INFORMATION ON THE STORY DISCUSSION CIRCLE
posted by the moderators, pure and penelope and crimson maiden
(the business of the Circle is handled in the first 'sticky thread')
STORY DISCUSSION CIRCLE**
Welcome! We are a loosely knit, moderated
group who offer comments on each other's work. If you are visiting, you will see threads entitled 'Grassroots Discussion' or 'Story Discussion' and a date and name. Each such thread is authorized by a moderator, and contains a url for a story or the story itself; after, are people's critiques. These are the officially selected
(designated) stories for focus of discussion. They receive main attention for a week or so, but the thread remains open indefinitely.
There is a main 'business' and volunteer queue thread. The most current one is here
Drop in to say 'hello' or volunteer a story or learn which story is 'up.'
Besides the queue, there are a limited number of threads where the regulars--and any interested 'drop ins'-- discuss writing-related topics in general terms (when is first person narration appropriate?). When a member posts as story, he or she often has specific questions (is the use of third person in this section of my story, effective)? See below.
'Stray' or offtopic postings, esp. from non-familiar persons, are redirected (by a moderator, at his or her discretion) if serious, or essentially deleted if they are ads, spams, etc. Stray stories, with feedback requests, occasionally are allowed by the moderators for discussion, but often these are redirected to Story Feedback.
All regular members offer, that is, post critiques of the selected
stories from time to time. Offering (posting) comments on 'stray' stories that turn up (usually to be re directed to 'Story Feedback' or 'Author's Hangout' ) does not count for present purposes.
Whether a member posts his or her own stories to BE CRITIQUED is up to that person. No one is forced. No blood of the unwilling is shed! (That is a joke!) The point of the circle is to offer insight, expertise, indeed, support for each other. All of us have a common desire to improve, and in writing that's only done when one can learn what is visible to 'another pair of eyes.'
A 'member' is simply a regular participant, and by regularly participating anyone comes to be considered a member of the loosely knit group
All are welcome.
If you simply want 'no strings' feedback, go to the Story Feedback forum or the Authors Hangout forum, and let people know what you want. Often comments may be obtained 'for free.' Here, it is a swap or discussion situation. If you simply attempt to jump the queue and post your story, it would most likely be moved by the moderators to one of those venues.
What is a critique? For our purposes, critique is an organized set of comments on the strengths and weaknesses of the story in respect of such issues as (take your choice)--
choice of words,
clarity and coherence, overall
emotional impact [on the reader],
erotic effects [on the reader],
You, as a reader, have every right to give your opinions on these issues, regardless of your writing abilities or writing achievements. That is to say, you are a reader, and authors address *readers,* not 'literary experts,' English teachers, published authors or Grand Poobahs of the Erotic Authors' Association.
When commenting, it is a kindness to offer encouragement where there are at least some areas of strength or merit. Look at the above list, and pick those areas where you see merit, and name some of them, and tell *why* you think the writer has succeeded, in that respect.
Do as you would be done by. Consider giving comments with the sort of tact and respect which *you* would like to be shown, were you receiving. A "Critique" is best when balanced; in usual cases, it is, if anything, inclined to the positive; it is not merely a compendium of errors and failings.
Alleged weaknesses in the writing
should be discussed factually, without animosity --your view of them is best offered as your opinion. The author's character is not the topic; nor is his or her education. Try for a degree of diplomacy generally; any remedies you offer are best phrased as *suggestions*. In other words, the spirit we want here is, "You might try this," rather than, "Here's what you have to do to fix this defect."
It is often helpful for other readers if you start a critique with a brief summary of the story; setting, main events and issues. It is NOT necessary to repost an entire story, rather use excerpts to identify passages you're commenting on, or simply describe/summarize the paragraph or passage, i.e., the scene when he first performs oral sex on her, at the beach.
In examining the work, remember you're not hired as proofreader. The main focus should not be on fine details, 'picky points,' unless that's solicited.
In any case, simply naming a small, recurring problem, and offering an example or two, is sufficient: "You have a comma problem, as shown in these sentences...." "Spelling should be checked." A posted list of 20 or 50 similar flaws is *not* called for,
and should be PM'd to the author if you have reason to think s/he wants it.
Posting flames, personal attacks, insults, or public ridicule over alleged defects, including grammar, punctuation, or spelling and so on, is a breach of forum rules. The general rule is civility. You are not forced to praise, or pressed for 'faint praise'. You may say the work is a failure: "It has no drama"; "it has no plot"; "it is incoherent". But if you go after the author personally, those statements would be deleted by a moderator (pure or penelope or crimson) and you will be warned.
The author will usually state what concerns s/he has, and wishes the critics [and critiques] to address, but you are not limited to the topics suggested by the author.
There is a main informational or 'queue' thread, a 'sticky', that's at the top of the thread list.
That is where persons volunteer their stories or discuss 'business'; that is the thread where the 'queue' is determined: which story is to appear, officially, at what date.
Which stories, whose stories, are selected?
The key question.
Anyone who has provided, that is, posted publically, substantive critiques OF A STORY SELECTED FOR DISCUSSION [i.e., one which has its official thread] in the last year, has strong priority, if he or she asks to have a story critiqued.
Other cases are welcomed--and given lesser priority-- on the assumption that the person wanting a critique is going to stay around and participate.] For purposes of trying to revive the forum, this requirement is being waived at this time. However, it would be appreciated if you have a story critiqued if you would stick around and critique someone else's story in the future.
If you have strong priority and want to proceed, make a posting to the queue thread,
and you'll join the pool of eligible persons. These are the ones from which the moderators (pure, penelope, & Crim) form the queue. There is no 'selection' by the moderators, in the sense of 'grading', provided the story is postable by Literotica rules and standards, including basic grammar, spelling, and topic.
How is the queue formed? In general, first come, first serve, as determined by the moderators. Except that those with a recently critiqued story lose priority to those offering a story for the first time.
PLEASE DO NOT POST TO THIS THREAD. ASK QUESTIONS IN THE BUSINESS AND QUEUE THREAD. I WILL OCCASIONALLY MAKE ALTERATIONs HERE WHEN A GAP OR PROBLEM IS POINTED OUT.
pure, penelope, & Crim
As of Oct '05, Penelope Street became a moderator of this forum. Jan 09, CrimsonMaiden was added as moderator.