Review your own work

#1
Dear everyone, 

I am very new to writing and to royal roadl.
Writing my first story now, with no other intention than having written the story that has been in my mind for a while now. 

My question is. Do you review your own work?
If yes:

How?
Do you take some time to let it fade from your memory?
What is your biggest issue in reading your own stories? 
Do you feel more, or less critical towards your own work?

Do you post work in progress for others to read? Or do you wait till you are happy with it yourself before posting it?

I lack the environment of writers to read my work. 
I'm not a native English speaker so most people who want to read it, do not possess the English skills to provide me more feedback than the regular :" It's nice", 

How do you all deal with this. 

In addition: if you want, please review my work in process on my account: 
http://royalroadl.com/fiction/5469

Thanks for the answers!!

RE: Review your own work

#2
Hi LethalDogFart (seriously? Lethal dog fart? Can I have a nick because I feel very uncomfortable in calling you that.)
Your issue is a pretty common on for new authors. As I have experienced, most user reviews are directed more at whether or not they like your work and one needs to dig a lot deeper to find places to improve.

Do I review my fic? No, I don't post a review. But yes, I have reread my chapters critically and found a lot lacking. With every new chapter I write, I find more mistakes in my previous writing. So yes mentally reviewing your work and finding problems is a given for almost every author. I don't endorse posting a review on your own work (even if it is an answer to other reviews)

Do I let it fade from memory? No. I am always thinking and reworking the story in my mind. I do it a dozen times before I begin to write. And a dozen times more. But that's just my way. I think a better method is to plan on paper,  and plan a little bit ahead of what you want to write. So that when you look back and want to find faults in your previous chaps, you can just look at that plan and note it.

Biggest issue in rereading my story is again, the quality of writing. I feel it is poor in early chaps. And a lot of faults that I haven't corrected become clear.

Yes I feel critical towards my work. A bit less than others maybe, but I do.

Work in progress is better left unposted. The only time I have posted unfinished work was when I thought I wouldn't be able to finish my story and went on hiatus. I think, by your own standards, your chapter should have a certain level of polish before it can be posted. Doesn't mean it has to be perfect or that it can't be edited later.

Finally, your fic is too short for a review just yet. You can always ask for a review later (there are threads for that, like FictionSins). As for getting feedback, you can join a group of authors or visit the chat groups (this or this or this) to find help. You can even post, like you just did. Reading books also helps.

Good luck! And Welcome to RRL!






I will add my feedback here.

First, your writing is good. It does not struggle with flow, description, grammar or dialogue. Well done. It is too early to judge your story though.

I will only mention a few problems that I found. Notice that these problems are minor and can be easily corrected.

attracted him in Trimon --> to Trimon (preposition)

Chosen had inspired him to change to swap to his physical appearance --> Chosen had inspired him to change, to swap to his physical appearance (comma inserted)

Shown him the truth and how he, his friends and those they had been protecting were parasiting the world that had been meant for the chosen. --> Shown him the truth. How he, his friends and those they had been protecting were parasiting the world that had been meant for the chosen. (either a fullstop or a dash work better.Also parasiting is not a verb parasitizing/parasitising is. Though I'd recommend you rewrite it without the verb or replace that verb. "His friends and those they protected were parasites to this world." Also, avoid 'had' (passive) when unnecessary, as it is in this case.)

through his vains --> through his veins (wrong spelling)

"dDon't you want to impress your friends with our progress and show them we are ready to start the cleanse?"
flashing his pointy teeth (use capital letters for beginning quote when your previous sentence ends in fullstop. Or use a comma. eg: "No," he said. "Not at all." or "No," he said, "not at all")

Thrifk smiled in return, flashing his pointy teeth. He had forgotten about Trimon. He returned a sly smile.
("pointed" would work better. And no need to repeat the fact that he smiled.)

"Lucky me." He mused.
("Double quotations" are for speech. For thoughts use 'single quotations' or italics or 'both'. And if he is speaking then it should be "Lucky me," he mused out loud. See the use of comma. You don't end the quote in fullstop if you add tags like he said after it.)

Like I said, these are minor problems that are probably because English isn't your native tongue. Otherwise your story is a pretty good one. Try running your draft through MS Word and Grammarly. It should help.

RE: Review your own work

#5
04/12/2016 14:58:28LethalDogFart Wrote: [ -> ]Dear everyone, 

I am very new to writing and to royal roadl.
Writing my first story now, with no other intention than having written the story that has been in my mind for a while now. 

My question is. Do you review your own work?


I assume what you're asking is whether we edit/revise our own work to make sure there aren't mistakes etc before we let others see it (rather than post reviews on the site giving ourselves top marks for effort).

Yes, I do read my own stuff back to try and get rid of obvious mistakes and make it generally better, but it's hard to see it objectively so I always miss stuff. 

As you suggest, leaving it for a while and coming back to it helps. You see it with fresher eyes. Also, using critiquing sites (critiquecircle.com is a good one) helps, but you have to be willing to review others so they'll review you.

Reading it out loud is surprisingly effective in showing up errors. As is getting a text-to-speech program to read it for you.

But to be honest, when you start out just getting it out there and seeing what kind of reaction you get is probably the best way. It can be quite painful if people lay into you, but you learn the quickest when you take a beating (assuming it doesn't kill you).

Good luck.

RE: Review your own work

#6
I don't give myself a review as if in the third person, but I do go over my own work time and time again. My chapters that I post typically come out slowly due to two things, motivation to write and how long it takes to write. Ignoring the typical 1-2 week slacking session, writing a chapter anywhere from 1,000 words to 5,000 can take as little as an hour and a half to 3+ spread over several days. Over this active writing period, a chapter first gets basic ideas thrown onto the paper, then gets worked into something I would personally read and enjoy, taking a few minutes break if nothing works. If the break lasts longer than five minutes, it's better to write down something, anything, then come back later to edit to perfection.

Rinse and repeat until satisfied with the work.

As I am writing, I constantly look at what I've already written and think forwards to what I need to do. My policy as I write is that the past is set in stone, it cannot be changed. Therefore, take what you have now and make it better. If it's better to just go back and rework the entire thing, then I might consider that. I try to work with what I have already established, building my literary world one chapter at a time. I'm honestly figuring out my own story as I write each chapter and next to nothing is properly planned out. It may be slow going, but hey, I'm writing as a hobby and to enjoy myself while doing it.

RE: Review your own work

#7
04/14/2016 06:12:51j0nn0 Wrote: [ -> ]It may be slow going, but hey, I'm writing as a hobby and to enjoy myself while doing it.


Thanks for the reply. 
That might be a good idea yes.

I am 28 now and I only just started writing my first thing ever. I do not intend to publish or earn money on it.
i've just been walking around with the basic of this story and background in my head and recently decided to do smth with it. 

I have never written before and now I wish I started when I was young as I really enjoy it, the development of the story and characters etc. Not that anyone else than me and perhaps some grandkids in a far future might :p

RE: Review your own work

#8
04/14/2016 07:27:44LethalDogFart Wrote: [ -> ]
04/14/2016 06:12:51j0nn0 Wrote: [ -> ]It may be slow going, but hey, I'm writing as a hobby and to enjoy myself while doing it.


Thanks for the reply. 
That might be a good idea yes.

I am 28 now and I only just started writing my first thing ever. I do not intend to publish or earn money on it.
i've just been walking around with the basic of this story and background in my head and recently decided to do smth with it. 

I have never written before and now I wish I started when I was young as I really enjoy it, the development of the story and characters etc. Not that anyone else than me and perhaps some grandkids in a far future might :p


Age is not a matter bro. So don't worry, just keep writing. And like I said, you do write good (by my standards). Good luck on getting the grandchildren to read it though. :P

RE: Review your own work

#9
Thanks. I've read piles and piles of books and been reading in English since I was 18. I think this helped my vocabulaire and probably a lot with style too. I do notice I make a lot of small mistakes with "in" "at" etc as it's fundamentally different in my own language.

I just regret not having started writing earlier, it's amazing and gives me so much energy and makes me feel so good :D

And I hope to hit a spot that some people will like at least. I am in love with my characters and races, and the background story.

anyway, thank you all <3