How To Get Crit

This is a supplementary essay by Calibri BoldCalibri Bold. It is not an official or staff-sanctioned guide by any means. It is a resource provided by a non-staff member with their own advice and suggestions.

It is highly recommended you read the following before this essay:


There are plenty of guides and essays on writing articles and the general guidelines for receiving crit, as well as a fair share of essays on how to give crit too. Those essays are great, and you should 100% check out both the writing guides and the critting guides before reading this.

But as an IRC frequenter, I often see new members struggling with how to ask for crit on their ideas or articles, and are concerned when they aren't acknowledged. The same goes for the ideas forum, the drafts forum, and even published articles. The truth is, asking for crit isn't just "ask and ye shall receive" most of the time. Remember, all critters are human beings with lives and stuff, and it can be a while before one is available. People can be too busy, too tired, or even just not in the mood to give crit.

But anyone can get crit, especially if people want to give them crit. This essay intends to show you how to maximize the crit you receive, and how to attract critters to your work.

The Big Rules

There are some universal rules for receiving crit, that mostly rely on the nature of critique. All critters have lives outside of the wiki, have their own things they're working on, and have to take breaks in general. As such, keeping this in mind, there are two things that must always be at the forefront of your mind when asking for crit: be patient and be polite.

Patience is one of the biggest things that I often see newer users lack, without their realization. Believe it or not, it can take days to receive crit on your idea or draft, and you should expect to have to wait that long. Crit requires skill, effort, and most importantly, time. If your idea has only been sitting an hour in the forums, don't come into chat complaining about how long it's taking. Similarly, if you enter the crit chat on IRC, please don't ask every minute for someone to look at your idea or draft. It won't change the situation, and nobody wants to crit someone who isn't patient.

Politeness is the other big one. Every critter is trying their best to help you, and none of them are paid to do so. Every critter you meet is volunteering to do so, and you should therefore treat them with respect. Don't be angry if they don't like your thing, and be sure to listen attentively to what they're saying. If you have an issue or are confused by something, don't be afraid to ask, but don't be pushy about it. We're all humans here.

The Forums

So obviously, the forums and the crit chat are two different things. I'll be covering proper etiquette for getting crit in chat after this section, but right now, let's focus on everyone's starting point: the forums.

There are two places you can go on the site to get crit: the Ideas Critique Forum and the Drafts Critique Forum. The very first place you should go to get crit is always the ideas forum. It is forbidden to use the drafts forum without first having either two greenlights on an idea thread, or at least one successful article. More information on greenlights can be found here.

Please, please read the Required Reading before making a post on the ideas forum. I'm not going to rehash the rules outlined here, but if you don't follow those rules, more than likely you'll just get a staff post on that thread and then nothing else, since critters prioritize threads with no responses.

However, I do want to get into the template for posting idea threads, to cover what exactly is being asked for. Below is a copy of the template you use when posting to the ideas forum:

**Seeking Greenlights:** Yes or No

**Page Type:** SCP Article, Tale, GoI Format, Joke SCP, Site Dossier, Other (specify)

**Genre (Optional):** Horror, Drama/Emotional, Comedy, Action, History, Other (specify)

**Page Layout (Optional):** 

**Elevator Pitch:** 

**Central Narrative:** 

**Hook/Attention-Grabber:** 

**Additional Notes:**

Let's go through each of these parameters, to give you a good idea of how to best organize your thoughts, as well as to make things convenient for critters.

Seeking Greenlights: A very simple yes or no question. If you haven't posted to the site before, answer "yes". Some people still use the ideas forum even after they've posted to the site, so if you're one of those people, answer "no".

Page Type: One of the category types listed above.

Genre: What genre is this? Horror, Mystery, Intrigue, Comedy, Tragedy, etc. It's optional, but it's a good idea to put down; if a critter thinks this is a comedy when it's a tragedy, then you've likely done something wrong, and you'd like to be aware.

Page Layout: This is a bit more of a draft thing, but it is helpful to know how you're going to be organizing your article. Are you going to be telling this through just the description? Exploration logs? Interviews? Test logs? Something else? This section is also extremely helpful for snagging prospective critters, as if you have this filled out, they'll know that you have a plan.

Elevator Pitch: This shouldn't be any more than three sentences, and should cover the most necessary details of your article1.

Central Narrative: YOU NEED THIS. Seriously, don't just put "none". SCP articles are used to tell stories, which require narratives. Despite appearances, they are not just magic items. You need to have a story to tell, and it needs to engage your audience. Don't just slap some basic "recovered by an MTF" thing in here either; make it unique, make it compelling. The narrative is the most important part of your article, and I cannot stress that enough.

Hook/Attention-Grabber: There has to be something near the beginning of your article that will make your reader want to read more. What is your plan to get your reader immediately interested in this?

Additional Notes: Just like it says on the packaging. If there's anything that you feel needs to be pointed out that can't be said in the other sections, do so here. This is also a good place to ask questions if there's anything you think you might need help with.

Something of note is the name of your thread. Don't just title it "Looking for greenlights on my SCP"; give a relevant title (most idea threads are already looking for greenlights, it's kind of a given anyway). Your summary should be short, but it should still catch a critter's attention.

A good forum post, believe it or not, is an amazing way to get people to look at your idea. If it's clear that you've put a lot of thought into your idea, done your research on what makes an SCP good, and have plan moving forward, people will very much want to assist you. There's no point in trying to help someone if it doesn't look like they'll make it past the next stage anyway.

Quick note: pretty much the rest of this section can apply to both the draft and ideas forums.

Now that you have your forum post made, how do you further attract critters? The Butterfly Squad Roster is an amazing tool at this point. Simply put, it lists out pretty much everyone who's able and willing to crit ideas or articles, although some of them prefer specific types. Be sure to look at the details of each critter, to see which ones would be most interested in your stuff. If a critter is listed as inactive, be sure to respect that.

If you find a critter that you think might be interested, and it says under their name that they can be contacted over WikiDot, then shoot them a message! Find two or three other critters like that, just to be sure. It's likely that not all of them will respond, so be sure not to bother them if they don't; it's likely they aren't able to look at your thread. If one of them leaves a placeholder post2 or messages you saying they'll get to it, then you should be good. If they don't provide crit after a few days, send them a reminder, but don't pester them about it.

All forum posts are eventually acknowledged by someone, though the system to ensure this isn't 100% flawless. Critters prioritize threads with no responses, so if someone has replied to your thread with poor crit, or a staff member had to inform you about something, there's a good chance you won't get any more critters. Basically, reaching out is important.

If you're on the ideas forum, then see if you can get two eligible people to greenlight your article. If a critter decides not to greenlight it, then you can choose to edit your idea to reflect their suggestions, then reach out to them again. Alternatively, if you feel like you can't make the idea you have succeed, then use what you've learned and come up with something new. Once you have the greenlights you need, then move on to the drafts forum.

Once you're on the drafts forum, then just keep getting crit until you feel like your draft is good enough, then post. The drafts forum doesn't have quite as much structure to it, but you should provide a brief summary of your draft and a word count in your forum post. Remember patience, though! It's highly unlikely that your draft will be good after one go-through by a single critter. Don't be afraid to take the time to get more crit, it will only help you.

IRC Chat (#thecritters)

Before reading this section, read the entirety of the Chat Guide before entering the chatrooms.

The wiki's live chatrooms are immensely helpful for receiving crit. Being able to talk with others over text means that things will go a lot faster, and that you and your critters will be able to respond to each other much more efficiently. However, there are still some things you should take note of. There's a good deal of etiquette that goes into talking with other users and requesting crit from them.

When asking for crit, you should first consider your pitch. When you enter the crit chatroom, and ask the room for critters, be sure to let them know what exactly you need help with, as well as what exactly they'd be looking at. Give an elevator pitch of your idea or draft, and if it's a draft, be sure to give a word count, since most critters will want to know how much time they'll be taking and how much effort they'll be giving to your draft; nobody wants to be hit with a 16,000 word draft without warning. Here is an online tool for counting words; simply copy and paste the text of your draft to get an idea of its length.

If you want an experienced critter looking at your draft, look at the sidebar on your chat screen. Anyone in the #thecritters channel with a ~, &, @, %, or + next to their name is considered an experienced critter. All of those individuals except people with "+" are staff members. If you notice that one of them is active, you can ping them by saying their name in a message. However, don't ping people who aren't active or who are busy with someone else, and don't ping more than one person at a time. Additionally, don't direct message someone without asking their permission first. It's not against the rules, but most folks would prefer to conduct crit in public chatrooms.

Regardless of whether you're pinging someone or just asking the chat as a whole, however, don't ask very frequently. It's highly unlikely that there will suddenly be someone available two minutes after you've asked the first time, and it only makes you look impatient. My suggested rule of thumb would be to ask for crit once every thirty minutes. This makes it more likely that something will have changed in the meantime, and it's a good exercise in patience.

Some folks will ask you to swap drafts with them; I highly recommend you do so. Remember, it's not all about you, and everyone else has stuff they'd like to do as well. Additionally, giving critique is a valuable skill, and you should take the opportunity to develop it if you can. While you wait, you can also crit the drafts or ideas of other people, or even ask them to swap with you.

I also highly suggest you hang out in the general chatroom, #site19, as well. Making friends is always a good idea, and it's also a good way to show that you're not just here to get crit. Everyone else is looking for help, and the best way to get help is to make friends who want to help you. If you're only active in the crit chat, people won't learn much about you, including your response to crit and your overall attitude, so they won't want to interact with you any more than any other new person.

Finally, remember: we're all here to have fun, and write good stories. Be calm, be civil, and just be someone others want to interact with. We're a large community all trying to help each other, be sure that, at the very least, you're contributing as well.

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