Monday, April 25, 2016

Q is for Questions to address in a Critique

Ana muses on questions to ask a critiquer or beta reader to address.

1. Does the chapter/scene/story have an OPENING HOOK and a hook or CLIFFHANGER at the end? Did the scene/chapter /story grab you, hold your attention and fulfill its promise?

2. Is the CONFLICT strong in each scene? Does it work? Do you care whether it will be resolved?

3. Are the CHARACTERS well-rounded, three-dimensional, interesting, strong and believable? Do they seem like real people? Do you care about them? Do the characters have goals? Do the characters have motivation for the things they do? Do they demonstrate internal and external conflict?

4. Did you feel you were in the SETTING because of appropriate detail? Is the setting over-described?

5. Does the scene/chapter/story contain enough DIALOGUE? Does the dialogue sound and feel natural and realistic? Does the dialogue move the story forward? Are there too many tags, not enough tags? Is it clear who is speaking?

6. Is the PLOT believable and unique? Does the plot hold your attention or does it need more conflict?

7. How is the PACING? Does the story move forward at the correct speed? Does it drag or move too quickly?

8. Is the POV clear. Is there too much "head-hopping"?

9. Is the writing ACTIVE and not passive? Does the writer SHOW rather than tell?


  1. Agreed. Lots of good things to consider.

  2. I have been told that beta readers often need a list of things to comment on.

  3. A great checklist.

    It reminds me of the information asked for when judging a contest too.