Important Service Update Now Litopia Gives You Four Great Ways To Develop Your Work-In-Progress…

Inspiration! Tiffany Yates Martin -Kill Your Darlings

Reality Check DELIVER ON THE PROMISES YU MAKE TO READERS

AgentPete

Capo Famiglia
Guardian
Full Member
Narrator
May 19, 2014
London UK
As you’ll see when you visit The Writing Laboratory section, we’ve made some significant changes and improvements to the all-important critique and reviews process - most notably, we now have a private Discord server for folk to use.

Litopia is unique in so many ways – but nowhere more so than at the heart of our manuscript critiquing process. Boasting aside, no other website provides anything like the range and depth of supportive critiquing that we offer. Which makes sense: because we’ve been around longer than any other writers’ community on the ‘net.

So which one of the four different types of critiques that Litopia offers is right for your manuscript? It depends on what stage your project has reached.

Here’s a brief guide:

:sun:The Writing Laboratory

This is our main critiquing venue. Use our Directory of Critters to quickly find members who are willing to help with a critique. Then create your own Lab Project and let it rip!

:sun:Instant Pop-Up Reviews

Named after our long-running YouTube series, you can ask for an Instant Pop-Up Review (IPUR) inside The Writing Laboratory. It’ll give you an invaluable 360° overview of any project – either at brainstorm stage, or as a pre-submission check-up.

:sun:Weekly Writers’ Huddles

Our Huddles are something of an institution: you can bring almost anything along and we’ll probably be able to help you. Now expanding to serve writers in the Southern Hemisphere. You need to be a Full Member to take part.

:sun:Live, Face-To-Face Audio & Video Critiques

Our latest and greatest way of bringing writers together for live critiques. In-depth, face-to-face reactions. Available to Full Members.


Let’s Point You In The Right Direction…

I’ve got an idea for a book and want some early reaction before I spend months writing it… I want to know if I am on the right track?”
This is ideal for an Instant Pop-Up Review. You’ll need to work up a title, a blurb, and approximately the first 700 words of the manuscript itself. Post it as a new Lab Project in the Writing Laboratory and be sure to mention that you’re looking for an Instant Pop-Up Review.
I’ve got a title / blurb / synopsis / cover letter that I’m stuck on and need a second opinion.”These are the sorts of issues we deal with all the time in Huddles.

Equally, you can create a new Lab Project in the Writing Laboratory and you’ll get great responses there, too.

However – why not get the best of both worlds and combine their powers? Start off by creating a new Lab Project and getting critiques, feedback and suggestions in the Writing Laboratory. When you’re ready, bring it to a weekly Huddle and we’ll apply the final gloss.
I’ve got a 100,000 word manuscript that isn’t getting any interest. What should I do?”First of all, don’t fret – this is a very common problem for writers. And there might be any number of possible reasons for it. What you need is a little bit of forensic analysis. There’s no finer place than a Huddle for that.

We generally don’t look at more than 1,000 words in a Huddle, so don’t expect your entire oeuvre to have been minutely read. Even so, we can usually pinpoint what’s misfiring.
I need to decide whether I should self-publish, or opt for the traditional publishing route. Where can I get guidance?”This is a strategic decision that many writers have to face, and Huddles are by far the best place to work out the pros and cons of each route to publication.
Written critiques are all very well, but what I really want is direct face-to-face contact with a reader or two, and to hear their reactions as they read the manuscript.”We’ve got you covered! Nothing beats a live rap session with readers – and that’s exactly what our Live, Face-To-Face Audio & Video Critiques that take place on our private Discord server are for!
I don’t know how to find potential reviewers for my work inside Litopia – who do I approach and how?”You can invite any member of Litopia to critique your work in any of the above ways. But we do understand that, especially for new members, approaching people out of the blue might be a little bit intimidating. That’s why we set up our Directory of Critters. It’s a list of folk who’d be delighted to be approached (especially by new members) for a critique. You’ll find instructions on how to ask in the Directory, too.
 
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So, when we used the Laboratory before, we just put it up and said Critique Wanted. Then left it to whoever had the time or inclination.
When I was new here I found that very helpful. It gave me a good idea of the range of opinions to expect, and who resonated with me and my work, how many people are needed to cover all the bases, and who to approach in the future.
Although I love the idea of the Directory of Critters, my concern is will new people know how many people to ask? And what to look for in a crit?
 
So, when we used the Laboratory before, we just put it up and said Critique Wanted. Then left it to whoever had the time or inclination.
You can definitely still do that.
When I was new here I found that very helpful. It gave me a good idea of the range of opinions to expect, and who resonated with me and my work, how many people are needed to cover all the bases, and who to approach in the future.
The Directory is simply a way for newcomers to "meet" people who are willing to give them a crit. Avoids the possibility of a newcomer posting their work and no-one responding.
Although I love the idea of the Directory of Critters, my concern is will new people know how many people to ask?
Yes, I can make that clearer in the help files attached to the post.
And what to look for in a crit?
This is more difficult! But I can expand this topic in the "How To Receive" help doc.
 
My suggestion would be to bring a ladder synopsis to the Popup review instead of a blurb. I think this is a great idea, but many newbies need more development guidance than a critique can give. I know it feels a bit nanny-state but I wonder if these features shouldn't be available only after you've earned a star for watching Agent Pete's free videos. Especially the one on synopses.

And I have found bringing a synopsis to Huddle gets me a better developmental review than first pages.

I'd like to see a craft talk on how to approach story development. There's an interview with Lee Child and S King about "Where do you get your ideas." They both answer ideas are a dime a dozen. It's figuring out which has the power to carry a full novel that's the trick.

My own experience is that any idea you have is going to need kneading and stretching like bread dough if it's ever going to rise and not end up half-baked. There may be natural storytellers out there who don't need to think about tension, middle slump, beats and scenes, but then they probably don't need Litopia. My first novel I had to ask how you know how long a chapter is. As an ex reporter I still struggle against telling the story with a lead and everything in the first 3 paragraphs. The End.

How about a FAQ feature in addition to the above where Litopians can chime in with answers. The one on chapters being an obvious choice. I settled around 2k words because I want something fast-paced. Doing that then made me look at the scenes within each chapter and its own internal structure. Then there is POV. How not to headhop, or how to know you got away w it. What is a beat? Etc.... I'm always interested in knowing how other writers solve these perennial problems.
 
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My suggestion would be to bring a ladder synopsis to the Popup review instead of a blurb. I think this is a great idea, but many newbies need more development guidance than a critique can give. I know it feels a bit nanny-state but I wonder if these features shouldn't be available only after you've earned a star for watching Agent Pete's free videos. Especially the one on synopses.

And I have found bringing a synopsis to Huddle gets me a better developmental review than first pages.

I'd like to see a craft talk on how to approach story development. There's an interview with Lee Child and S King about "Where do you get your ideas." They both answer ideas are a dime a dozen. It's figuring out which has the power to carry a full novel that's the trick.

My own experience is that any idea you have is going to need kneading and stretching like bread dough if it's ever going to rise and not end up half-baked. There may be natural storytellers out there who don't need to think about tension, middle slump, beats and scenes, but then they probably don't need Litopia. My first novel I had to ask how you know how long a chapter is. As an ex reporter I still struggle against telling the story with a lead and everything in the first 3 paragraphs. The End.

How about a FAQ feature in addition to the above where Litopians can chime in with answers. The one on chapters being an obvious choice. I settled around 2k words because I want something fast-paced. Doing that then made me look at the scenes within each chapter and its own internal structure. Then there is POV. How not to headhop, or how to know you got away w it. What is a beat? Etc.... I'm always interested in knowing how other writers solve these perennial problems.
Lots of these points will surely be covered in the excellent craft thread.
 
Lots of these points will surely be covered in the excellent craft thread.
Everything is covered somewhere on the internet, but you still see people asking the same questions. The craft thread is also produced by a relative few, but these questions have to be answered by individuals in their own way. That is what interests me.

I do in fact suggest another craft thread on idea development. That pulling, and stretching that turns Luke SkyKiller into a whole universe.
 

Inspiration! Tiffany Yates Martin -Kill Your Darlings

Reality Check DELIVER ON THE PROMISES YU MAKE TO READERS

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