My Chinese is now at the stage where I'm able to write short stories (maybe a few paragraphs). I like to Google "writing prompts" and find one that interests me, and write about that.

I'd like to begin posting short stories I've written myself and get my writing reviewed, much like what CodeReview.SE does for code.

It's getting harder for me to pinpoint my weaknesses. It's less often about is this right or wrong? and more often about is this a good way to express my meaning? To this end, comparing how someone else would write something vs. my own writing is quite helpful: even if I write correctly, other people write far more succinctly and elegantly.

Beyond grammar and word choice, I'm interested in humor, tension and suspense, believability, plot twists, etc.

Question: How should I go about writing "review my writing" requests?

There's often parts that I'm especially uncomfortable about, e.g., unfamiliar grammar structures, new words, which I can highlight as potential weaknesses. But I'm also interested in identifying weaknesses that I'm unaware of.

Update: To give an idea of what I have in mind, I asked a question here: Writing critique request: Zhou Ziwang and the revolutionary new technology Perhaps we'll see how it goes. I added a new tag , and if it goes well, I'll probably post more of these. But those who don't like this style of question can ignore the tag.

2 Answers 2


My main concern is that such questions will provoke discussion, which is a definite no-no on StackExchange sites.

The way you approached it in your first question is great: ensure that a clear English translation is available, so nobody has to ask you too many additional clarification questions. Of course, a non-native English speaker may have trouble understanding your English translation, but I don't know what we can do about that.

We should expect that provided English translations should use an international-type English with little-to-no jargon, idioms, or slang, so that the translation can be readily understood as reasonably expected by users of this site.


I only reviewed and edited a few sentences from this question and my post is already half a page long. To complete the entire essay, my post could be twenty times longer and takes many hours. It feels like "work"

Either posting an entire essay in one post or break down an essay in twenty posts, the result is the same -- The poser is asking someone to do professional editor's work without getting paid.

It should be transferred to a place where there are freelance translators who would take commissioned work like this.

May be there should be a new StackExchange community for freelance translators?

I have done commissioned work translating lyrics for $20 a song. To critique an essay this length, I would charge $50 at least.

  • To be fair, I was just asking for a critique: identifying the major flaws. I wasn't expecting a sentence-by-sentence rewrite. In any case, what you have done already is very helpful, so thank you.
    – Becky 李蓓 Mod
    Nov 22, 2019 at 7:07

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