Serious Criticism

Every author stresses how important revision is. The trouble is, one easily overlooks one’s own weak points, omissions and errors. The solution sounds easy: Get a good Critique Partner for reciprocal manuscript correction.

But how? There aren’t that many budding English-speaking authors in Oberlunkhofen!

I tried several online author sites which offer some facility for critiquing one another’s Work In Progress:

But the one I have found absolutely the most helpful is:

If you join this group, inspiringly led by Jerry Quinn, you commit to submitting a chapter of approximately 3000 words every Monday and to critique the chapters submitted by the 4 or 5 other members of your team by the Thursday. And to follow this routine for 6 weeks at a time. A critique (‘Inline’, by ‘Template’ or ‘Freeform’) must have at least 125 words in order to earn ‘Karma’. And you need 5 Karma points to submit a chapter. Do the maths!

My experience so far is that I receive tough but extremely helpful feedback from my team members, communicated in a humble, encouraging spirit. The drill is rather intense, so I do have some difficulty keeping up and haven’t yet got round to revising my chapters based on the comments I’ve received. But I will.

A sample from an inline critique, where red means “Cut!”, yellow is to mark something and green is for comments or additions:

And a sample of some closing comments:

Thanks y’all!


Sign up here to receive a free video sample and occasional emails from Vince

We don’t spam!

Similar Posts


  1. I agree. This is a great site. I’m glad to have stumbled on it. I’m in the above-mentioned group and everyone gives wonderful feedback in a considerate manner. I didn’t know what was wrong with the novel before. Now I most certainly do. 🙂 But I also get suggestions for how to fix it.

    1. Being in the group with Vince, I absolutely agree with his comments regarding Ubergroup. I’ve made quite a few friends(Vince included), who never hesitate to tell me what is wrong with my chapters in a encouraging but constructive manner. Scribophile is absolutely the best writing group on the net(and that’s due to the moderators) and the Ubergroup is definitely the best sub-group there(and that’s due to Jerry Quinn really caring about the group and putting the time and effort in to make it the best group there).

      Want some proof that Jerry is well liked there? A few of us got together, and with money out of our own pocket, we are putting together a gift to give to him.

      Want proof that Scribophile, and specifically, the Ubergroup, works? Read our novels when they come out and see how polished they are. 🙂

      BTW, Vince, is that an excerpt from one of the reviews I gave you? Nice blog.

  2. Sounds inspiring. I’m not into writing books (maybe?) but experienced something similar when we as a band one day pulled our guts together – knees shaking, we had put so much energy into it – to go and play our songs for a music producer – who ripped us apart all evening but gave us so much inspiration for further development. We droge home at 2am – absolutely tired, but knowing: we have stuff to work on, an outside opinion. The most intense hours I’ve had music-wise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *