Welcome back to Have You Heard About, where I stumble across something I find legitimately useful for learning to write and share my thoughts with you fine readers. In the past, this space has profiled everything from podcasts, to movies, to publishing insider’s polished websites, tell-alls by the same, and fellow bloggers dispensing advice and encouragement. This week, I want to highlight a one-stop-shop chimera of a resource: Lit Reactor.
As always, these are my opinions. Nobody pays me a dime. My goal a self-taught writer is to help connect others in a similar position with helpful instruction.
It is hard to describe what Lit Reactor is, because it includes so many functions. It includes an E-Zine with editorials and essays by published authors you may recognize such as Chuck Palahniuk, Gabino Iglesias, Richard Thomas, and Stephanie M. Wytovich. Many of these contributors also teach online classes, which they are happy to sell you.
It looks like they used to host their own forum, but have migrated to good ‘ole Reddit. They still keep the archives of their discussions from 2010 – 2019 on their site.
Lit Reactor also hosts an online writing community which has gamified feedback. Here’s how it works:
- Everyone is gifted with 15 points as a new member. That’s enough to submit one story.
- After that, you’ll earn points strictly on the ratings your reviews receive from the other authors.
- No automatic points are awarded for writing a review
- 2 points are awarded when the author rates your review as ‘Helpful’
- 3 points are awarded when the author rates your review as ‘Very Helpful’
- 0 points are awarded when your review is rated as ‘Not Helpful’
In order to receive feedback, you must give feedback, which is really how that system should work, isn’t it? You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. Pay any help you receive forward.
There is a tension I notice in almost all useful writing resources. There is free content, to be sure, but lurking just around the corner from that reality is the underlying pitch – for three easy payments of 19.99, you can also get _X_. There is nothing wrong with that – everyone has a right to make a living – but as with everything in life, deciding when and were to contribute your hard-earned dollar is a skill in itself… but that is a subject for another day. Let’s say, in two weeks, after another book review.
Happy reading, and happy writing.
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