Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Getting Started
  • Getting Started

     Copyright of stories sent to Critique Circle
    Critique Circle is a closed community of writers whose purpose is to allow authors to submit and receive feedback and constructive criticism on works in progress, and such submissions do not constitute publication.

    All rights remain the sole property of the author. Any use or reproduction of stories or critiques associated with stories is prohibited without the express permission of the author.

    Critiques become the property of the author insofar as they pertain to the original work, and using critiques you've given that disclose any element or part of an original work by another member is also prohibited without the author's permission.

    It is important to recognize that ideas, titles, names, and phrases cannot be copyrighted, and you have no protections or guarantees that an idea for a story you propose will not be used by another. Critique Circle recommends you only post original, developed content if you're worried about someone using an idea you've come up with.

     How do I edit my profile?
    You can view your profile page by clicking on your username at the top of the page and choosing View profile.

    From there you can click Edit profile to change your basic information text or click Add in each of the information sections to add a new entry.

     How does the search bar work?
    At the top of the page there is magnifying glass icon . Clicking on this icon will open up the Global Search Bar.

    As soon as you start to write the bar will search CC for you. Here you can look for answers to common questions, you can look for other members, stories, forum posts and even glossary entries and stories by genre.

    Try entering your own username or your favorite genre and see what happens. You can also just ask it questions like How to earn credits? or writing crits.

     If I delete a story do I get my credits back?
    If your story has received no critiques you will always get the credits refunded.

    If your story is up for review you will need to first 'move to older' before you can delete the story but your credits will be refunded if it has received no crits.

     How do I change or hide my full name?
    You can change your full name and email address from the setting page here.

    If you want to hide your full name so that other members cannot see it you can do so here.

     Can I change my username?
    We realize that people might on occasion end up with a username that they would rather not have, so instead of forcing you to start a new account we do allow you to change your username once.

    You cannot change your username yourself but you can contact the admins to do it for you. We will allow a one-time username change provided there's a good reason for it.

    Your new username must conform to the naming standards of CC. The restrictions are as follows:

    * The first letter is capitalized
    * There are no other capitalized letters
    * Minimum length is 3 characters
    * Maximum length is 10 characters
    * No special characters or spaces are allowed
    * No other user currently has the username (you should search for the username in the member page first)

    If you want to change your username send a message to the admins saying what you want to change your username to and why. It will take the admins up to a day or two to process your request.

    The next time you log in, if you get a message saying your password was incorrect chances are your username has been changed. Try your new username and see if you can get in.

     Can I have multiple accounts?
    No, only one account per person is allowed.

    If you sign up for an account while you already have one your new application will be rejected.

    If you want to start a new account and close your old one please contact the admins.

    If you want to change your username that is sometimes possible as well, just contact the admins.

     Tutorial Videos
    We have some great tutorial videos on most of the basic functions of Critique Circle, courtesy of our video tutorial powerhouse, Candance.

    How to submit a story
    How to submit a critique

    The Outlining Workshop
    Using the Novel System
    Creating Queues

     Where is the newbie page?
    When you are new to the site you can access the newbie page from the front page. If you are no longer a newbie you can access the page here.
    The welcome letter might also be of interest to you.

     Introductory Letter

    We recommend you read the Critique Circle rules and the Frequently Asked Questions. Then explore the site at will — it should give you a good idea of what we are all about.

    You can always get back to this letter by reading the message in your message box. You can also use the handy checklist on the front page to learn about CC.

    During your first visit to CC you will be a Trial user which means there are restrictions on what you can do. Once a CC Moderator has reviewed your application you will be upgraded to a full registered member and these restrictions will be lifted. This usually only takes a couple of hours.

    Critique Circle runs on a credit system. You "pay" three credits to submit a story, and receive credits for writing a critique of someone else's story. The credits you receive range from 1/2 to 2 per crit, depending on the length of the crit and the length of the story.

    If you purchase a premium subscription, you have three credits from the start and can submit a story right away!

    If you're a regular member, you start with two credits — therefore you need to critique a story or two before you can submit your own work.

    Each critique period lasts one week.

    When you comment on other people's work, the first thing to keep in mind is writing a critique of the sort you'd like to receive yourself. If you have never done this before and are a bit lost, you can check the archives of previous stories and read the critiques they have received.

    When you receive a critique, you are asked to evaluate it. You should also send the writer of the critique a short note thanking them for spending their time on your story.
    The author of the critique does not receive an evaluation score for each critique, but instead an average score, updated every five critiques. This means they do not know how you grade their critique, so you are free to be honest.

    When you receive a critique, please keep in mind that it's only one person's opinion and that person is not necessarily right. However — respect that person's opinion. They are trying to help.

    Please let us know (either with a message to the Admins or Moderators, or in our Suggestions to Improve CC thread) if you find bugs, typos, errors or if you see any kind of room for improvement. We welcome all suggestions!

    A good place for you to go now is to your Member Page. Filling out the different forms there is a good way to introduce yourself to the other members of Critique Circle.

    We recommend that your next stop is the Story Queue where all the stories are kept. Submitted stories are not available for critique immediately — they have to make their way to the top of the queue first. Take a look at "Up for Review" for the stories that are currently being critiqued, "Older submissions" for those stories that have been reviewed already (you can still read and critique them) and "Upcoming" for those stories that are currently in the queue, waiting for their week in the spotlight.

    For the first month on Critique Circle you have access to the Newbie Page via our front-page. You can also send a message to the Moderator Message Box. The Newbie Page is also permanently available as a link at the bottom of every page and we cannot stress enough what a great resource it is for new members. You can get step-by-step instructions about everything from critiquing to submitting stories there.

    Our popular Video Tutorials are a great place to get up to speed on using CC quickly.

    Finally we'd like to encourage you to be an active participant in the forums! Our goal is to make them a fun and informative place for a busy writer to spend his or her coffee-break.

    All the best — and happy writing.

         The Critique Circle team.

     I'm still nervous to dive in...what should I do?
    When you submit your first critique, just tell the author that you’re new. Most people are more than happy to help out newcomers.
    And, just for this purpose, we have a team of Moderators who can answer questions — you can contact them by sending a message to Moderator.

    When you submit your first critique, you can request a review of your critique from a Moderator. They’ll give you helpful pointers for areas you can improve on — and don’t worry, they won’t bite. They chose to be Moderators because they enjoy helping people.

    Don’t forget, you can refer back to the Newbie Page at any time for more information on how to critique, and how the system works.

    Also, read through the rest of FAQ… and then, if you have any additional questions, you can send them to a Moderator or post them in the Newbie Questions Thread (the most current version is stickied at the top of the forum).

     Where can I see how to write a critique?
    There are some pointers on critiquing on the Newbie Page, including sample critiques.

    Reading other critiques can also help. You can’t see anyone else’s critiques on a story that is currently up for review. However, once the critique period has ended, you can look in ‘Older Submissions’ and read all the other critiques a story has received. This is a good way to familiarize yourself with the site and see what kind of critiques people write.
    - Click on or mouse over ‘Stories’
    - Click on ‘Story Queue’
    - At the top of the page, click on ‘Older Submissions’
    - Click on any story you want to see
    - At the top of the page, you’ll see the list of critiques it received… click on any of these and read away!

     How does it all work...give me the basics
    Members submit their stories to the story queue, and pay credits to do so. Only a certain number of stories will be displayed each week (more information on this can be found here), so you may have to wait a week or two for yours to come up, depending on how much queue activity there is. When a story comes up for critique, other members can read it and submit their critiques to the author, thus earning credits.

    Stories stay in the queue for a week, which runs Wednesday to Wednesday.

    To help with queue wait times, we created a custom Newbie Queue. Your first story must be submitted here and, if you wish, you can submit up to three in total before moving to the other queues. When you join the site, you get two free credits, and you can use these towards the cost of posting your first story. While your membership is still new you are also allowed the opportunity to upgrade to a Premium membership (details in the FAQ entry linked here) for an additional credit, which will allow you to submit your first chapter to the queues immediately.

    Stories in the Newbie Queue can receive up to five full critiques, while stories in the other queues can receive an unlimited number of critiques.

    Once your story in the newbie queue has received 5 crits of more than 150 words each it will be put into older submissions.

    When posting a story, authors have some choice in who can view their story. For example, some authors will specify that only people who have been members of this site for a month can read their story. That’s why you may not be able to view all the stories in the queue.

    So, those are the basics on how the system works…for more details, please continue reading the FAQs about Story Queue, Giving Critiques, Receiving Critiques, and Submitting a Story.

     Where are older critiques stored? Do you have archive files?
    As soon as a story leaves the active review period you can see the critiques it received by clicking on Older Stories near the top of the Story Queue page and then on the story title in the relevant queue.

    You may need to use the numbers at the bottom right of each queue to page through the submissions for the one you want.

     How safe is my story?
    We've done everything we can to make people feel secure about using the site. Technically, it is safe — people have to be logged on to see any stories, so submitting a story for critique here does not mean it's "published online".

    Your story is accessible by the members of Critique Circle. There are different levels of accessibility, which you pick when you send your story. You can have the story visible to all members, only those who have critiqued, or only those who have critiqued recently.

    After the crit week has passed, you can hide your story, so nobody else can see it, or you can delete it from the site.

    For those who would like to work in a private critique group where everybody knows each other, there is the option of supporting the CC with a small donation, and receiving premium privileges in return. The Premium privileges include the possibility of creating your own private queue and forum. That way you can be sure that nobody outside your own crit group can see your stories.

     My story overlaps the righthand sidebar

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