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Use Common Sense When Sharing Your Work


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#1 Jean Oram

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 12:53 PM

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AQC is a great writing community. That said, from time to time "strangers" pop in and offer to critique work and then disappear or people don't get what they expected. It happens. Life happens.

I'm here to say--use common sense when sharing your work. Even though this community is full of top of the line awesome folks who love to give--be smart. Occasionally the odd bad apple may get through the gates.

Things to think about before sharing your work:
  • Do you know this person? Have they posted much on AQC already? (Check the number below their image on their posts--it says how many posts they have.) As well, check out the query critique group as a lot of critiquers hang out there. Or, even better, go to their profile and click on the blue "Find Content" button to check out things they have posted.
  • Now that you have snooped around their profile, do you think you might mesh with this person? I.e. will their crit style leave you sobbing? Or will it be the best thing to ever happen to your writing this year?
  • How much do they want to critique? A few pages is generally safe, but if they want your WHOLE ms right off the bat, make sure you perform due diligence. Just in case. This is the Internet after all.
Other things to consider:
  • What is their turnaround timeline?
  • What do they like to read? If they read horror and write horror they might not be the best person to tell you whether your sex scene will fit Harlequin's guidelines.
  • How in-depth are you looking for? A quick read or an edit?
  • Start small. Send small bits and work your way up to a bigger commitment. (Unless it is a beta read--in which case it still may be smart to offer the first chapter to see if you two are a good fit and they want to keep reading.)
  • Is it sharing? If so, are you a good fit or will you regret the time you spend working with this person?
  • WHAT IS YOUR GUT FEELING? If your spidey-senses are saying "no," listen even if the person is talking a good game that feels irresistible.
But most of all--be smart. I don't want to hear about anyone getting screwed over or finding someone has taken their work as their own or posted it somewhere online without permission. Got it?

What else? Share your tips and ideas.

RECENTLY ADDED TIP: Once you have found a beta reader/critiquer, be sure to let them know if you need 'soft' criticism or if you want 'hard' criticism. If you are just starting out, you might want to only hear about the biggest overarching issue you have and not every little crushing nitpick. If you are a veteran, you might want to hear every little thing that isn't working. It is your responsibility to let them know what you need and want.

I love connecting with and helping other AQCers outside this forum as well. You can find me all over the place!

If you are looking for more about writing, you may find my blog helpful, as well as my Twitter feed:

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#2 Caterina

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:02 PM

Very good tips. Good to know I'm not the only one who's wary when sending out things to people I don't fully know.

#3 Cat Woods

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:41 PM

Thanks for this awesome post, Jean. It's so important not to jump at the first offer for help, but to get to know who you will be sharing your work with.

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#4 Peter Burton

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 02:03 PM

I'll give this post a great big AMEN, SISTAH!

I limit my sharing to folks I've known here for awhile, and Marathon. (Since Clipper archives the posts it isn't too hard to prove who had what first.)

For myself. I plan on being here for as long as the site exists... or, until I get banned for being an ***hole. Which ever comes first. :wink: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

(Hey. Do I still sound like Jeff Bridges to ya all?)

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#5 A. E. Lucky

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 12:24 PM

I wouldn't happen to be one of those people to watch out for, would I? I'll admit that I'm not big on posting, but as a general rule, I'm not much of an online presence. I don't have a blog, tweet page, facebook page or anything else like that because I'm not really one who likes to talk about his life. But I can assure you that I'm safe and that I won't try to steal your manuscripts or personal information... Mweh heh heh.
I'm not crazy. I'm simply a misunderstood genius.

On a related note, all geniuses are crazy but not all crazies are geniuses.

#6 Tom Preece

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 03:18 PM

I think you missed one sensible precaution, Jean because we're all about this electronic media. I have only shared my stuff electronically with close, trusted, personal friends. I've shared it widely on paper in three ring binders. Theft is possible but quite a lot of trouble, and I know all the folks well enough I could probably trace it.

#7 Jean Oram

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 11:11 PM

Good point, Tom.

AE, I believe you are mostly harmless, are you not? Kind of like planet Earth?

Thanks, all.

I love connecting with and helping other AQCers outside this forum as well. You can find me all over the place!

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#8 Joey

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 12:37 PM

(good reference Jean...I loved that description of Earth in the Hitchiker's Guide!)...

This is a great post! Always be careful. A.B.C. Keep that in mind.

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#9 Jean Oram

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 04:11 PM

Like your Mark Twain quote, Joey. And yeah, Douglas Adams had a way with words, didn't he?

I love connecting with and helping other AQCers outside this forum as well. You can find me all over the place!

If you are looking for more about writing, you may find my blog helpful, as well as my Twitter feed:

*The Helpful Writer *Twitter

If you are a parent, you might be interested in my ideas on growing happy, healthy kids who'll thrive in this ever changing world (includes crafts, activities, games, articles, and fun!):
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#10 Paula Bgoom

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 02:59 PM

I am still a newbie so, I don't have much posted ..I never know what to really say. But, I do comment and go to the chat room. I Beta Read for a few people in chat. I really do not care for critiquing. But, I do make mention when I do find the rare errors. Does that mean I have to post more?
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#11 Steph

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 01:19 AM

I'm also terrified to share my work, afraid someone will steal it. Is that common for writers?

#12 Revo

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:24 AM

I'm also terrified to share my work, afraid someone will steal it. Is that common for writers?


It's a balance; typical questions and insecurity vs. common sense.
You wouldn't just give someone you had a conversation with in a fast food resaurant a copy of your car keys, right?
Your work is protected to some degree (emphasis on SOME degree). Ideas are tougher since, like rock and roll, everything has been done at some time or another. We all hope to have put the pieces together in a differetn order, is all.
Read what Jean says at the top of the post. She hit all the major points far better than I could.

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#13 Phoenixritu

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 02:52 AM

Great advise. I am looking for a beta reader, so I guess I will post on the forum

#14 Jean Oram

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:01 PM

For those following the topic, I added a tip tonight:

RECENTLY ADDED TIP: Once you have found a beta reader/critiquer, be sure to let them know if you need 'soft' criticism or if you want 'hard' criticism. If you are just starting out, you might want to only hear about the biggest overarching issue you have and not every little crushing nitpick. If you are a veteran, you might want to hear every little thing that isn't working. It is your responsibility to let them know what you need and want.

I love connecting with and helping other AQCers outside this forum as well. You can find me all over the place!

If you are looking for more about writing, you may find my blog helpful, as well as my Twitter feed:

*The Helpful Writer *Twitter

If you are a parent, you might be interested in my ideas on growing happy, healthy kids who'll thrive in this ever changing world (includes crafts, activities, games, articles, and fun!):
*Twitter *Blog *Pinterest *Facebook

 

I write stuff (www.jeanoram.com)

 


#15 Kryista

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 02:05 PM

Thanks Jean for the advice. I am through with my third book and want to have someone else go over it. I haven't been able to have any of my close friends read through it since they have been so busy lately. I was thinking about having a beta reader go over it, but was facing the conundrum of trusting someone enough to let them have the ms that I have spent months writing. I will just tread carefully and find someone from what you said. I appreciate it!

If anyone has a moment to spare, I, too, am in need of a critique. Thanks for the help!

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#16 s3gun

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:55 AM

I'm not the only one scared shitless about sharing my work on the internet...good! P.S... Peter, come to think of it, you do look a bit like Jeff Bridges! I thought you looked like some actor when I first saw your picture, just couldn't zero on who. But now that you mention it, I know who it is!

#17 Peter Burton

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:29 PM

LOL!

 

Just wait till I get a chance to steal Tony Stark's new designs and arc-reactor. evilgrin0030.gif


"But that's OK. There's treasure children always seek to find.

And just like us, you must have had, a Once Upon A Time."

~Elton John


#18 Katiemouse

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 01:57 AM

Thanks Jean, these feet will tread carefully :)



#19 Steampunk Junkie

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 06:18 PM

Now I feel better. There are other paranoid people out there! 



#20 Ladyshade

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 02:52 PM

looking for someone with experience to read the first book  and perhaps give me a few critiques and pointers as I am starting part two.

   I self published the first of the series, and I am not sure as to how to post parts or all if necessary to this site.. any help would help! thanks!






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