As an English major in college, I spent a lot of time in writing workshops that worked in various different ways. I found these very helpful for improving a previously written story or one you're working on, as well as learning better practices for your own writing. I would like to start a workshop on Novel Trove. Here is how it would work.
All members who sign up will be assigned a date. By that date, they must submit a story to Novel Trove. All other members of the workshop group will have 7 days to read that story and write a response. Then the next week a new person's story is read and responded to, so that eventually everyone gets one story read by a the rest of the group, as well as suggestions. After everyone has posted a story, we will pick new weeks and start again.
If you sign up, you will be expected to do a few things. They are:
1. Read 1 story per week that is assigned to the group.
2. Respond with 1 detailed and productive response (guidelines below).
3. Have a thick skin; improving your work is a process of hearing what's good, but also what needs work. No one should insult another person, but they will be honest and you have to take it as constructive criticism and not insults.
4. Join in any responses and discussion with the author and other group members.
5. At the beginning of your story, tag it with as many possible examples of what the reader will find in it.
6. At the beginning of your story, say that it is being posted for review in the Novel Trove Workshop.
5. Read and give critiques of as many stories as possible. Given these are stories with themes that not everyone will enjoy or want to read, you must still try. For instance, if you do not enjoy reading about a certain kind of sex, and the story for that week has a lot of that kind of sex, you may politely abstain from reading the story and making a response. Please let me know if this is the case. HOWEVER, if you are consistently not responding, opting out, etc, you will be asked to leave the group and won't get your story read when it's your turn. It's only fair after all.
Guidelines for Stories
1. Stories can be any word count, but please remember that you are asking others to read and critique; asking someone to read 20 pages might be a bit much, and only giving them a paragraph might not be enough.
2. Poetry is accepted, but be aware that you'll get small responses. As well, it might be harder for some people to write about poetry if they don't have experience writing it themselves, so its at your own risk (per say).
3. All Novel Trove rules apply, mainly that they must be well written (as few easy mistakes as possible, like spelling) and follow the allowed topics (no taboos, etc).
4. Write something sexy!
Guidelines For Responses
1. Responses should be at least 500 words, but
2. Keep your language kind, especially when talking about negative aspects. We are here to make stories better, not to rip on other writers or make fun of them for what they are writing.
3. When writing your responses, think about worked, what added to the theme, what made the story flow properly, and what made you hot and bothered. But also be sure to think about what didn't work, what you were confused about, what made the story stop short, what didn't make sense, what needed better explanations and in general answer, "how can this story be made better?" Balance your good with your bad and just write what you think. The key is to make helpful suggestions as well. Try not to say "this part didn't work" without explaining what you think it needs in order to work (actual examples are always most helpful).
4. Have fun, be helpful, be specific, and be encouraging.
That's it. The specifics will be messaged or posted; I haven't decided whether we will make a thread for each story discussion or have it posted on the story. Given that authors can't directly reply to specific comments on the stories just yet, I'm going to likely opt for threads as they offer a better setup for longer discussion. Maybe an admin will give us a subforum to post them all in if we get going good enough ;)
So, please let me know by a reply here. I will compile a list of members and organize it and after a week or so I'll assign weeks. Feel free to post any questions you may have.
(Posted Apr 04, 2016)