The Critique Circle Blog

The CC Blog is written by members of our community.
Do you want to write a blog post? Send Us a blog request

  • View RSS Feed
  • View all blogs
  • Go to thread

An Eighty Percent Solution -- by Tom Gondolfi

Critique Circle Spotlight on An Eighty Percent Solution by Thomas Gondolfi

Critique Circle – Evolution of Craft: I use to attend and even host any number of F2F critique groups over my thirty plus years of writing but often felt it was a waste of time. My stories had been read and enjoyed by complete strangers so I felt the plot and character creation was solid. What I needed was help improving my craft. Because of this I tended toward destructive critique groups – those who would point out the flaws in my work rather than pat me on the head for having written anything at all.

What I found most painful with these groups was submitting a work of science fiction to writers where the vast percentage had never read scifi nor cared. Additionally the politics of how often or how much material one could “burden other authors with” became a constant sore spot for me.

When I stumbled upon Critique Circle online and saw so many different authors participating in specific genres they cared about, I literally screamed out in pure joy. My wife thought I’d gone crazy jumping about and cheering.

Until Critique Circle I’d never envisioned using the Internet as a forum where I could get what I really wanted and needed as a writer: independent and blunt feedback with minimal politics. I didn’t know any of these folks from Adam himself so they have no reason to do anything but give me their honest and brutal opinion of any work I submit. Also with so many authors no one blinks if I can get a chapter up every week as not everyone has to crit every bloody piece.

While still relatively new to Critique Circle, I’ve availed myself of the talent here to critique the polish I put on An Eighty Percent Solution and Toy Wars before publishing. I’m currently getting feedback on my next novel Thinking Outside the Box. The input and speed at which I obtain it is invaluable.

I can’t imagine leaving this new venue and returning to the dark ages of the monthly face to face slogs to glean one valuable nugget of constructive criticism. I get more and vastly better feedback in a week on Critique Circle than I’d get in a year of attending and submitting to traditional writers’ meetings.

I’m a CCer forever!

Spotlight on An Eighty Percent Solution

CEO Nanogate works closely with other mega-corporate magnates to control everything in their path. Together they suborn governments, police, and anything else barring their way to greater profits.

As the cool, enigmatic leader of the Green Action Militia, Sonya drives the organization’s agenda through murder and destruction among the corporate elite. The higher the body count the more their cause earns credibility.

Tony Sammis, mid-level functionary, sinks further and further into the apathy of his own dreary existence as a cog in the great commercial machine. Without a say in the matter, his life will form the intersection of a grand conflict that could change or destroy the life of every sentient being in the Sol system. As a flotsam in the flood, Tony must deal with greed, terrorism, corrupt police, pathological killers, and biological warfare in his attempt to save himself and his society.

This and other books can be found at

About the Author:

Tom Gondolfi has been publishing fiction for twenty years and writing it for much longer. A father of three, gamer and loving husband, Tom claims to be a Renaissance man and certified flirt. Educated as an electrical engineer and working in high tech for over twenty years Tom has also earned a living as a cook, most phases of construction, and even as the personal caregiver to a quadriplegic. Tom enjoys games and most weekends can be found playing some role playing variation, board game and/or Texas hold-em.

Posted by Tom Gondolfi 22 Apr 2013 at 06:09
Do you want to write for the Critique Circle Blog? Send us a message!

Responses to this blog

Karenginth 24 Apr 2013 at 11:21  
I totally agree with you. I've even tried other on-line critique groups. None compare to CC. I love it!
Arlene 24 Apr 2013 at 11:35  
There's nothing like a huge pool of people who 'get it' to share and make your worlds better. My first and only time at an in-person writing group that wasnt a class, wanted each of a dozen people to read a page or two at a time and take comments, then next month onward. With a sci-fi series, I'd have been a thousand by the time it wrapped. Shortly after, I found cyber friends and CC.
Breeze 24 Apr 2013 at 11:59  
Quantity and quality! I so agree.
Owllady 24 Apr 2013 at 18:03  
Not real sure I know what F2F is.
Bean60 25 Apr 2013 at 02:57  
F2F is face to face.

I have recently joined a local writer's group in which we exchange pieces of our writing for critique. There are about a dozen members, about half are published authors. Some of those published authors are poets, some have written memoirs, a couple have written novels - haven't yet been able to ascertain which were self published, but I'm sure some were.

On any given Saturday there are about 5 or 6 pieces of work to critique which were shared the week before. (I'm sharing my chapters which have been through CC first and rewritten based on the critiques here.) One work is about a superhero named Bullfrog; this work will eventually be a graphic novel. Another is a literary work about an old man who is dying in a hospice, sharing his homosexual life with his family. Another is about wealthy families who feud amongst themselves, but continued to amass huge amounts of money from the timber in south GA back in the 1920's. A couple of writers share poems, some of which are hilarious, some go right over my head! Another is a screenplay by a man who has no idea how to write, much less a screenplay.

The diversity of works being shared is what makes this group so interesting and, to me, unique. I like being able to face the people who are critiquing my story, ask questions about what they say about my work, clarify what they say, etc. While I don't always take all their suggestions, I feel as though I'm getting good feedback there. The feedback here is excellent as well, but there's something about seeing the smile on someone's face when they get what I'm writing about.
Ginhav 25 Apr 2013 at 11:56  
I agree with all of you, CC is the best!!
Candance 25 Apr 2013 at 12:06  
My favorite thing about CC is the strength of the forums. You can really get into the weeds on grammar, POV, etc with people who are true intellectuals. I have not seen any other site that encapsulates the world of writing so deeply.
Overwhelming awesomeness this way ahead.

Ginhav 25 Apr 2013 at 12:10  
I'm going tell my son's I'm an intellectual now. I don't think they'll agree, haha.
Purplek 26 Apr 2013 at 13:38  
Great post. I agree with you about CC, it's brilliant. Like the cover of your book, too!
Ginhav 26 Apr 2013 at 14:40  
Purplek, excuse me asking, what cover of whose book do you mean?
Purplek 27 Apr 2013 at 10:26  
Tom Gondolfi's cover of "An Eighty Percent Solution" featured in this post.
Ginhav 27 Apr 2013 at 11:03  
Yes, thanks. I realised late last night. I was having one of those 'thick' moments, sorry.
Tgondolfi 30 Apr 2013 at 16:07  
Thank you all for the wonderful feedback. While I've not been on in several weeks (I've been busy working on book readings and helping my wife with her foundling business) this is absolutely the best place I've seen to get feedback. I tend to be a tease about my writing. I get out the first 3 or 4 chapters to any novel to guage interest, hook and the like.. but then I do the rest myself. I feel confident enough in my craft now that just the tweaks in the right direction I get for the beginning of a novel are enough to make the rest flow smoothly.

Thank you all! Thanks to those Sci-Fi critters here! And thanks to CC for being there for all of us!

Tom Gondolfi

Respond to this blog

Please log in or create a free Critique Circle account to respond to this blog

Member submitted content is © individual members.
Other material is ©2003-2019
Back to top