Critique Guide

Critique Guide – Click here to download (pdf format)

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Reading Writers’ Group

Critique Guide Sheet for Fiction

This is a list of suggested headings to organise your critique, and questions to ask. It is intended as a guide to help the critique process. It need not be followed in cases where it does not apply.


Is the plot believable? Does it fit the characters? Is it to fast to too slow? Too simple or too complex?


Too many characters or too few? Are they real people, or flat cutouts? Do they have their own histories and agendas? Do they act out of character ? Is it easy to confuse one with another?


Too many locations or too few? Can you see the locations in the mind’s eye? Does the reader see things that the characters can’t? Is this a bad thing? Too much description or too little?


Too much or too little? Do the characters have different voices? Are there enough contractions? Do they say things the other person already knows?


Do we stay in one viewpoint, or change? Does the chosen viewpoint work?


Does the story make you feel happy or sad or angry? Do you want to read on or is it heavy going? Does it seem well-written or are there bad sections?


Is the ending too sudden or too slow? Does it follow logically from the story? Does it leave the reader satisfied? Would you want to read a sequel?

Technical Points

Are there errors in grammar, spelling, layout or punctuation? Are there factual mistakes? Does this fall into any traps, such as cliché, melodrama or preaching? Does it overuse the pluperfect tense?

And Finally

What advice would you give to the writer? How much editing does this need? What sort of market is it suitable for?

by Robert Billing for Reading Writers