Setting up a Novel for Critique Circle
Details with Pictures
By: Katherine Lato

Last revised: December 9, 2013

Please let me know if anything is confusing or wrong.

Why use the novel system? The main reason is it makes it easier on your readers to find the next chapter, which makes it easier for them to keep critiquing your novel.

I find it easier to update several chapters if they're in the novel format. (Otherwise I have to find each individual submission.) With the novel system, I can easily do one after the other.

Also, if you have chapter two in the public queue, and chapter one was already critiqued (and revised), then by having the novel feature, it's easy for someone coming in for chapter two or three, to go back and critique the earlier chapters, or at least skim them to catch up on where you are.

  1. Start by clicking on the My Novels link on the left side of the page in CC. (You may need to first click on the + by 'Story Queue.'

  2. Click on Add New Novel. I already have a lot of novels, you can just ignore them for now. Or go off and critique any that are in private queues. I'll wait. :)

  3. Fill in the title, a 'back of the book blurb,' and pick your genre.

  4. It's a good idea to let your critiquers know what you're looking for. Is this an early draft and you want to know what works, what doesn't? (Try to avoid saying you don't care about typos, since most readers do and you should be fixing them as you go along.) A question or two after they're finished reading can be good, but if you want them to watch for something while reading, put it in the before section.

  5. You can include the optional information, or not. (I don't.) Then click on Send.

  6. Once you have the basic information, you can submit chapters to the novel. You can link exisiting chapters you have already submitted to CC, or new chapters. I'll start with exisiting chapters.

    So Click here to add your first chapter (near the bottom of the screen shot.)

  7. I always just leave it blank--and get the Chapter # automatically. Then click on submit.

  8. You can submit a new chapter, or link an existing submission. I'm going to link an existing one.

  9. It takes me a bit to find the chapter I want because I've been using CC for years and have submitted a lot of stories. But they're arranged alphabetically. And I called the original submission Overbooked - beginning.

  10. I found it, and will click on 'add to chapter.' This means the title of this chapter will change (to Chapter 1). But that's fine with me.

  11. Click OK, because yes, I'm sure I want to do this.

  12. Now I have the first chapter of my novel in the noveling system. And can click on 'Add chapter' to add the next one.

  13. Same thing as before, only this one with be called Chapter 2.

  14. Instead of linking the existing submission, I decided to click on 'Add chapter' and got chapter 3.

  15. If you try to create a chapter that already exists, like chapter 2 again, you get an error message from CC.

  16. You can also stop at any point, and pick it up again, by going to the 'My Novels' link on the far left. (Remember, you may need to click on the + by 'Story Queue' if you don't have it expanded.

  17. Pick your novel.

  18. Go to where you left off. In this example. I created chapters 2 and 3, but didn't fill in the actual chapters. I can also add a part 2--good idea if your chapter is more than 4,000 words long, especially if it's more than 5,000. People have a hard time critiquing things over 5K. Break it into two parts of one chapter.

  19. I click on Link an existing submission to this chapter.

  20. And find the chapter that I want to use.

  21. I get the warning that the submission will be changed. When I did this, my second chapter hadn't come up for critiques yet.

  22. Are you sure?

  23. For the third chapter, I don't have anything I want to link, so I click on Submit a new story to this chapter.

  24. Need to pick what queue it's going in.

  25. I have three private queues. (I'm a premium member of CC.) So I can submit it to one of those if I want. I often do this after having 3-5 chapters in the public queue, if I have the whole novel ready for critiques.

  26. Be sure to click on the tab, 'Chapter in Novel' -- that's in brown in the screen shot so that this gets associated with your novel. Then pick the right novel. You may have an empty chapter (like I did) or you can create a new chapter when you do the submit the story.

  27. Now my story is part of a novel, an indicated by the book icon on the queue page.

  28. And each chapter has links to the the chapter after it. (As far as I've gone.)

  29. And each chapter has links to the chapter before it.

  30. You can add more chapters to a novel anytime you're submitting a story.

  31. Click on the 'Chapter in a Novel' tab if your story is part of a novel. If your story isn't part of a novel, click on the 'Individual Submission tab.'

  32. You can also update chapters, update the back of the book blurb or any of the other stuff you set up in the beginning. You can also delete a novel once you're done having it critiqued. Good luck.