TO ANYONE LOOKING TO EXCHANGE CHECK THIS THREAD OUT FIRST
I'm Tina and I'm a frequent flyer on this board, although I don't come on as often as I used to. Here is some helpful advice on engaging in critiques on here:
You have a story of any size and you're hoping to get feedback--I'd start by posting in the 450 exchange thread. Here you can add your name to the bottom of the thread and say "Hey anyone want to look and give feedback on the first two pages of my story?"
Next, don't sit back and wait. I'd go check out the most recent exchangers on the 450 thread and nudge them with a PM (Private Message), say "Hey I saw you're looking to exchange the first two pages and I am too"
Bonus and will increase your chances of getting exchanges:
Go introduce yourself in the intro thread under the contest topics forum. Then we all come over to say hi to you. Also mention into your intro you have a story you'd like to exchange and have posted your intention to exchange in the exchange thread anyone interested can PM or respond to the thread. This will increase your visibility.
When you interact with an exchanger you really like, ask if they'd like to exchange whole stories. Chances are they have a story they wouldn't mind trading for critique as well.
PS: Some background on the lack of getting critiques: For one a lot of people have converted over to the Dean Westly Smith school of thought to only have a few trusted readers take a look (and they will be unlikely to want someone they don't know making comments on a story).
2. We have slow times on this board, hence the suggestions to make yourself visible. Most people come on a check a few favorite threads and then log off. We want to see new people, so please come introduce yourself, jump into the other topics, ect. It will increase your chances of getting regular exchanges with people here.
2. We've had some real asshats blow through here, I had several exchanges with two in particular who were new and I took a chance. A lot of new writers can't handle feedback of any kind (I'm a very nice reader and point out a lot of positive things, so when someone has a problem with me, I ask around and find out that person has been behaving badly all around the board--this is a quick way to get blacklisted. When you get a critique you say "Thank you" if you don't agree you just don't say anything. If you have questions you can ask them. One in particular jerk ranted at me for pointing out his POV and tense shifting in the story--which was a friendly reminder to read again and take a look--even this small point out was too much for this person and they wrote me back a nasty reply in which they told me I was a talentless, idiot who wouldn't know art even if it smacked me in the face (his exact words were more graphic) then went on to say people like me would never win this contest, because of lack of vision outside our small little boxes. Jokes on you buster…
If anyone behaves badly to you, please report them immediately to Brad! If you can't figure out how to contact Brad try to find a regular who looks like they know what's going on, send them a PM and ask what you should do. Don't be shy, only a few bite around here Pretty much everyone is professional, only the jerks are rare.
Impeccable timing, Tina! I came on here with this very question in mind. I will try the 450 exchange
Just a note for those having trouble finding exchange partners - for another possibility for finding feedback on your story you might look at Baen's Bar. The guidelines are a little outdated but provide the gist of it and can be found here:
Basically it is an open slush / writers workshop where anyone can post a story and usually get some kind of feedback, usually the first comments coming within a day or two. You don't have to comment on other stories, but you might get more responses to your own story if you do. The comments usually are not as detailed as you might find in an exchange or at other places such as Critters, but you usually get feedback much quicker. You can revise your story based upon the comments and keep posting new versions for further refining.
Because the comments tend to be briefer, they do tend to be more blunt and maybe less diplomatically hedged. You might want to observe for a few days first and make sure you are comfortable with the process before jumping in.
Several WotF winning stories have been workshopped there prior to winning.
Thank you, Monty!
Baen is an awesome place to run a story through. Also another free critique site is Critters. Also if you've sold one pro story you can join CODEX which also has a critique area on their message board as well. If anyone has any other great sites to post them below.