- Does the action make sense? Is what is written moving the story
- Does the story start at the right place?
- Is the pacing appropriate to the story?
- Is the plot a real plot? Are things happening which seem to have no discernable reason or purpose?
- The ending: is the payoff adequate to the buildup? Does the ending make sense? Is it satisfying? Does it arise from character and situation? Were the seeds of the ending sown in the beginning?
- Is the beginning adequate to catch the reader’s interest
- Are the characters believable?
- Do dialog and action fit with and supports character?
- Does gender, place, time, dress and manner of characters all go together to support good characterization?
- Are the descriptions of the characters presented in a believable manner and spread out evenly?
Point of View
- Whose story is being told and who is telling it?
- Is there any:
–Head-hopping: switching back and forth between different characters’
thoughts and opinions?
–POV slipping: telling something that the POV character couldn’t possibly
–Wrong point-of-view character? Sometimes stories are told from the wrong
character’s point of view.
Description and setting
- Can readers “see” the setting your characters are moving about in?
- Do the setting and descriptions add depth to the work or does they just seem thrown in?
- Is it believable?
- Does it serve to advance the plot?
- Can any of it be cut?
- Is it clear who is speaking?
- Did the writer do a good job “showing,” instead of “telling”?
- Has the writer used tired or overly general verbs and nouns? Are there too many adjectives or adverbs because the nouns and verbs aren’t fresh and compelling?
- Are there any anachronisms or Freudian slips.
- Were you confused in any parts?
- Is the piece original and creative?