One Chapter, Two Styles: I'll Review Your First Pages

#1
I'm a traditionally-published novelist. Very curious about RR, and planning to dip my toes in the water in a few weeks or months. So I'm poking around now, reading random chapters, still learning about the general approaches here.

I figured I might as well offer a quick review of people's first chapters since I'm looking. (Or the prologue, though I am one of those people with a grudge against prologues ...) I hesitate to offer to read more than Chapter One, because I usually abandon a story very soon.

When I review my friends' stuff, I always offer two possibilities:

1) Accentuate the Positive

Sometimes we just need a reader to say what they like about a project. Writing can be so disheartening. I'll drop a quick review, mentioning elements I genuinely like. I won't mention the negative. It can feel like a cop-out to request for this, but I genuinely believe it's very often _much_ more helpful, long-term, than asking some stranger to point out your shortcomings. 

2) The Flat Truth

A good critique never says 'this is how I'd do it.' Instead, it says, 'this is what I think would work better for you.' But I'm not great at critiquing, so if you'd prefer I'll say how I'd approach your first chapter. This feels ... less helpful to me, but if might help brainstorm some solutions.


I'm not sure what the review policy is here. So I hope this is okay. But if I dislike something, I just won't rate it. I'm unable to give one or two stars to a struggling writer. I just can't.

If you want a review, PM me the link to your story and ask for #1 or #2. 

Re: One Chapter, Two Styles: I'll Review Your First Pages

#10
IanFlat Wrote: When I review my friends' stuff, I always offer two possibilities:

1) Accentuate the Positive

Sometimes we just need a reader to say what they like about a project. Writing can be so disheartening. I'll drop a quick review, mentioning elements I genuinely like. I won't mention the negative. It can feel like a cop-out to request for this, but I genuinely believe it's very often _much_ more helpful, long-term, than asking some stranger to point out your shortcomings. 

2) The Flat Truth

A good critique never says 'this is how I'd do it.' Instead, it says, 'this is what I think would work better for you.' But I'm not great at critiquing, so if you'd prefer I'll say how I'd approach your first chapter. This feels ... less helpful to me, but if might help brainstorm some solutions.


I'm not sure what the review policy is here. So I hope this is okay. But if I dislike something, I just won't rate it. I'm unable to give one or two stars to a struggling writer. I just can't.

personally i'd like a mix of the two. because if we just point one or the other, it might hampers the growth process.

though I am relatively new for writing in english, but i had my fair share of experience in writing in my own language (closet writer who once in a while open a beta reading slot)

most of my experience was no 2. and like you said, it is really disheartening and kinda horrid experience in general. people tend to just go for the bad side based on their taste and i got my confidence completely destroyed. even if someone pointed out that they liked my writings/novels or pointed out the good part, i would think that they are just being nice.

option 2 is really good if both parties are willing to speak and discuss further, if can, to a very specific details. however, based on my experience, not many would go to this extend. even if they would, the critic's comment are often very very subjective. this got worse if several people had several take on it. 

however, option 1 might also bloat the writer's ego and made them oblivious of the mistakes. though it definitely helps with the encouragement to keep writing, but strictly not telling the negative would hamper their progress.

in my opinion, mentioning both the good and the bad would be better.

I'm interested if you offer this mix option XD

Re: One Chapter, Two Styles: I'll Review Your First Pages

#17
Please! This is super sweet and love how you are offering different options. I personally love critiques, but please offer whatever you feel I would most improve from.

I have two stories, both are in sig and are total opposites in many ways.

Ashes is dark and deep, clean werewolf fiction spanning multiple countries and with worlds-wide ramifications.

The Guardian is more light-hearted and more sarcastically inclined. It features a medieval style vigilante and her bonded wolf. Also clean.

Just pick whichever strikes your fancy :-)

Thanks for doing this, and will also DM you.

~Rhea