The Crirtique Girls Are Back

Two friends

Yes, we are back and ready to tackle a few more critique items. We’ve been together for so long, we think alike and wanted to read what other ideas we can incorporate into our critique process. This will give us more points to ponder and a lot more ideas to argue back and forth. This is what happens when you get a great critique partner. You never want to give up the trust and ‘idea’ bopping with each other. So, what’s next?

Let’s look at setting. Does the story give enough description to paint a picture for the reader. Do you feel transported to the time and place? Did the characters convince you of the era and did they behave in a manner consistence with the era? Or, was there so much description, you, as the reader, forgot the story?

Characterization is another point to check. Do the people seem real? Are the facts accurate and consistent? Did you get a sense of family, friends, job and worries? Did you feel the emotions and values of each character? Did you have to read many flashbacks to bring you to the present? Did the protagonist grow? Let your critique partner know about these areas.

Dialogue can present problems if the conversations do not seem real. Do you see the personalities of the characters by the words they use? Can you feel the conflict and attitudes in their choice of words? What about power or sexual, political or social areas of their lives by the words they fling at each other.

POV – Oh yes, you know these abbreviations – Point of View. This gives the reader the knowledge of who is writing the story. Can you see when the POV changes or more added? Most novels are written in third person POV. A lot of short stories and memoirs are in the first person. Whichever one you use, STAY in that POV.

As a reader, do I get the feeling you are telling me a story? I don’t feel any sounds, hear any sights and never can I smell what time of year this is, taste any of the traditional foods or get arms wrapped around me in a spontaneous gesture. Show me, the reader, the feelings I should get from the characters. And, watch out for adverbs and adjectives full of inflation. I need to read your story and see what brought this on, how the character acts and makes, me the reader, feel and why.

One last area – spelling and grammar. Forget those “!” points. This is telling. If you need to scream – just do it. If the character gets excited, have this character jump up and down, run in circles and play in non-territorial areas.

Turn your characters loose on the pages and let them roam, skip, jump, dance, laugh, love and not always at the most convenient times. Let them run across the pages so fast, your fingers cannot keep pace. Enjoy your writing. Enjoy your story. AND, do not forget your critique ladies will be back and check. When we last talked, we felt this might be a good home for us to keep.

We know our names, but how about you blog readers creating new names for us? Until next time, happy reading and great critiquing. (Oops, got a couple of gerunds in on the last try.)

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