1. Your Family
The first people to read my work is usually my family members. They’re easily accessible, and will be positive even if my writing makes Moby Dick sound interesting. Added bonus: If you ask them to review your work, there’s a decent chance they’ll actually do it! No more desperate social media posts falling on deaf ears.
2. Your Friends
This takes a lot more courage. Actually, for me this takes more courage than posting my work online, because I’m a lot less sensitive about what strangers think about my stories than my friends. However, because your friends likely have significantly different perspectives than your immediate family, they’re a good way to see your work from different angles that you may have overlooked. They might see hidden meanings in your writing that you didn’t intend, and you’ll either be pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised.
Inviting your friends to review your work is also a great way to let them know you write. People like to feel needed, and nothing says “I need you!” better than a plea for comment.
3. The Internet
When you think you’ve got your work as good as you can write it, and you’ve dried up your real-life sources of criticism, it’s time to post it online (unless you want to publish—in which case you should try contacting a publisher or literary journal). As you already know, my favorite websites for this are Wattpad and Penana, although they’re certainly not the only options out there. Use whichever platform suits you best.
Be sure to include an open invitation to comment and provide feedback with your story, either at the end of the latest chapter or in the introduction. It’s generally best practice to put this at the end of the latest chapter.
Of course, if you have a story that you’d like me to review for you, send it my way! I’ve got too much on my plate to help revise unfinished works at the moment, but if you’ve completed something and you want my perspective, feel free to contact me on Wattpad or Penana.
As always, Be well.