How you critique will depend both on what your strengths are and what your partner is looking for. Having a clear vision of what she wants from your critique is very important – keep this in mind throughout your reading.
Here are some things that might be included in your critique:
Big Picture Stuff to Look For:
- Did you enjoy the story? Why or why not?
- Does it work as a whole?
- Consistency of main character
- Consistency of other characters
- Likability of main character
- Likability of other characters
- Are the motives of the characters understandable and logical to the story? Any awkward ones?
- Is it appropriate for the chosen audience?
- How is the pacing?
- Are there any holes in the story?
- Lack of information or description?
- Are the good guy(s) likable and the bad guy(s) really bad?
- Comments on the setting
Small Picture Stuff. Please watch out for:
- Any awkward phrases (try to explain why they seemed awkward to you)
- Typos, grammatical errors, punctuation problems, etc. (Some writers prefer to leave this until the editing stage)
- Poor transitions
- Unrealistic dialogue
- Did the first paragraph grab your attention?
- Balance of narrative and action
- Repetitive use of words
- Large sections of dialogue without hints to identify speakers
- Point of view issues – Is the POV consistent throughout the piece?
For Non Fiction
Big Picture Stuff:
- Is it easy to read?
- Is it entertaining?
- Are there adequate illustrations or anecdotes and are they effective?
- Is there adequate information?
- The overall structure – is it logical?
Small Picture Stuff:
- Does the title catch your eye?
- Does the first sentence grab your attention?
- Are the facts accurate?
- Are the references correct?
- Does it transition smoothly?
- Are they any awkward phrases?
- Incorrect grammar, misspellings, and so on.