I’ve been a member of www.fantasy-writers.org for a long time, but recently I signed up for another writing site, Scribophile. The community of writers there is much larger, and not so tightly focused (all genres are represented there). So far I’ve been really enjoying it.
Fantasy-writers.org is an awesome place to go and discuss writing and hang out with folks I’ve been posting with for years. Most of the subjects that come up on this blog originated with posts on the FWO forums. I’ve hardly said a word on Scrib’s forums, they’re a little vast and intimidating, but I am quite in love with their critiquing process. The site is specifically designed around allowing writers to critique others’ work, and receive feedback on their own.
I know, some of you are groaning at the word “critique”. Okay, so critique over the internet doesn’t claim the most friendly of connotations, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Scribophile operates on a “karma” currency system. You gain a certain amount of karma for critiquing someone’s work, which in turn enables you to post your own work. Karma is used for other things, such as personal messages, entering contests, etc. If you want to continue to post more work, you have to earn more karma.
This creates a lovely circular feedback loop that gives every submission ample attention. Everyone critiques, and everyone gets critiqued. That, paired with a faithful system of “likes”, the ability to flag inappropriate commentary, and what is probably a very attentive staff of moderators, the end result is a community of writers dedicated to giving one another useful, intelligent feedback that will help us polish our work and prepare it for eventual publication.
I worked on critiques for a day before I had enough karma to post my own work. About 36 hours later, I have 13 critiques on the first 3 chapters of my current project. Each critique has been helpful, some vastly so. I’ve already made quite a few changes, and I feel like my work is definitely better for it.
One thing I have noticed about the Scribophile community: a refreshing lack of ego. We all love our work, and we all love having others say nice things about it. But most of the people that participate on this site are more interested in improving their work than getting patted on the back. With that mutual dedication to learning and progressing, I think Scrib can be a great place to hone your skills.
FWO is still home. I was posting there 4 years ago, and will likely still be there 4 years from now, but I feel like I’ve added another invaluable tool to my belt by joining Scribophile.
My profile on Scrib: