My Writers Circle

Workshop => Review My Work => Topic started by: Symphony on March 07, 2006, 05:40:34 AM

Title: Sticky: Critiquing for the Shy
Post by: Symphony on March 07, 2006, 05:40:34 AM
Please don't take this as any real 'guide' to commenting on others' work, but from experience I know there are quite a few people new to writing forums who find 'reviewing' quite daunting, so I've drawn up a little list of possible pointers to get you started. If anyone would like to add anything, then please do. It might be good to have a comprehensive list up here for reference purposes. What do you think?

For those a bit shy about commenting on others’ work, here are a few questions you might tackle:

1.  Did the first sentence/paragraph grab your attention? This is SO important for any story or novel.

2.  Did you like the portrayal of the characters in the story or did you want to know more about any particular aspect of them?

3.  Was the dialogue (if any) clear? Did it reflect the characters as you had visualised them or were you expecting them to speak differently? Was it clear who was speaking? Was it realistic?

4.  Is there any particular word that you perhaps found irritating – or that was perhaps used too often – like the word ‘perhaps’ appearing three times in the space of one sentence, as it does here?

5.  Were there any words, expressions or images that appealed to you or that the author used in a particularly interesting way?

6.  What about the pace of the story/chapter? Was there a section that lost your attention a bit? Did the pace slow down? Was this appropriate?

7.  Was the language easy to read or was there a passage that was very difficult? Was there a sentence that was just plain awkward to read – or that simply didn’t work for you? (even if you can’t explain why)

8.  Was the ending appropriate/predictable/unexpected? If it was a chapter of a novel, did it leave you wanting to read more?

9.  Any typos or punctuation errors? Usually, in these drafts you’ll spot plenty. It’s a good idea to point out any consistent errors or a spot of punctuation that is crucial to understanding a particular sentence. Otherwise, leave them alone to be picked up in later edits.

Hope this helps. Remember – just as long as you know how to read, you have an opinion – and writers need the opinions of readers! No need to go through all of the above – or even half. You might like to concentrate or comment on just one particular point. Every comment is useful and you’ll be thanked for it – even if the author doesn’t agree.

Good luck everybody. Don’t be shy!