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Welcome to the Epic Critics Club! This topic is the special place for epic authors here on BZPower to have their work read, reviewed, and critiqued. WE ARE CURRENTLY ACCEPTING EPICS Note: Because of things like holidays or staff absences, we will not always be accepting requests. Check this post to see if we are accepting new requests.NOTICE: Cederak is back! We are currently transitioning the necessary positions internally, but your beloved (somewhat snarky) Head Critic has resumed his seat in the library halls.Guidelines and Regulations for Writers 1.) Only one of your epics will be reviewed at a time. We will make every attempt to read through your work as quickly and thoroughly as possible, but for the sake of fairness, other authors will be on our agenda as well.2.) An epic will be reviewed one time by the ECC. However, because many of the reviews we do are for in-progress epics, if you believe a substantial amount of work has gone into your epic since its first ECC review, PM me to ask for a second. In your appeal, simply describe why you think you have done enough to garner another review and you will be notified of our decision.(Note that ECC critics are exempt from this rule.)3.) Requests for a review will be in a standard format. What you say within that form is your choice, but it must contain the format* if you expect a review.4.) Questions, comments, and general concerns should be sent directly to my PM box where I can handle them personally. Any complaints about a critic's review of your work go to Eponine. Please do not, however, PM me with a review request - I'll just direct you to this topic.5.) You cannot request a particular critic to review your work. That is a matter best left to PMing them directly. And even then, it's their call to say whether they have the time or not.6.) Be polite. We are kind enough to offer to help you grow as a writer - it seems only reasonable that we receive a degree of respect for our efforts. I am holding everyone to a high level of maturity on this matter.7.) Each request will receive a Tier Designation. Tier 1 requests are from writers, Tier 2 requests are appeals, and Tier 3 requests are from critics. A request's Tier Designation number also determines the number of weeks a critic has to complete the assignment.8. We will accept requests to review COT epics, but they are not included in the charity review cycles.*The following is the Review Request Format I mentioned earlier. Your post will contain the three listed requirements. If it does not, I will disregard your request.1.) Story name and link2.) Review topic link3.) Number of chaptersThis concludes the author-based portion of my post. The Epic Critics Club is looking forward to reading your work and assisting you in becoming a stronger writer. Reading on will allow you to learn more about our critic staff and the requisites for becoming a critic yourself.Q.) You want to become a critic? (NOT CURRENTLY ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS)A.) That's fantastic! A selfless volunteering service is always excellent news. Regrettably, we cannot accept every hopeful out there. To ensure quality reviewing among our staff, I simply ask that you fill out the application below and PM it to me under the subject: Critic Resume.Application Form Username/Nickname: Most of you will prefer your username, I'm sure, but reviewing under a nom de plume is absolutely fine.Why do you want to be a critic? - It doesn't have to be a long reason, but I do need to know.Describe yourself - Outline your personality for me, and tell me a little bit about what you've done around the BZP Library.After you send me this basic application, I will respond with an excerpt of work from one of the ECC members that you will critique. Your critique will be a major deciding factor in whether or not you are accepted.Staff Bios Cederak: ECC Director, MentorAbout Me: I'm a fairly sarcastic person at times, something I distance myself from when I need to be serious. I am particular according to some, but I think I just know what I like. And what I like are nice things. ...And there begins the sarcasm.On Critiquing: I'm looking for flow. Spelling errors are quick fixes, but grammar can outright ruin the flow to a story and break immersion for the reader. I try to be helpful though, and I'm constantly looking for alternative ways for a writer to express what they want to say.Velox: ECC Co-Director, Human Resource Management, Intern TrainerAbout Me: I am currently the Curator of the Short Stories Critics Club and a Forum Assistant here on the forums, Previously I have held the positions of Curator of the Comedies Critics Club and Co-Curator of the Epics Critics Club. Unfortunately, my time is very limited nowadays, and as such I am not able to be a critic here at this time -- I will, however, be helping out on the administrative side of things, so feel free to PM me with any questions. I enjoy reading, writing, and a bunch of other things -- take a look at my blog, profile, or staff bio on the main page if you want to know more about me.On Critiquing: Probably the main thing I look for is proper grammar/spelling, along with awkward-sounding sentences and the like. I'm a big fan of characterization, great plots, and a good flow of writing, and so I try to comment on those as well. Basically when I review something I'm just trying to find every single thing I dislike -- even if only slightly -- in order to help writers become the best they can be. Because let's face it: we can all always get better.Steelsheen: ECC Lieutenant, Public Relations CoordinatorAbout Me: I read classic books from two centuries ago and spout off obscure facts that no one really cares about. I peruse my old science text books for fun and don't spend enough time outdoors. I suppose you could categorize me as a card-carrying geek, but that's okay. Geeks are cool.On Critiquing: I'm looking for the spirit of your work, the ideas you're attempting to flesh out on paper. If you have a story worth telling, there's going to be a way to make it a good one. Characters, personality, and plots are what's important to me. While grammar is definitely important, it's also something that can always be fixed later. But trust me, spell check is not evil. Eponine: ECC Internal AffairsAbout Me: Well, let's see... I have a soft spot for ducklings and cheesecake brownies. But that's not exactly relevant. Okay, so I've been writing in the Bionicle fandom since sixth grade, and let me just say, I am not proud of my first attempts of an epic. That being said, you will have to write something truly atrocious to faze me. Back in the day, before I joined BZP, I was more of the "Yay, nice story, update soon, keep up the good work *smiley face* " type. But really, what help is that? I've had enough of those types of reviews in my past to make me barf. So don't worry about shallow reviews (though you might still see a smiley face or two )On Critiquing: Okay, you got me. I confess, if I see a story that takes up a gazillion pages (and a gazillion hours to read), yes I'm intimidated. The only way I'll keep reading is if the story is gripping from the start and has enough flow to keep me reading through and wanting more. But reviewing as part of the ECC, ditching the story if I lose interest isn't a choice. So what I look for is flow, character development, intrigue, and plot advancement, outside of the usual spelling/grammar etc. What really makes a good story is an author who knows just how to guide their readers through their imagination and make them see things their way. Give me an all around good story, you'll get a good review, but give me a story that needs work, you'll get an even better review.TNTOS: ECC Charity Review CoordinatorAbout Me: I've been writing BIONICLE fanfiction on BZP almost since the day I first joined, so I think I have a bit of experience when it comes to writing. Because I wish to be a novelist someday, I am always looking for ways to become a better writer myself.On Critiquing: I will basically point out anything I think is a flaw, but I primarily focus on character and plot. Another major thing I look at is point of view (POV) and consistency with the POV of your story. Dialogue is another aspect I focus on, too.GSR: ECC Review LibrarianAbout Me: Occasionally I sit down, lay my head on the keyboard, and then sort of roll it back and forth for a while before running spellcheck. I've been informed that this is apparently called "writing". In any event, it's quite fun. I have joined the ECC to help others master the art of smashing letters onto a page and then passing it off as meaningful. On Critiquing: Solid prose and wordplay is a huge, huge plus - a good story should never make you feel like you're working to get through a paragraph. If your story is clunky or just doesn't gel for some reason, I'll probably pick up on that. That isn't to say plot and characters and the like are unimportant; you can write some very fancy, enjoyable-to-read descriptions, but without a strong plot or character or something to back them up you're not writing a story, you're writing advertising copy. As for orthography, I'm not really the kind of guy to track down every single spelling or grammar slip-up - instead, I'll try to ID patterns in any mistakes I see and let you know about those. Furthermore, I do try to provide examples and reasoning for my critiques so you can have a good starting point for addressing them in the future. And if I seem harsh, just remember - I critique because I care.Nick Silverpen: ECC CriticAbout Me: Once in a blue moon poster, I'm always browsing, seeing what's going on in these forums. A member of these forums for almost 9 years, I've not been the most active, but I've always been into writing, but I tend to plan my writing more than I actually write. A writer betters himself by reading, and I feel like I should get to know the other authors of the forums.On Critiquing: I like to look for flow. I'm looking for a good story, one i can roll around in my head. A page turner. While I say I like to see stories on a consistent posting schedule, I don't do what I preach- whenever a writer can get something written in the time that they have is good. Keeps the reader waiting anxiously. Style is a biggie that I look at; whether you're long and descriptive, or short and quick, or even somewhere in the between, I like to see the perspectives people have on storytelling. Grammar is good, but not overly important. Vocab is helpful, but over fluffing it is unnecessary.The Affably Evil Automaton: ECC CriticAbout Me: Cynical, snarky Brit by day. Cynical, snarky Brit by night. Basically I guess I'm an all-around sarcastic bloke. You'll generally find me roaming around the BZP blogs and CoT, along with the library from time to time. Once in a blue moon you may even see me updating my own epic or posting a short story, though I wouldn't get your hopes up.On Critiquing: What I enjoy looking at is how writers use their characters to affect the tone of the narrative. When reviewing I put the most focus on the story, as thats what the writers trying to get across in the first place, though I do help as and when I can with grammar and spelling. I find it easiest to evaluate what the writer has done best and then see how it can be applied to any areas that I feel might need improving.Critic Rules All critics will be held to the following rules. If you feel a critic has overstepped one of these boundaries, please PM Eponine and action will be taken accordingly.1.) Your reviews will be constructive. This is open to interpretation, but if I am alerted that your criticism was entirely negative in scope with nothing to offer, Velox and I will work to correct the issue and PM you regarding it.2.) Post in this topic once you have finished reviewing an epic. Including a direct link to your review post is appreciated, though optional.3.) Any information on changes, new hires, or departures will be shared with all critics. I want to keep you in the loop as much as possible.4.) Termination is a possibility. I'd like for everyone who leaves to do so of their own accord, but termination will be on the table if a critic has a history of problematic behaviors.5.) Being a critic means being available. If you are busy, tell me. If I never hear from you, I don't know your situation and termination may become a possibility.6.) Be the model of maturity. I want this club to be fun, yes, but it is intended to help other people. I'm trusting you to act your age.7.) If you are a critic assigned to review an epic by a fellow member of the ECC, you will have 3 weeks to complete the task. A request placed by a critic to the ECC will be treated like any other - with professionalism.Once again, welcome to the Epic Critics Club! Best wishes to all writers and a big thank you to the critics!-Steelsheen (ECC Lieutenant)Previous Clubs Epic Critics Club 6 - Leader: Cederak (October 21, 2011 - September 29, 2012)Epic Critics Club 5 - Leader: Alena Spirit of Hyperness (March 9, 2011 - April 24, 2011)Epic Critics Club 4 - Leader: (July 31, 2010 - February 15, 2011)Epic Critics Club 3 - Leader: (May 5, 2007 - July 31, 2010)Epic Critics Club 2 - Leader: Twenty-Two (July 27, 2006 - May 5, 2007)Epic Critics Club 1 - Leader: Sws4 (May 6, 2006 - July 27, 2006)Request Agenda
So recently the ECC got the heads-up that some of our recent reviews (particularly charity ones) have been discouraging rather than helpful. Cederak already made a response in the official ECC topic, but I wanted to give my own quick comment on this situation: In my reviews, I know I can get pretty critical, and getting that dropped on you out of nowhere can be disheartening. But please don't take the review as the be-all-end-all, or as just criticism for criticism's sake. I enjoy helping people with their writing, but if my reviews are giving an impression of being mean-spirited or too critical, that doesn't help anyone. I am always open to feedback on my reviews. Seriously! If there's a point you feel I was too harsh on, or if you want more explanation, or if you feel I just plain got it wrong, let me know! The downside of charity reviews is that they wind up being kind of one-sided because the author isn't explicitly looking for a ECC review, and that makes it harder to write a helpful review. Like Ced said, we're going to be shifting the style of charity reviews to be less of critiques and more of, well, reviews, but the above still applies (more than ever, really). I'm also going to try and adjust my reviewing style to get a better balance between discussing areas I think could use work and discussing the strong parts of a story. The above goes for my fellow critics as well. If you have any problems with any of our reviews, get in touch with the reviewer, or if you'd prefer not to directly do so just drop a PM to Steelsheen, the head of the ECC. Same thing if you have any comments on the ECC not related to a specific review, or if you don't want any charity reviews. Anyways, that's my bit on this. Happy writing!
Man, this summer is just flying by, it feels like. Well, three interesting things happened/are happening this week: The good news about an internship: I seem to have landed one with the Epic Critics Club. Ought to be quite fun. The bad news about an internship: turned out yesterday during a team meeting that the method we've been using on my project at work is actually much more limited and less useful than we thought. Going to be fun explaining this to my boss. The other news: hiking (a small part of) Mount Rainier tomorrow. Looking forward to it like crazy, you have no idea. Oh, and I hear there's some game service with some sales going on or something like that. Yeah, I dunno what that's about. (For serious though, the entire Alan Wake franchise for $10? Amazing.)