Tips of the day

You can change the appearance of Critique Circle, your email preferences, your password and a bunch of other things.
Click your username at the top of the page and click Change Settings.

Personal Info is cool!

Critique Circle includes the option of adding all sorts of information about yourself, your writing and your interests, and there is room for personal notes or memos.

You can keep this information private, or choose to make it public through the member list, thereby using it to introduce yourself to other members.

To get started go to your own member page by clicking on your username in the upper right corner. There you can add and edit entries as well as move them up and down within the section, all without ever leaving the page. Premium members can even add their own sections as well.

If you have a question about Critique Circle and can't find the answer in our  FAQ, just send a message to the moderators and we will answer it ASAP!

The page bookmarks are a handy shortcut to pages you frequently use, such as your message box or your manuscript progress chart. To create a shortcut to a specific page, go to that page, then press the "bookmark page" link in the bookmarks dropdown in the main toolbar above to set the bookmark.

You can even set bookmarks to pages outside CC, just click on the "Edit Bookmarks" link in the bookmarks dropdown and put your link in there.

You can subscribe to individual threads or entire forums. You will then receive a notification at the top right hand corner of the screen whenever a thread has changed, and you can click on that link to go there directly.

You subscribe to a discussion by clicking "subscribe to forum" or "subscribe to thread" at the top of each forum or thread. You can view and alter your subscription by clicking Forums and then Subscriptions.

It's a good idea to use the Save option when writing a critique. It lessens the risk of losing work, and you can also return to the critique at any time and don't have to write it all at once.

You save your critique in progress by clicking the Save button which is located above the window you type in. You can access a critique in progress through "My Page" or through a link in your Reminder box on the front page.

You can also enable Auto-Save by clicking the gray clock icon next to the save button. That way CC takes care of saving your critique every minute (providing you have made changes to it since the last save).

You can access all sorts of statistical information about yourself under "My Page".
This includes your activity level, your global critique score, numbers of visits, etc. Other members do not have access to this information, although you can through settings allow others access to your activity level.

You have your own Notebook on Critique Circle, accessible through the tools page.

The notebook is perfect as a plotting tool, as you can move notes around your screen and create a storyboard.

Regular members can have up to six notes in their notebook while Premium members can have an unlimited amount of notes. These notes are completely private — nobody else can access them.

You can also mouse-over each note to see the contents without leaving the main notes page.

Look here for details on how to use your Notebook.

Organize your front page

You can move the boxes on the front page around and place then in whatever order you want. You can also close them if you want — they will let you know if the content changes.

You can also configure how many columns of boxes you want and how wide they should be from your settings page. This is especially useful if your resolution is 1024x768 or above.

We have a tutorial video on this here.

If you're interested in your fellow members, go to the Members page.

It has a search function which for example allows you to find people who like the same authors or have the same hobbies as you do — if they've filled out their personal information.

Speaking of which, have you filled out your personal information?

After your story has been critted, you can send in a revised version.

You go to Story QueueMy Stories, pick the story and click "Revise Story". You can use the Author's Notes to tell people what changes you made, and you can also choose to send a message to those who critted the story, letting them know you've revised it.

After your story has been critted, it may be a good idea to print it along with all the feedback you received. You can access a print-friendly version by viewing your story and clicking "Print-friendly version of story and critiques".

You can access a printer-friendly version of your critiques. You click on your story, and on "printer-friendly version of critiques" or you go to "My Critiques" and pick the relevant critique, and then the printer-friendly version.

You can also print out any page on CC directly and when you do so the page will automatically be formatted for your printer.

By default public discussion about your story is allowed in a special forum thread just for your story.

However, if you do not want this just tick 'Disallow open comments' when submitting your story.

You can also change your mind later on. Then you simply access your story and click the relevant buttons to allow or not allow discussion. Once a comment is placed however, the discussion status cannot be removed without contacting the moderators or admins.

If you chose a discussion, an option to post a comment will automatically be created so that readers can leave comments on your story. The thread will appear in the 'Story Discussions' forum, with your title in the header.

You'll see a "Quicktext" button on the rightmost side in the formatting bar in the text windows. This is a tiny clipboard.
You can access text in the Quicktext clipboard by clicking on the button and selecting from the dropdown list.

Select "Edit Quicktext" to add and edit your Quicktext entries. You can have up to 10 Quicktext entries at any one time. Whenever you want to use this text later on, you simply click it. This can save you typing standard messages, for example at the beginning or end of critiques.

You can use all sorts of text formatting in your stories, crits and messages, bold, italics, underline and all sorts of different colors. You can use control-b, control-i and control-u to add the most common formatting options.

We recommend people use the "Story" formatting option when writing critiques. This is a special feature to use when referencing excerpts from the story. Put the original text in the crit window by using Copy/Paste. Then, select the portion of the original story you're discussing by highlighting it and click "Story".
This will turn the text pale in the critique, and allow the writer to read or print your critique with or without the referenced text. This is especially helpful when you are referencing large portions of the original story.
The "Story" feature does not influence the critique word-count in any way.

Each week a new exercise appears on the front page. If you do the exercise, you can choose whether you want your solution to be public or not. After the week has passed, the members vote on the best submission.

The Name Generator which you find in Tools in the main, is a never-ending source of names, both first and last names. You can choose male or female names, get a list, and you can even save the names you like for future reference!

You'll find the  Outlining Workshop in the Tools section. You can fill out information for your characters or any other type of outline that you want to do, and then alter or delete at will.

Tutorial video is available here.

You can email yourself messages from your message box, and that way keep messages that otherwise are regularily purged. Simply tick the messages you want to keep, and then click Email. You can also receive a reminder on the front page when your messages are about to be purged — go to your settings to change your reminders..

On My Page you can see your Overall Status — how many crits you have given and received. You'll also be able to click "View my tit-for-tat list" to see the details on how you stand regarding other members you have critted or who have critted you.

You can see your global critique evaluation on My Page. It provides you with some information about what people think of your critiques — what they are pleased with, and any areas that could use improvement. You only see a global score, not a score for individual critiques. Keep in mind that just as critiques are individual, so are those scores. They may not be the absolute truth about your crits, but they may give you a hint.

You can minimize individual queues by clicking on the icon in the queue heading. You can also minimize entire queue groups by clicking on the "close" link on the queue group header.

If you minimize a queue group the Story Queue page will load faster.

Critique templates are very useful.

Using a template can help you focus on certain aspects of the story and they can remind you to look closely at some aspects you might otherwise have forgotten.
We especially recommend them to new users.

There are a few types of templates to choose from so you should be able to pick one that's convenient for you.
You can also create your own templates.

If you don't use some box in the template it becomes invisible when you submit the crit. So you don't have to use all the boxes if they're not useful to you.

The templates can be seen at the top of the page when you've selected a story to crit and clicked on Critique Story. There you choose a convenient template and proceed with critting.

The  Story Queue is where you find the stories.

The public queues are open to all while you only gain access to Premium queues by invite.

At the bottom of the Queue page you can subscribe and unsubscribe to the queues.

The number of queues is variable, according to the quantity of stories in each genre.

At the bottom of the Story Queue page you'll find Top users.

Clicking on Top users will get you Most productive members and Most productive authors which tells you who are CCs most productive critiquers and authors.

The  Critique Circle rules can be found on the  About page. Don't let rules like 'what happens on CC stays on CC' surprise you.

You can find your  Introductory letter on the  About page.

If you want to know at what time of the day people are coming to CC, you should check out  Visit times per day which you find on the  About page, under  Statistics.

When do critters crit? Saturday or perhaps Tuesday? Find out at  Critiques per week day which you will find under  Statistics on the  About page.

How many critiques does CC receive each month?

You can find the answers to these questions here: Statistics graphs.

This and more under Statistics on the About page.

At what times do people visit, Around noon, at night?

Find out here: Visits Times.

You'll find this and more under Statistics on the About page.

Not sure about your spelling?

You can check the spelling in your messages and critiques by clicking on Spell Check icon in the text treatment window, just below the message window (you can mouse over the different buttons to see what they do).

More information about the spell checker.

If you use Firefox they've got an integrated spell checker as well that is just fantastic! We can't recommend it enough

Is there a poll you would like to see on the frontpage?

You can suggest a poll by clicking New Poll on the poll window on the front page.

You can quickly go to the bottom and top of a forum-page by clicking on the yellow arrows that are placed far to the right, just below the bar on top of the page inside a thread.

It's healthy to exercise! You'll find exercises here that should help with flexing the writing muscle.

On the Tools page you will also find:
The Name Generator
The Manuscript Progress
The Submission Tracker
Paragraph-A-Day
The Outlining Workshop
Notebook
Monthly Progress Challenge
and
The Reminders.

And let's not forget the ever-so-popular Hangman and Word Morph games

There are two different possibilities for overview of the  Forums.

 Standard view
 Hot discussions

Try them out to see which one you prefer!

Do you want to keep track of your writing?

The Manuscript Progress tool can be a great motivational tool, as you will see a visual progression of your manuscript. You simply fill in the word count as you go along, and it'll give you a progress chart. You can also add a goal (X many words by a certain date) so you can see how far you have to go.

A very cool function with the manuscript progress tool is the ability to add to the progress each day directly from CC's front page. This way you'll always be up-to-date!

On the Tools page you will also find:
The Name Generator
The Submission Tracker
Paragraph-A-Day
The Character Workshop
Notebook
Monthly Progress Challenge
and
The Reminders.

And let's not forget the ever-so-popular Hangman and Word Morph games

Have you sent material to editors?

The Submission tracker allows you to keep track of your manuscript submissions to various magazines, publishing houses, etc. You can track each manuscript individually as well as maintain a tracking history for each one.

On the Tools page you will also find:
The Name Generator
The Manuscript Progress
Paragraph-A-Day
The Character Workshop
Notebook
Monthly Progress Challenge
and
The Reminders.

And let's not forget the ever-so-popular Hangman and Word Morph games

Do you need help organizing your time?

The reminders can be a useful tool to help you do that.
You can set any reminders you want. This is useful for all sorts of things — everything from deadlines (self-imposed or real) to dental appointments and your mother's birthday!

On the Tools page you will also find:
The Name Generator
The Manuscript Progress
The Submission Tracker
Paragraph-A-Day
The Character Workshop
Notebook
and
Monthly Progress Challenge

And let's not forget the ever-so-popular Hangman and Word Morph games

Do you want to see who is on-line right now?

At the top of your window you have a flag icon. This is the notification center. In there you can see who's online.

It's your choice if you want other members to see whether you are logged in or not. Check your Settings page for further information.

If you see a list of members, they can also see whether you are logged in or not.

Do you want to make Critique Circle your start-up page?

If you go to the  About page you will see Make CritiqueCircle.com your start page on the middle of the page. Click that and when you start up your browser it will open on Critique Circle.

Would you like a desktop Critique Circle wallpaper on your computer?

You will find the wallpaper on the About page.

Would you like to have a link to Critique Circle on your homepage?

On the  About page you'll find some very nice  Buttons and Banners. When you have a link on your homepage, you are helping us out!

You want to be reminded about critiquing a story?

After you've found an interesting story in the Story Queue you can click on the Bookmark story button in the righthand bar. This will add a link to the story into a special Bookmarked Stories box on the front page.

You can even add a bookmark into the middle of the story text by clicking on the bookmark icon on the left-hand margin. This works much the same way, except that CC will put you at the place where the bookmark was added the next time you access the story.

Your story bookmarks will be removed once you finish a crit of the story, but you can of course always remove them yourself as well.

Do you have a favorite story here on Critique Circle?

Enter the story via the  Story Queue and find the story, then press the Favorite button on the top bar.

After that you can easily access the story from your own page. Other members will also be able to see that the story is your favorite.

You can use the story Bookmarks to temporarily store a list of stories you're reading. You can then go back to them from the "My Stories" page.

Do you owe someone a crit or does someone owe you one?

To find out, go to  My Page and take a look where it says: Overall status . There you can see how many members have given you how many critiques and how many members you have critted and how many those crits are.
If you click on the link underneath, marked  View my Tit-For-Tat list you can see the details of your status, whom you owe crits and how many and who owes you crits and how many.

You can always get to the front page by clicking on the Critique Circle logo at the top left of the screen.

You have just replied to a post on the forum and you notice you have made a horrible spelling error!
No worries, just edit the post In the right upper corner you can see an x () and a pencil (). Clicking on the x deletes the post while clicking on the pencil allows you to edit it.
There is a 20 minute timeframe for this, after that you can no longer edit or delete.

You can also delete a thread that you have started, as long as that thread hasn't received any replies.

Set the correct time-zone.
If you go to  My Page,  Settings, you can set your time-zone. GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) is used as reference.

By default, people have the server time, which is US Mountain Time.
When people join CC they will have a reminder on the front-page, asking them to set their time-zone.

You want to add members to your personal queue?
Premium Members can use  The Queue Classifieds to advertise their Queues publicly at the bottom of the "Story Queue" Page.
When you have all the members you want you just remove your ad by entering the queue and click Remove from classifieds.

You have submitted a story to the public queues but now you want to edit it.
If you are a Premium Member this is easy to do. Just go to the My Stories page from the stories dropdown in the main menu and click on your story. One of the options in your story should be "Revise story". Click on that and edit the story at will.

If you are a Premium Member you can edit a story until it's up for review. If you are a Premium Gold member you can revise your story at any time.

I have a novel I want critiqued and I don't want a chapter per week in the queue.
Then a private queue is the answer. Premium Members can create their own queues where they can submit all their material at will.

Organize your Queues

Premium members can organize their Queues however they want to! You don't have to be limited by CC's automatic arrangement of the Queues and sections. Using 'drag and drop' you can change the order of your queues here.

As well as instructions on the page, there's a FAQ entry to help you out and you can always ask a moderator if you're still stuck!

Do you like CC?

How about  writing a glowing testimonial for us saying how much you looooove everyone's favorite writing site?

The testimonials appear on the outside front page and eventually make their way onto the search engines so it's a great way to help out!

Preserving formatting from MS Word

Use the Paste Text from Microsoft Word feature on the submit story page to preserve formatting when you've got a MS Word document with some bold, italics and underline.

If that doesn't work for you then you can take a look at the faq entry for doing it by hand, which is pretty simple. It may look a bit daunting at first but this is a simple thing you can go through before you copy/paste your text and it'll make your life a whole lot easier.

You can quote messages from other people in the forums by clicking on the quote () icon in the message header.

You can also quote arbitrary text by using the quote button in the edit window toolbar like so:


I like to quote stuff

You can print out any page on CC directly and it will look good, with all menus and extraneous graphics removed. Try it out with your browser's "Print Preview" feature to see what we mean

Rearranging the frontpage

You can drag the boxes around by grabbing them by the icon in the top left corner and moving them to a new location. You can also close individual boxes by clicking on the icon.

I don't want more crits on my story!

If you don't want any more critiques on your story you don't need to rename it to "My Story - NO CRITS!!!" or put big red letters in the author's notes.
Just open up the story and select "No Critiques". It will allow others to read the story but not to crit it.

Also, it shows up in all the story lists with a icon to signify that you don't want more crits on the story.

You can always start to accept crits again by selecting "Allow Critiques".

Submitting a novel? Use the Novel System!

The Novel System is a feature available to Premium Members which enables you to chain your submissions together into a single cohesive whole.

More information about this system · View the tutorial video

Looking for someone at CC who may have knowledge of boat-building? Middle English? Paris? Hairless cats? Find a (self-proclaimed) expert by searching the member database.

To search, simply go to the Members Page and click Search. Insert the keyword you're looking for and click on Personal Info. A drop-down menu will appear; choose Areas of Expertise. You will be given a list of members who mentioned that keyword in that section of their personal info page. Or you can just go here

If you haven't provided your areas of specialty and would like to make your knowledge available to others, go to your own member profile page by clicking on your username in the upper right corner of the page. You can see a section titled 'Areas of Expertise'. Fill this in with information about your expertise.

For each topic you choose to include in the Areas of Expertise field, you'll be prompted for a Title and Additional Information. The title should be general (music, Spanish, fishing). The additional information can be more specific (I play guitar and cello; Spanish is my first language; I grew up on a small river and know everything there is to know about fresh-water fishing).

The Paragraph-A-Day tool is a great way to write your story one line at a time, to write collaboratively with your friends or even just play around

You can receive a notification to add to the story and even graph your progress. If you want to jump into a story that others are writing that's okay too. Go to Other paragraphs and look for the stories with a (anyone can add) tag; anyone can add to those stories.

You can even add to your PAD from the front page!

On the Tools page you will also find:
The Name Generator
The Manuscript Progress
The Submission Tracker
The Character Workshop
Notebook
Monthly Progress Challenge
and
The Reminders.

And let's not forget the ever-so-popular Hangman and Word Morph games

Don't like the ads?

Premium Gold members are able to remove either one or both of the banners completely!

Got questions about the publishing arena?

Check out our Publishing FAQ. It's full of great information.

The Care to crit list can slow down the loading of your front page. You should keep it closed if you're not using it.

You can bookmark interesting pieces of information from the front page quickly and effortlessly. Simply click the Boomark link in the appropriate box and CC will remember it for you.

You can access saved information snippets from My Page -> My Data.

Currently you can bookmark the following things:
  • Tip of the day
  • Word of the day
  • Quote of the day
  • Grammar rule of the day

Add to a PAD directly from the front page!

You can add to a Paragraph-A-Day story directly from the front page. This is a great way to force yourself to write into a PAD every day or even to keep a diary right here on CC!

To activate this feature go into a PAD of your choosing and click "Set Frontpage On". Now you will have a text dialog on the front page which you can scribble into directly and submit a paragraph without even refreshing the page.

Add to a Manuscript Progress directly from the front page!

You can add to your Manuscript Progress directly from the front page. Now you don't even have to remember to update your word count, CC takes care of asking you when you log in

To activate this feature go into a a manuscript you are writing in the Manuscript Progress tool and click "Set Frontpage On". Now you will have an input field on the front page which you can set the word count for today directly without even refreshing the page!

Watch Queue

You can receive a notification when a story comes up for review or when a story is critted in a certain private queue. Just click "Watch Queue" in the queue footer on the Story Queue page.

This feature is available for premium members only.

Did you know that you have a direct effect on the Story Queue length and wait times? Each week, the amount of critiques in each queue dictates largely just how many stories will be up for review the following week. The more our members get out there and critique, the faster their stories will rise to the top!

The added benefit of critiquing as much as possible in the weeks before your own work is up for review is that you greatly improve your chances to receive more feedback on your story. Our members appreciate quality critiques and show it by returning the favor.

You can ignore forums

It is possible to completely ignore certain forums so they don't show up on your front page or the forum page. To do this just go to the Forums page, scroll down and hit the "ignore forums" link.

If the link turns green there's more to be seen!

Whenever you put your cursor over a link notice whether it turns green or crimson.

If it turns green you can keep your cursor on top of the link for a second and you will get additional information about the thing that you were hovering over.

This applies to users, stories and queues.

Use Control-B and Control-I when writing text

You can use control-b, control-i and and control-u to put [ b ] [ /b ] (Bold), [ i ] [ /i ] (Italics)and [ u ] [ /u ] (Underline) around the selected text, respectively.

This is the same method you use in your text editor such as MS Word.

Did you know that you can look up members to see who has a profile on social sites such as Facebook, Twitter or MySpace?

Click on members - find - personal info - my profile on other sites

.. and then type in the name of the site, such as Twitter or Facebook.

Did you know you can use the Notebook for plotting?

The Notebook has multicoloured sticky notes which you can move around your screen to create a storyboard of your story. Try it out!

Did you know that all Premium and Premium Gold users can now choose to request Full Novel Crits in their private queues? Members can allow their private queue members to upload their book as an attachment, read it and then submit a critique using CC's format for credits! Check out the FAQ for instructions and guidelines to get the most from this feature!

Do you want to make your manuscript progress — or lack thereof — public?

You can add your manuscript progress chart to your member page, so that your fellow CC-ers can follow your progress.

You simply view your progress graph and click "Add to my member page". Your progress graph will then be visible on your member page.

Check out the CC Word Meter Builder! There you can build your very own progress bar that you can put on your blog or in your signature on other sites.
You can plot the progress of your manuscript in the Manuscript Progress tool or plot arbitrary values. You can even link this to NaNoWriMo.

Just see how pretty it is!

You can preview any text that you write on CC!

Simply click on the icon with the magnifying glass below the text edit field and see what the text will look like before submitting it.

To continue editing your text click on the icon again.

Also keep in mind that you can use typical text editor shortcuts like control-b and control-i to set text formatting.

Control-Return is your friend!

You can submit your outline entry in the Outlining Workshop with control-return. You can also submit your comment when writing inline crits using control-return.

We have a lot of helpful tutorial videos to explain in-depth some of the nooks and crannies of CC ranging from how the hover links work up to step-by-step guides on using systems like Novel and Outlines.

Take a look here, and don't forget your popcorn.

Trying to figure out where a new smiley face came from on the forums? There are Hidden Emoticons programmed into CC! Finding them is a matter of trial and error, but the same formula applies for most:

[ : word : ] <—- Leave out the spaces.

For example:
is [ : ghost: ]
is [ : anxious : ]

And this little guy , he's special, type % - ) without the spaces to make the warning smiley.

Keyboard shortcuts

There are plenty of keyboard shortcuts available to make your work on CC more productive.

In any text window you can use control-b, control-i and control-u to add the most common formatting options.

You can do inline crits by just using your keyboard!
j, k - Navigate between paragraphs (you will see the selected paragraph with dashed lines above and below) (these are the same shortcut keys as gmail uses to navigate between messages). When you navigate using these keys the webpage scrolls automatically to ensure that the selected paragraph is in view.
Enter - Start working in the selected paragraph
Control-Enter - Submit the text that you are currently working on (when writing in a text field)

You can view all the inline crits on a particular story together on the by using the View all Inline Critiques together option on the story page.

Favorite CC'ers

You can tag other CC'ers as your favorite authors by going to their profile page and clicking "Add Favorite". This allows other people to see that the member is your favorite on both your profile pages.

Crit labels make your rewrites easier!

Did you know that you can assign labels to your critiques? These labels will appear in all the places where you see 'view critique'. You can even assign icons to the crit as well.

This can be an invaluable tool when you're going through your crits when you're rewriting. Just put a checkmark on the crit to know that you're done with it or a big red x if it's no good.

There is a limit of 10 labels for non premium users but premium members have no such restriction.

Get the digest!

CC sends out a great monthly personalized digest mail. By default you only get it if you have not visited for a while but you can get it sent every month as well.

Click here to get a copy of the digest sent to you now. Click here if you want to set your digest mail to be sent every month.

Here is a blog explaining the digest service.

If you crit stories while your own story is up for review the people you crit will be especially encouraged to repay the favor.

Is the background too bright?
You can adjust the background color of the CC page on your settings page.

Format your story view however you like
You can change the format of stories by opening up the "Format Story" menu on the story page. You can change the page color, font, line height and a lot of other things.

Try it out yourself to get the story view that is right for you.

Interested in poetry?
Poetry related material can be found at the Poetry discussion and competitions forum and the Poetry submissions forum.

Hide crits you do not like
Did you receive a rude or unhelpful crit? Just click 'hide crit' and never worry about it again. You won't need to grade it, send a thank-you note or be reminded of a tit-for-tat.

Keep in mind that if you received a rude crit from someone other people might too. Therefore you should let the moderators know if you got a bad crit, even though you can hide it.




Member submitted content is © individual members.
Other material is ©2003-2017 critiquecircle.com
Back to top