Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Introducing Re:Fiction

There are tons of great writing resources out there, but that's not to say that there isn't the need for more, especially when they're bringing something fresh to the table.  For that reason amongst others, I've grown rather fond of new website Re:Fiction.  In essence, the bulk of what they have to offer is fairly standard - a bunch of articles on the craft of writing - but the presentation and ethos behind them is refreshing.  Pieces are exactly the write length, well-suited to browsing without being too light and trivial, and everything is easy on the eyes.  Founder Tal Valente makes the point in her bio that her twin passions for writing and computing fit well together, and I've always found this to be the case myself.  Partly because I'm obsessed with using spreadsheets for absolutely everything, I admit, but mostly because there's a lot to be said for getting the technical business right in this day and age.  Re:Fiction has the feel of a site put together by people who know their way around this stuff, and that automatically puts it head and shoulders above a lot of similar resources I've come across.

It's also worth mentioning that they actually have some good writers providing their content - my friend Andy Knighton amongst them, who always talks lucidly and well upon the subject of writing.  There's also a nice subdivision going on, with the meat and potatoes actual-writing stuff set aside from the thorny topic of inspiration and all of that extraneous nonsense we tend to file under "lifestyle" and inevitably ends up eating ninety percent of your time.

The main reason I'm pointing you towards Re:Fiction, however, is something I haven't seen elsewhere and that's, frankly, pretty awesome: they're offering a free critique service on short fiction, provided by experienced editors.  Theoretically there are some restrictions in place, but with the site still being fairly new, your chances of getting accepted appear to be high: certainly they were good enough to take a look at one of my stories, even after I admitted that I write for a living.  And the feedback I got was pretty solid, certainly as good as I've had from a few professional editors in my time.  More to the point, getting any kind of quality feedback on your work is profoundly difficult: friends are rarely harsh enough, other writers you don't know well are prone to competitiveness, and everyone everywhere is short of time to spare.

On those grounds - and as a small thank you for the free help they gave me! - I'm glad to recommend Re:Fiction.  If you're just starting out and need some pro tips, or if you're an established writer in need of an outside perspective, or if you're either and just want some good quality feedback on your work, then they're well looking up.

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