Furry Writers' Guild Forum

To Preview or Not To Preview?

So I am in the process of writing a couple of novels, all of them set in my carefully-constructed universe of bipedal talking animal people. I would dearly love to share my writing, but at the same time, since it is a novel in progress, I am liable and more than likely to change and modify plot points and narrative markers in what I have already written. So I would love to share my work with people and get their opinion and input, but at the same time, I am afraid that if I share these ‘alpha’ drafts with people, their perspective will be biased and altered by what they had read before, and they might not notice the changes I had made. I have this fear that they will skim over parts that look ‘familiar’ that they’d seen in a previous draft, and not realize any important changes I had made.

So I am conflicted… some of my best feedback has come from friends on early drafts, but I don’t want to ‘spoil’ them for the eventual ending experience. I’m just not sure. How much should I share openly? A chapter or two? Where should I post it, here or on my writing.com profile? Or should I wait until it’s finished to show it to anyone?

I think you have to share early. You have to find a few people you can trust and let them see it as you go through it. They can help you catch stuff early on and keep you from having to tear up huge spans later on.

I suppose, that being said, is there anyone interested in reading some of the work of my latest novels set in my Wildstar universe?

I post pretty much everything I write, as I write it, to two mailing lists with a combined readership of, the last I heard, hundreds. I find the feedback I get from doing this-- while still in the act of writing-- priceless.

Wow, how did you do that? I would love to have such an audience for my writing!

So… would anyone be interested in looking at my writing works-in-progress? I would love to find someone to discuss my alternate history universe with!

It’s quite easy. You just sign up here


and here


Note that the TSA, easily the larger of the two lists, is for transformation-type fiction only. Since I write so much of that, they sort of let me slide in ordinary-furry type stuff sometimes. But for a newbie, this might not go over so well.

While these lists currently aren’t nearly so active as they used to be, I still get a lot very nice feedback there. Not a ton of people post anymore, but based on my experience those few who do get readers. And, if you fail to attract commenting readers, that’s a form of feedback in and of itself.

Just don’t preview too much in public with out a plan.

The entire point and driving principle of my universe is that these new intelligent bipedal species were created via genetic engineering. I should hope that creating new life with various animal and human traits, should count as some sort of transformation. At least, for my Origins stories. After the point the talking animal people are created, they more or less go and do their natural breeding procreating thing.

But thank you very much for the mailing list links! I had not known such things still existed.

I fear the TSA is all about taking an existing, living functional being and altering it into something else. Gengineering from scratch isn’t in the cards there.

I’ve maintained that death is the ultimate transformation, but the list usually doesn’t buy it.

But there are subtle points to that… a barren pregnant woman carrying a furry baby can fit the theme of transformation as the peeps and society around her change as the life grows within her. It’s really where your story eye goes.

The Critique Board on here can be helpful. Also feel free to look through the Member Knowledge Base under the Research Board to glance through where different people’s strong-suits are. I know I’ve been messaged a few times from folks who saw I know a few things about what they were writing about, and was happy to help where I could :3

Oh my gosh there are so very very many obvious jokes I want to make about that statement out-of-context if you think of other things that TSA stands for…

So what is the general idea on the critique board as far as… how much should I post? I mean it’s a public forum so… if I post too much of my novel are people going to steal it or not want to publish it? I’m not quite sure what the threshold here is. I am ever so paranoid that I will do the wrong thing with posting my writing, but I so desperately want to share it with an audience I think would be interested and receptive of it!

The Critique board is restricted to forum members, and won’t count as ‘publishing’ for most markets, any more than emailing the document out to beta readers would.

If it’s a very long piece, members usually upload a document somewhere and provide a link, rather than paste the whole thing in.