[The critique questions below are only some of the questions you'll ask yourself as you critique another person's work. Add to this list as you need to. ]
Point of view:
Is the proper point of view maintained in each scene?
Would a scene work better from another character's viewpoint?
Is there only one viewpoint character in each scene?
Does this interior monologue slow the scene too much?
Could this information or emotion be expressed in dialogue or action?
Is the writer telling too much?
Do the sentences vary in length?
Does the language fit the actions?
Are there long sentences for leisurely, more introspective moments, and short, terse sentences and words for action scenes?
Does the author intrude, or is she invisible so the story can tell itself?
Does cause and effect happen correctly?
Is she showing rather than telling?
Is the worldbuilding well thought out?
Is it logical?
Does the writer break her own rules?
If a myth or fantasy element is changed from common knowledge, is it a logical or understandable change?
Is it explained? (a vampire who can survive full sunlight, for example)
SUMMATION: These are just some of the questions you can ask as you critique. As you gain experience and learn the other writer's strengths and weaknesses, you'll be able to refine your questions.
Marilynn's Workshop Schedule and Information Links
Writing the First Chapter, January 3-31, 2011.
Drawing a reader into the first chapter of your novel is more than an exciting beginning, more than a “cute meet,” more than a sexy hero and a feisty heroine. Step by step, I'll show you the craft needed to draw the reader into your novel and make her eager to keep reading. I'll also show you how to set up the goals for the main characters and for the novel.
Writing in the Moment, April 11-May 8, 2011
How to get your voice, viewpoint, and craft so perfect that you disappear and your story comes alive. Lots of worksheets.
The Blurb: Mother of All Promotions July 25-August 7, 2011
A blurb is the pithy description of your novel in a query letter, the short "elevator pitch" used at a writer's conference, the log line for online promotion, and the all important back cover copy for a published novel. Without a great blurb, a novel won't be noticed by agents and editors.
Marilynn Byerly--creator of a blurb system used by university publishing courses, publishers, and many authors-- will show you how to create that perfect blurb for your novel. The course will include a number of worksheets and in-class blurb analysis.