Okay, mes petites shoes. (<—Hilarious two-language pun. Dana can vouch for that.) The holidays are definitely over–all twelve days of Christmas, all eight days of Hanukkah, all seven days of Kwanzaa and all three days of Lisha’s Post-Family Reunion Recovery.
Time. To get. To work. (If you need a critique partner, visit the Sub It Club Critique Partner Matchup.)
First thing I look for after reading a partner’s story/chapter, is Momentum. Often, it’s the fastest way to spot where and what the problems are.
- Determine what sort of story you are reading. What age of reader does the writer have in mind? A picture book flows differently than an early chapter book, a middle grade differently than a young adult.
- Remember, this is not your story. You might not like a sentimental romance, but your job is to decide whether the momentum is true to the genre. Or your writing might be spare, but the manuscript you’re critiquing is more descriptive. Your job is to make sure the descriptions move things along, not cut them all until the writer sounds like you.
- Does every chapter, paragraph and sentence move the story forward? While acknowledging the differences in target audiences, genres, and styles, the story has to go somewhere. At the proper pace.
Mark the places where the story seems to lose momentum. If you’re a great critique partner, you’ll try to figure out why. And of course, by the end of the series you WILL be a great critique partner.
Next time: Bones, Bones, We Dig For Bones