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Critique Circle

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Shadow Paetz

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CC is a normal, everyday type critique site. They have rules about how many crits go toward being able to post your own work. I liked it, at first. And there are some who wouldn't care about the issue I have with the site. However, for those who are free-thinking human beings, I just thought I'd pass along this as a warning.

The policy I take issue with:
The Critique Circle is a private password-protected site. What happens on CC stays on CC. CC forum chatter is not to be used for blog fodder, and publicly ridiculing a CC member's viewpoint or opinion will not be tolerated. The poster's membership may be revoked to prevent a re-occurrence and to protect our members.

This isn’t bad on the face of it. However, it is vague enough that it allowed one member to be threatened with banning if she did not remove some posts from her blog. I don’t believe any site has the right to do that to its members. The administration there added this rule into its bylaws after I joined. I’m currently in the process of deleting my stories and moving elsewhere. What I want to do with this post is to warn anyone else about this policy before they decide to join.

The members they have targeted have been mostly those who actively participate or support the erotica queue. If you write Christian fiction, or qualify yourself as a literary writer (doesn’t matter if anyone else qualifies you as such) you pretty much can say what you want on the boards. At least, this is the impression I’ve gotten after three or four months.

I’m wondering if they’ll find out about this post, and, if they do, if they’ll try to ban me for bad-mouthing them on another site? Yes, it’s true. A writer’s site that practices censorship, not only on its own site, but on all the sites the members frequent or own. Really, this just burns my butt.
 

Richard Martin

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If it's a private site, they can do what they please on that site. I don't see how that translates into "censorship . . . on all the sites the members frequent or own." That they can ban you from their privately-owned site does not mean they can stop you from posting whatever you want elsewhere.
 

Shadow Paetz

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No, they can't stop you from posting elsewhere, and I agree that, on their own site, they can do what they please. But posting elsewhere can get your membership revoked. That's the part I disagree with completely. Why is a site policing their member's other sites? They can ban a member for posting things about the site elsewhere. That, to me, is censorship.
 

escritora

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However, it is vague enough that it allowed one member to be threatened with banning if she did not remove some posts from her blog.

What were the posts about?
 

stephenf

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I don't know anything about CC, but reading the rule on posting outside the form seems fair to me.Taking in to account ,you don't have to join , the need to protect the privacy of its members and to protect the forums reputation.
 

Carmy

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I was a member years ago, for a VERY brief time.

Then, members of the group spent as much time bad mouthing other critique groups as they did in critiquing posted work. I was a member of one of the groups they talked about and I know what they said was 100% wrong. No one checked if what the original poster said was right, they just followed along like sheep. I found the same thing happened with the critiques they did -- "I agree with XXX." "XXX said what I was going to say."

If they know so little about what critique groups are all about, and if they don't have the intelligence or interest to check facts, I'd rather not bother with them.
 

veinglory

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I don't see a problem with that policy. CC is a private workshop area, people shouldn't run off and blog about stuff they hear there.

I used CC for two fairly breif periods and found it to be a good site, with about the same amount of bitching and slamming as is found on any forum, including this one.
 

Richard Martin

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It's no more censorship than if I heard you were saying things about me around town that I found offensive and in response no longer let you come into my private house.
 
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NicoleJLeBoeuf

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And there are some who wouldn't care about the issue I have with the site. However, for those who are free-thinking human beings, I just thought I'd pass along this as a warning.
I don't particularly care for the implication here that one can either be a free-thinking person or be someone who would would disagree with the OP about whether the terms of service were oppressive, but not both.

During my time at CC, I didn't run into the clique that was bad-mouthing other forums. I got the impression that CC is a rather large place, though, and it's quite possible to miss some of the conversations going on there, especially if one spends most of one's time in a friend's chapter-by-chapter beta-reading sub-forum.

I did submit one story for critique, and the critiques were of fairly good quality, if variable and not as uniformly high quality as those I encountered at Critters. The forum-aided interface for critiques is certainly more convenient than the text-email-based Critters one, anyway.
 

BlackBriar

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It's not censorship, but simple privacy. I am a member there, though not a regular, and it is a good circle. I think you are complaining about nothing. It's not like that rule is hidden as I read it before I joined, and understood it just fine. They are just taking preemptive action to prevent blog flaming (which is a wise precaution).

And Carmy, that is an incredibly vague criticism.
 
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Fruitbat

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I've been on there but not in awhile. I like it very much. But I don't understand what you mean about whether or not it's legit or trustworthy. You know that it is a writer's site kind of like this one, not an agency or anything like that, right?
 
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JulianaHaygert

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I know, but you can post your WIP or other samples in there, can't you?
There are many fake critique websites out there where they 'steal' your ideas and the WIPs you post up ... I wouldn't like that ...
 

Mutive

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I know, but you can post your WIP or other samples in there, can't you?
There are many fake critique websites out there where they 'steal' your ideas and the WIPs you post up ... I wouldn't like that ...


I don't think that there are really very many critique websites out there that "steal" your ideas. Why would anyone want to do that? In general, <1% of books submitted to any professional publication/publishing house are accepted. Most short stories, etc. are fairly worthless.

Even if yours is the rare blockbuster, if someone *did* steal your story, you'd likely have records and could sue them for everything they'd made off of it.

That said, yes, Critique Circle is completely and totally legitimate. It's a fairly decent site (although I find the critiques a bit fluffy for my taste).
 

romcomgirl

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I was a member for a short amount of time. I sent some of my stuff to be critiqued and the criticisms were pretty straight-forward and helpful. I didn't hang around the forums that often. To me, they didn't seem as lively as this forum is. Then again, I only hung out in the YA forum so what do I know? :Shrug:
The one thing I didn't like was the wait time for your submission to up. It usually rotated more than a week for non-newbies.
 

Lillie

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I'm a member there. I've posted quite a lot of stuff there.
Not for a while, because of the time between putting it in the queue and getting it critted.

It's totally legit and fully password protected.
Yes, other members can steal your stories, but you can steal theirs. If you were that type of person.

And the same applies for letting anyone read your stuff. Here, on SYW, emailing it to your best friend, whatever.

I found the crits I received useful.
I also learned a lot by giving crits, which you have to do to earn the points to post your work.
The system seems to work quite well.
 

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