@P.H. James I’m actually familiar with Scribophile! It’s definitely a good way to get eyes on your draft if that’s what your looking for.
I definitely hope to see more activities like Draftshares in the future, and incentives from Inkshares itself would be pretty fantastic! For me, right now, the incentive to critique on Inkshares lies in building awareness. I’m working on a draft of my own novel, but before I ever post it I want as many Inksharers as possible to know that I care about the success of the site and my fellow authors as much as I care about quality writing.
The way things are now, I agree with Christopher.
Funding authors tend to be the most active, and therefore the most visible. So funding books naturally tend to draw the most attention and get the most exposure - which is a good thing and totally makes sense. The understandably sympathetic reluctance to leave criticism on funding books sort of bleeds over onto drafts. Also, authors here are really considerate, and don’t want to unintentionally discourage another author. So it can be challenging for an active Drafter to draw attention, and organically get criticism from people browsing, or even those that follow your book.
Plus, critiquing takes time. Not only does a draft need to garner someone’s interest, but that person also has to be invested enough to take the time to provide constructive criticism. Most important, there’s no real incentive to critique. That’s why DraftShares was such a great idea.
I bring up incentive because I was recently introduced to the site Scribophile (this is not intended to be an ad, just a resource I wanted to share). They have a system where you earn points for giving solicited critiques that you can use to post your own work for feedback, and earn things like having your book featured. It appears to be a robust community where people are pretty honest. I suggest checking it out if you’re looking for an option to get your work thoroughly reviewed. I’m definitely going to give it try
Sometime in the future, I think it would be of value for Inkshares to have some sort of similar, formal system of solicitation and incentive for critiques. I wouldn’t think they have the resources to try something like that right now. But as the site grows, it’s something I would personally love to eventually see. I think that knowing there was an incentive to give and receive feedback would draw more authors, who would then potentially move on to the funding phase with a much stronger draft – hopefully increasing the chance of funding success.
I would love to know what everyone else thinks.
@Nell Walton I like to think of myself as the voice of the masses ;)
@Christopher Huang and @M. Robert Randolph Thank you very much for those responses! Having a hard rule of "don’t critique books that are funding" is definitely a good suggestion.
As I’ve been exploring Inkshares and reading drafts, I’ve noticed plenty of positive comments, but almost no critiques or comments about areas where a draft could be improved. Positive feedback is wonderful, and I would never post a critique that mocked or discouraged a fellow writer, but I’ve always considered giving and recieving critiques to be an important part of growing and improving as a writer.
At this point, I’m wondering if there’s just a particular way we go about it here on Inkshares. Are critiques offered and recieved only via private messaging? Do we only critique authors who specifically ask for it via forums or in their blurb? Or are critiques considered bad form altogether?
Thank you for your time and consideration! Write on!
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