Story Craft 101

Story Craft 101

A Story by Dave "Doc" Rogers

Rule #1:
Do not take it personally!

Rule #2:
Do not make it personal.

To improve in the art of story craft by working together as a group critiquing, reviewing, making editing suggestions, providing input, and in general helping group members improve their story crafting ability.

- Improve as writers
- Provide honest feedback
- Learn to take criticism
- Learn to self edit before submission
- Participate

On rule #1:
Do not take it personally. It is understood that your project submitted has come from the creative depths of your person and may feel like a part of you. The initial project was. The story concept and where you would like it to go are. But, to craft it into a story that many readers will want to read, may even pay money to buy a copy, your project will be reviewed. It may even feel like your “baby” is getting ripped a part. Objectively defend why you were doing something a particular way. If it works, it works. If it does not, it does not and please consider that heartfelt suggested edits to your project.

On rule #2:
Do not make it personal. See rule #1. You as a critic, reviewer, editor, and group member are here to improve your skill and understanding of story craft as well as to improve group members’ abilities. So, please be kind, be honest, and be respectful.

Your participation in the group is wanted and desired. If you submit a project to the group, you are submitting your project for review, critique, editing, and analysis. This means the group will look at your work and give you honest appraisal.

Your participation in the group as a review, critic, editor, and analyzer is wanted and desired. You come to the group with your own unique life experiences, education, reading history, writing skills, and intellect. Those are needed elements if everyone in the group is to succeed at improving their story crafting skills.

Above all, improve. Take the honest appraisals of your project and those of other projects and meditate on them. How can they apply to your work and assist you in improving.

Learn to self edit. Before submitting a project, read through it slowly, checking your spelling, grammar, language usage, and flow before submitting it to the group. It will lessen the edits you might receive. Microsoft Word, Corel WordPerfect, and other word processing programs come with a spell check. You may want to use that often. I do; F7 in Word.

Keep your original work on your hard drive as a separate file when editing. It will be a very useful tool to see how your project has changed. I recommend two file naming conventions: filename_editing or wip_filename. WIP = work in progress.

© 2008 Dave "Doc" Rogers

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Thank you for suggesting how the group works! You've welcomed me with open arms! I look forward to growing here.

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You have some very good advice here. It would be great if everyone on the Cafe could read it. Constructve critisism is great for those who are just starting to explor their writing abilities. I simply say, to paraphrase an old adage, Treat a piece/project belonging to someone else as you would want them to treat your piece/project.

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Good advice, and points well taken. More people, or at least ones who want to get better should read this and take this advice to heart.

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Completely agree, this is how reviewing should be. I hate it when you do an honest review of someone and they mark it bad just because you critiqued them. Sometimes I simply don't understand people. Hasta,


Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is EXACTLY what I tell my students as we begin the writers workshop. As is to be expected from high schoolers, they hesitate to agree to any of this. They try, and they become very trying, but somewhere along the way the majority of the students abide by the rules very well.

I would add one thing to the editing/proofreading instructions: To read the backwards, sentence by sentence, starting with the last one. This has been the most effective way to catch fragments. It helps with run-on sentences, too!

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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5 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on February 7, 2008
Last Updated on October 12, 2008


Dave "Doc" Rogers
Dave "Doc" Rogers

Montgomery, AL

Artist • Author • Poet • Preacher I am a thinker, ponderer, assayer of thoughts. I have had a penchant for writing since childhood. I prefer "Doc" as an hommage to my grandfather Rob.. more..


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