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JamesW

Reading Group A

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Note from Silk: This thread is out of date. Please see the pinned Alpha Readers Thread instead.

Hello all, I'm posting this in response to some comments made in another thread about the submission schedule and the desire for some people to get responses to a larger volume of work then can be passed through the weekly submissions thread.

Keep in mind, this is in no way an attempt to compromise, or stop the weekly submissions, and anyone who wants to do this shouldn't feel that this is a replacement for that avenue of feedback.

Here's the basic proposal (Subject to change):

For some people who are working on a first draft (or revision draft) of a novel would benefit greatly from broad feedback on the themes and topics presented therein. Comments on story/character arcs, plot, or other major points are what we are going for in this.

My suggestion for the medium of this is to have the group using dropbox, a free program that allows very efficient and easy file sharing among a group of people.

There would be a folder shared with the group, and a section for each individual's work. Their folder would be a location to save their chapters (in either .doc of .pdf since those are almost universally readable) and a text file, perhaps titled "Chapter X feedback" or "Overall feedback." The advantage of dropbox is that every person can open these files, namely the text files, and edit their comments in. It would be a simple matter to read a chapter, then open the file and add in something like "There isn't enough conflict" or "Character X is acting strangely" or "The dialogue is stilted here." The new file gets updated on everyone's computer, and everyone can see the comments.

Short, broad feedback is what we're looking for, just because it wouldn't detract from their own works as much. Sometimes all you need is a fresh set of eyes looking at your work to see a broad problem that you might have missed.

I think starting with a small group, maybe 3-5 people who want to do this, people can use this thread if they are interested, or if they have suggestions, its a very early group idea so someone will undoubtedly have some comments.

Group so far:

JamesW

Guenhwyvar

Mandamon

Aminar

If interested, post here and PM me your email so I can refer you to dropbox and add you to the group.

Edited by Silk
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Count me in!

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I'm in for sure, just confirm. Though, I doubt my feedback can ever be "short". :)

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Sure. It wouldn't be too hard to set up said dropbox as a shared item either. Technically I have a dropbox for this already with a group of friends. My work is the only thing in it right now and I'd be more than willing to share/host the dropbox. That said we will have to PM the password around as I don't want it made public.

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I have one. Ill set it up later today.

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I have a folder set up on dropbox, it'll be a shared folder, among the 5 of us who wish to do this. There is also a chat channel created by Sad Dragon for Reading excuses and writing excuses, at webchat.freenode.net there are two channels, #readingexcuses and #writingexcuses.

If there is another who wants to try this out, feel free to post and I'll invite you, hopefully we have everyone active and willing to work together on this. Also I need PM's with emails from Aminar and Jack.

JW

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After reading through all the pros and cons in both of these threads, I think perhaps the simplest (and best) solution might be staring us in the face.

Reading Excuses 1 (Short Fiction)

3 - 5 Submissions per week. 0 - 5k word limit.

Reading Excuses 2 (Long Fiction)

2 - 3 Submissions per week. 10k - 15k word limit.

Personally, I need the routine of a weekly writing group rather than posting up stuff at all times. Without that schedule, I'm not sure how good I'd be at sticking with it.

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After reading through all the pros and cons in both of these threads, I think perhaps the simplest (and best) solution might be staring us in the face.

Reading Excuses 1 (Short Fiction)

3 - 5 Submissions per week. 0 - 5k word limit.

Reading Excuses 2 (Long Fiction)

2 - 3 Submissions per week. 10k - 15k word limit.

Personally, I need the routine of a weekly writing group rather than posting up stuff at all times. Without that schedule, I'm not sure how good I'd be at sticking with it.

The long Fiction still seems off. I mean, even if I get in 1 entry every three weeks on my book I'll still take 6 months to get a full read in and that isn't what I think were looking for. I get the feeling the desire is really to have somebody read the whole thing through and notice continuity errors, things that don't fit, and get a decent read on the plot-arc. Just having that option where somebody from the group can grab my whole book and say what they think on it is refreshing. I want somebody older than 16 to have read the whole thing so they can tell me where it gets stupid.

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This group wasn't going to be a replacement for the hard deadlines, just another medium for people to post their material in. If someone wants to have their work accessible to others for broader feedback that's the hope.

I know the schedule helps a great deal, but knowing that someone could read it provides a different sort of motivation. I can just toss a chapter up there when I finish it, and then move on. If someone reads it and catches a big error then they can point it out, but in the meantime I can just continue on with writing instead of waiting on feedback from the next week.

I'm sure people don't just wait around for feedback, but it could also let us still have some reviews of our work even we don't submit to the group for a week or two.

Oh and I like the idea of two reading excuses groups, but that would require other setup/polling with regards to the matter and who would be willing to change the structure of the group.

JW

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You're talking about alpha readers. In that case, I think the best thing to do is approach someone, one-on-one and ask, "Hey, will you be my alpha reader?" And in that case, you'd give your entire novel in one file. That way the person can set aside a day or three to read through it. I like what Brandon (either him or someone on WE) said about alpha readers vs writing group. They are two different monsters and should be treated as such.

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Haha! People don't wait around for feedback? Drat. I check back here like 20 times a day... lol

Couldn't there just be two separate sections in the Reading Excuses tab on the main forum page?

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The dropbox thing is just that in a way though, it is Alpha readers but in a less formal way and frankly I tried getting a group of Alpha readers. It's hard because most of them are either A:Not good judges of literature or B: English Majors that look at a non-English Major writing and smugly assume they're better at it than me. Here I have people I trust to know what they are talking about. I don't expect them to read my stuff, but I know they have the option oif they are so inclined. And is it so wrong to have your writing group also have a section for Alpha reading. Personally I would say it's a brilliant way to run things.

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Haha yeah I check back all the time too lol. I just meant waiting around as in not writing until getting feedback.

I do like the idea of two sections of Reading Excuses, but I feel like short and long fiction writers benefit from the system as it is currently. Maybe a larger change could be implemented but that isn't a change I think everyone wants.

This would be somewhere between alpha readers and writing groups. Works in progress and completed works could be posted for the group, so you could easily submit the completed story or the chapters as you work on them.

The feedback is appreciated though, it was a thought to try is all, maybe it'll work maybe it won't.

JW

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Haha! People don't wait around for feedback? Drat. I check back here like 20 times a day... lol

Couldn't there just be two separate sections in the Reading Excuses tab on the main forum page?

Me too when I make a submission.

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Hm... The plot thickens.

I hadn't thought of treating the drop box as an alpha reader thing. Double hm...

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Hey guys, I just wrote a scene that may cross a few lines. It's the last few pages of Shifting Spectrums in my folder. The scene is from a villain named Kray's perspective. Let me know if it goes overboard please.

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Doesn't seem to be crossing any lines, just some torture right?

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And manipulation of the mentally unsound for your own good. Bob is pretty lacking in reasoning ability. That's where it feels really evil.

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I found nothing wrong with those last few pages. I would even say that you weren't even close to any lines that may have been crossed. You are in the clear :)

-TSD

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Is this still an active group? I just finished my first novel and am looking for some alpha readers.

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8 minutes ago, MistbornAlpaca said:

Is this still an active group? I just finished my first novel and am looking for some alpha readers.

Good grief!! This thread is so old I didn't even know it existed :lol:

Nice to hear from you, Alpaca. There is a more recent Alpha readers thread further up on the Forum, like near the top. 

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In fact, @MistbornAlpaca, it's pinned to top of the forum. By all means drop a request in there :) 

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On 1/15/2020 at 9:36 AM, Robinski said:

In fact, @MistbornAlpaca, it's pinned to top of the forum. By all means drop a request in there :) 

Haha! That's where I was going to post, but someone told the last person that asked if it was still active to refer to the "Welcome to Reading Excuses" thread, which pointed me here :blink: But I will go drop a post there! Thanks!

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