but three paragraphs later it says Florence? Is it possible for the character to reach the teapot from where you have her sitting?
Showing vs Telling: Did the story natrually unfold? Did the author just say what happened instead of letting us see the events of the story?
Emotional or Intellectual Impact: How were you impacted by the piece?
Expectations: Did the work set up expectations and not meet them?
Ending/Resolution/Denouement: Does the ending feel like it came too soon? Is it a proper resolution for the conflicts?