Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 4, 2012

Critiquing Your Writing? Nine Story Elements to Check

Here are somethings to look for and ask yourself when doing a critique of your own writing or someone elses.

• Are there opening hooks (for both the start of the manuscript and the beginning of each chapter,) as well as hooks at the end of chapters?

• Is the conflict strong, or is it contrived and something a conversation could resolve?

• Setting? Does it seem real?

• Are the senses involved? (description of smell, touch, taste, etc.)

• Does the story hold your interest? If not, where did you lose interest?

• Accuracy and consistency: Do the facts seem accurate, (no cell phones in the 1700s, for example) and are they consistent (blue eyes don’t turn green somewhere along the way.)

• Were you able to suspend disbelief? (Of course, if it is your own story, you will probably not be the best person to judge this. Here is where a critique group will help.)

• Does the story work? Do you want to read more? (This another place where your critique group can help.)

• With characters, ask yourself: Are the main characters three-dimensional? Sympathetic? Are other characters well drawn? Are motivations strong and clear?

I want to thank Anita Nolan for sending these into share with us. Tomorrow I will share 10 Writing Style Elements to Check that Anita sent, so check back.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Nice checklist! Thanks Kathy & Anita!


  2. Thanks for my first 9 writing tips.  Donna


    • Donna,

      There you are! You really are doing your homework. How’s the picture book coming along?



      • Hey, Donna 🙂 You’re writing, too? 🙂


  3. Always lovin’ the lists! Thanks, Kathy and Anita 🙂


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