Essay Critiquing Book

Essay Critiquing Book-20
Were there enough words of sight, sound, touch, smell, or taste?

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Does each chapter/page have enough sensory description?

Can the reader easily sense what is happening physically to the main character?

"I think reading critiques in general -- perhaps about other unrelated stories -- can help a new critic see how it's done.

For example, I agree to critique a story -- and because I don't know any better, I spout off personal preferences ("I don't like female heroines! Religion turns me off." -- when those things may be central to the story and nothing more than my own tastes).

If the piece is to be read on a computer monitor, adding a blank line between paragraphs will make it much easier for your critics to read.

Note: when you submit the final version to print publishers, it is best to adhere to their manuscript format (no blank lines between paragraphs). How many times have you missed that in your writing because you passed over it without seeing it?That is the kind of conflict that makes stories vitally alive." - Ben Bova in "The Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells". If the piece was a novel, could it be improved by more attention to the subplots or have more subplots?Is there emotional conflict WITHIN the main character? Emotional conflict is part of what gets readers interested. Conversely, does it have too many subplots and you got confused about what was happening?For example, I once wrote: "Two weeks later, after more hours than he cared to remember, Jet felt very, very tired" and let it go at that and missed the opportunity to describe his fatigue instead.Would it help to put blank lines between paragraphs? Was the story captivating from the very first few paragraphs? To just bash the story without providing something useful to the author is not really being professional. When you give an example of a better way to do what you pointed out, you make your point much clearer to the author. As [critics], don't we have a responsibility to not only point out what needs changing, as we see it, but also what worked and why, so the writer WON'T change it and will be encouraged to produce more of the same? Don't we often base our decision to buy or not buy upon those first few sentences? By conflict, I do not mean lots of slam-bam action. Did they have the potential to transform each other? Do you think that the story or book has sales potential? Remember, the purpose of writing a critique is twofold: (1) identify the weaknesses in the piece and (2) offer some constructive advice to the author that might lead to improvement in the story. Why should all the mistakes find their targets, but the successes meet with only silence--leaving the poor writer, who has poured out her/his heart, with nothing but: no, no, no, ... We cannot grow, otherwise." - Pete Murphy "I think there's a sometimes overlooked purpose in critiquing and that is to identify the strengths in a story as well, to offer encouragement and positive reinforcement in regard to those strengths, thereby preventing the possibility that the author will change, for the worse, those things that make the story good." - Debra Littlejohn Shinder Opening Do the first few sentences or paragraphs of the story grab your attention? Remember how you judge a book or story when you first see it in a bookstore. Until the end, of course, when all the conflicts should be resolved. Is it expressed through action, dialogue, attitudes, or values? Or did they seem to be totally satisfied with their roles?Were the facts about the characters accurate and consistent?"It's very important in building characters to make sure your 'facts' are accurate and consistent.Or did they seem so evil or one-sided that they were more like ideal villains? Did the villain seem to be a hero in their own mind?Did the story skip around between the first person or third person point of view (POV)? There is nothing inherently wrong in changing POV, as long as it is not done too often.


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