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Requests to make critiques on topic on this site have come regularly since the site's inception. Every week a score of requests for critique are posted (and closed) on Writing.SE. It seems to me that a large part of the writing community wants this.

But instead of making it on topic here, which has been met with consistent resistance, I propose to create a StackExchange site for

Writing Critique

Please support that proposal if you think this is a good idea.

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After proposing to make writing critiques off topic on this site, Monica Cellio has given her reasons for why they should be off topic, and her arguments have been adopted as the official reasoning and been repeated every time the subject of allowing writing critiques has come up on meta. What she believes is that

[writing critique] will be helpful only to you and the text you post.

This is fundamentally wrong.

I don't know why Monica believes that critique will only be helpful to the writer of the text and the text in question. Maybe it is because she is a technical writer.

To me, as a writer of fiction,

I have never learned as much about writing as by giving critique and reading the feedback of others.

I have tried how-to-write books. I have tried writing courses. I have tried communities like this one that discuss (or ask and answer questions about) how to write. None of them have helped me develop my own writing skills as reading a text someone has written and thinking about why it didn't work for me, and learning from the feedback that others have given why it didn't work for them.

Giving and reading – not receiving! – critique has been the biggest driving force behind becoming better at my own writing, and that it has been made off topic here is the biggest mistake this community has made.

I very much hope that a Writing Critique SE will come to pass.

  • I strongly second this. – Liquid Aug 30 '18 at 13:02
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I have explained on Area51 that if Code Review is a site that works for the Stack Exchange format, then Writing Critique works just as well!


Critique is off topic on Writing.SE (as explained in the site's help center). Everything except critique will be off topic on WritingCritique.SE. Therefore there will be no overlap.

If you want, you can think of this proposal in terms of SE programming sites:

  • Writing.SE ≈ Stack Overflow
  • WritingCritique.SE ≈ Code Review

Code Review, as Jeff Atwood has explained, is for

general broad-spectrum subjective feedback about blocks of code you've written

In the same way, WritingCritque.SE is about

general, broad-spectrum, subjective feedback about fiction you've written

The difference between Stack Overflow and Code Review has been explained by Oded:

Stack Overflow:

  • Problems with code. Something not working.

Code Review:

  • Working code. Wanting to make it better.

Similarly, the difference between Writing.SE and WritingCritique.SE could be explained as:

Writing.SE
- Problems with writing (as a craft).
  Something about my approach to writing is not working.

WritingCritique.SE
- I know how to write.
  I want to make this text better.

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