CCWF Critique: Questions for Fiction

Fiction Critique Questions

(Some questions may only apply when evaluating a complete work.)

Plot – Is the plot discernible? Why / why not
     Problem: Does the main character have a clearly delineated conflict/problem confronting him/her?Scenes: Does each scene develop either impediments to a solution or progress toward a solution?
     Logic: Do the scenes connect in a logical manner? Is there something in the middle or at the end that simply doesn’t make sense given the set-up?
     Ending: “unexpected inevitability” Has the writer laid the groundwork for the ending, even if it is a twist or a surprise?
     Pacing – Is the pacing of the scene matching the plot? Why / Why not. Is the language used appropriate to the pace of the scene? Does it promote or detract from the tension of the scene?

Characters – Can you relate to the characters? Why / Why not.
     Believably: Do you know and bond with the characters? Do they seem real? Do they talk and act like people you might know? Do they have flaws, or are the too perfect? Do they have characteristics, quirks, idiosyncrasies that increase their individuality, or are they generic?
     Empathy: Do you care about the characters? Do you feel anxious for them as they face their problems? Do you feel like cheering wildly or at least smiling with/when they finally solve it? Do you not like the antagonists?

Story – As you read, does the story hold your interest/attention? Why / Why not.
     Page turnability: Is the story interesting? Does it make you want to read on? Do You ever feel impatient and wish thing would ‘get going?’

Favorite Part – What is your favorite part of this selection (what of this manuscript you have read so far?)

These questions come from Sarah Hamaker and her critique group and Give and Take of Critique, Linda Sue Parker (no longer online)