MT McGuire Books

Quality feedback about your writing, for free

Where to find it?  Well… possibly here.

YouWriteOn.com is partly ArtsCouncil funded… not the part which encourages you to pay them to publish your book.  I’ve read about that coming in for a bit of flack in places. The fact they hard sell it on just about every page is enough to make me leery.  Putting that aside this is the first review site I’ve read that is fair.  Here’s why:

  1. You upload the first 7,000 words of your novel or 2,500 words (I think it is) of your short story.
  2. You request a work to read and review it.
  3. Reviews are assigned to members of the site completely at random.
  4. You are given a credit for each review you write and each credit earns you a review of your work from another member of the site.
  5. You are given questions about the work you have read which you have to answer, thus ensuring that you read it.
  6. You are asked to mark the work out of five for aspects such as characterisation, plot, writing etc, which helps you to focus what you say to the author.
  7. The marks translate into scores, strictly ballroom style, which will contribute to the ranking of each piece of writing on the site…
  8. You are invited to write a comment of over 100 words and reminded to be constructive.
  9. When you have reviewed 4 pieces of other people’s work you can see what people have said about yours.
  10. When you have received 8 reviews of your work you can enter the “rankings” the points from your previous reviews are counted into this.

I’ve had two pieces of excellent feedback from readers for the first 7,000 words of my novel which have given me a lot to think about.

Where this system differs from other read and review sites is that although it has a ranking system, this is not dependent on return reads.  Because you are assigned work to read at random there is no incentive for you to butter up the writer in the hope of getting a good crit in return.  When you request some work to review, you will naturally aim for a quick turnaround because the faster you do it, the faster your work is sent out for review.

So… If you want feedback it’s definitely useful, I’ve no idea what it’s like from the point of view of reaching the top 10 and being “seen” although I’ve heard rumours that this does occur.

Looks good so far, then.  I will let you know how I get on when I’ve been using the site longer.

Posted January 13, 2010 and visited 686 times, 3 so far today

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