Guess who? Man, I'm just on an inquisitive jaunt. Down to business. Feedback. Beyond food and water, it's something all writers need, whether they're newbies or grizzled vets, a good writer is a developing writer, and to develop, evolve, and improve, a writer needs to know how he/she is doing. Strangely, feedback also has paradoxical traits, especially for new writers. Put simply, we want to know what other people think about our craftsmenship, but we're also afraid to find out. I'm not going to pretend that I wasn't hesitant to show my writing even to family or close friends as little as a few years ago. The whole situation was put into sharp relief for me last year when I took a fiction class at school; you basically wrote stories, then passed out copies to the whole class (and of course the teacher), and discussed each story aloud, in detail. It was nervewracking, obviously, to start with. Gradually though, as the semester wore on, it became my favorite class. I love hearing what other people think about my writing; all of it...what worked, what didn't, the structure, the presentation, whether this anecdotal exchange between characters was funny or if it fell flat, etc. The point is, if you're an aspiring writer out there reading this right now and are hedging between whether or not to show your work off: bite the bullet and do it, you'll be better in many ways because of it. That doesn't mean that all feedback is good feedback. For whatever reason, there are sadistic losers out there that revel in ripping apart stories to make themselves feel better. Of course, there's an opposite extreme; the person that will absolutely adore anything. It gets ridiculous. For a chapter update, you could write "Luke picked his nose, then somehow saved life as we know it," and they'd be like " That...WAS...AWESOME! " The key to valuable feedback & critiquing, at least from my perspective, is balance. Point out the good AND the bad. Every piece, no matter how bad, has at least one good point to it. Similarly, a story can be phenomenal, but there's always room for improvement. As a reviewer, it's important to always be encouraging; it takes a lot of guts to post your creative baby up where it'll be at the mercy of a bunch of strangers, and that should be commended. Just don't be overly laudatory or scathing. Be honest. Feedback isn't about crushing spirits or massaging egos, it's about helping an artist to hone their craft, and ultimately become better artists. OK. That's all I have. If anyone else feels like adding something, now's your chance . -Mr Black PS: did this board get a name change, or did my last bit of sanity become pocket change for a thief in the night?