Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Critique questions

Earlier this week, I was reading a blog post by author discussing the critique group she had recently left. The progression of time had caused them to 'disband', which I've heard isn't uncommon. What she shared in her post were the 7 questions they used in looking each other's work. I thought these were valuable questions to use as a starting point when looking at your own work and at anyone else's.

1. Who is the protagonist?
2. What is the protagonist's goal?
3. Who is the antagonist?
4. What is the antagonist's goal?
5. What do you expect will happen next in the story, given what you read in this scene?
6. What in this scene must be kept at all costs?
7. What in this scene needs work?

I particularly like question number 6 - what must be kept at all costs? It reminds me of advice I've heard Cherry Adair give - Enter your scene at the last possible moment and leave as quickly as you can. I know I'll be using these questions when I begin editing my next project.

I wish I could credit whose blog I read this on but I don't remember. But thank you to whomever that author is and if I find the post again, I'll give credit appropriately.


Sheila said...

Those are all actually good questions, but I like the last two the best.

And, since I have a critique due for my Worldcon workshop group, I will try to keep them firmly in mind.