Author: Michele Jones

Top Ten Critique Tips

Top Ten Critique Tips

Top 10 Tips for Improving Your Fiction

Do you need help putting the finishing touches on your masterpiece?

Are you stuck on a chapter and need some advice?

All authors need a second set of eyes on their work. Someone that will give honest feedback and check for errors. If they ask for your help, they trust you and value your opinion. They are depending on your skills to make their story better.

Below are the top ten tips to providing a helpful critique.

Remember, if this isn’t your favorite type of story, let the author know. However, don’t be afraid to critique something if you’re not familiar with the genre. While reading, consider the target audience before making suggestions. An honest evaluation is critical for any author.

 

 

1. Begin by reading the piece.
Don’t make any corrections or judgments until you have read the complete work. This will give you a feel of the story and tone the author is using.
2. Write down your thoughts as a reader.
After you have finished the initial reading let the author know what you thought about his work. Tell her what worked for you and what you believe needs changing.
3. Suggest feedback on what could be changed including grammar and spelling.
If you don’t like the description, give an alternative. For example, “The ride was boring.” You think it would be better is the author used “The ride dragged on for ten hours and all you could see from the window were cornfields for miles.”
4. Give praise if you liked something but never criticize the author personally.
This is important for the author. If something made you smile, touched you in any way, or made you hate the villain, let the author know. This feedback will help the author make corrections to that work as well as in composing future writings. If you didn’t like something, don’t attack the author directly. Suggest an alternative. Let the author know that passage didn’t work and why, and then suggest an alternative.
5. Does the opening draw you in?
Most readers judge a book in the opening few pages. If the opening doesn’t grab you, most likely it won’t grab the reader. Let the author know why you didn’t like it. Give her a suggestion to make it better.
6. Does the story flow logically?
Tell the author if there are holes in the plot. For example; if you are in a hospital and want information on a non-relative patient, you wouldn’t be able to go ask the doctor or see the information regarding that patient in the computer. Also, you cannot know something just because you need it to advance the plot. The story needs to get there logically.
7. Is the setting detailed enough to ground the reader?
Give the reader subtle clues as to where you are. You can use nurses, doctors, and the operating room to set the scene in the hospital without saying you are in a hospital.
8. Are the characters well rounded or one note?
Give the reader information about the characters in casual conversation or in small amounts in narration. The reader doesn’t want to read an entire chapter describing what a character looks like and does for a living. And remember—even villains have some redeemable quality, so factor that into your descriptions.
9. Does the author switch point of view?
Did the author stray from the current character point of view to another point of view? Does she head hop? If you are telling a story from the man’s point of view, you cannot have a paragraph from the woman’s point of view.

For example:
Max spied the redhead sitting alone at the bar. She was tiny, had red hair, and a beautiful smile. Max hoped she would notice him.

At first, Fiona just played with her drink, stirring it with the tiny straw. Finally, she looked up and locked eyes with Max. Her heart pounded with excitement.

In this example, the POV character is Max. That means the second paragraph is out of POV (or there was head-hopping) because it’s not from Max’s perspective, but rather is from Fiona’s. This is distracting to readers and should be avoided.
10. Show. Don’t tell.
For example; he was angry.

This sentence tells us the man was angry. To show us the man was angry, try this instead:

John stomped across the room, tackled Ralph , and pinned him to the ground. While down, he repeatedly punched him, beating him until his face was unrecognizable.


The critique process is vital to producing a well-crafted novel. But remember, critiques are only suggestions by your critique partners and you don’t need to follow every suggestion. So find someone you trust and start a working critique relationship.

There you have it. The top ten tips to becoming a good critique partner. Do you have any other tips to add? Let’s talk about it.

 

Love Finds A Way Cover Reveal

Love Finds A Way Cover Reveal

Love Finds a Way Front v1

 

AIW Press is proud to reveal the cover for Love Finds A Way by Karen Malena.

Karen Malena comes from a close-knit Italian family which has given her the inspiration for her stories, some humorous, others thought-provoking.

Today, we are pleased to share with you not just the cover for her upcoming novel but a brief excerpt as well.

Step into Ligonier, a quaint Pennsylvania town that will welcome you, warm your heart, and take you into a journey of longing, faith, and ultimately, lasting true love.

 

 

Glancing around, knowing she was alone, McKenna went over to the corner of the room. She crouched beside the dryer; shame and guilt sickening her, but she slid the slender pen knife from the pocket of her uniform, rolled up her sleeve and jabbed the point into her upper arm. The droplets of blood that welled up made tears spring to her eyes, but after the initial sting, calmness descended upon her. Breathing deeply, letting only the feeling of exquisite pain envelop her, she closed the small blade and dropped it back into her pocket, rubbing at her arm with a paper towel from the dispenser near her. She pushed her long sleeves back into place before heading out the door.

We hope you enjoyed this sneak peek of Karen’s new novel. Love Finds A Way, will be available soon for purchase.

Just Released—Love Set in Stone

Just Released—Love Set in Stone

Love Set in StoneAIW Press is proud to announce it’s latest release, a paranormal romance, Love Set in Stone, by Staci Troilo.


A cold stone heart breaks more easily than it beats. Than it loves.

Damien was a loyal warrior, killed in battle in 1203. Because of his true heart, he was given the option to pass on to his eternal reward or exist in another state of being as a protector… until the time came when he could resume living the life he’d been cheated of.

A soldier by nature, he chose the latter. Then he waited centuries—as a gargoyle—growing increasingly bitter about his choice. Then he sees her.

Rina is a hard worker and loyal friend. She just has the worst luck. One night, after saving her best friend from a violent assault, she finds herself at the attacker’s mercy. Then, out of nowhere, a savior comes and rescues her.

With only an angel to guide him, Damien must make the right choices to win Rina’s heart, or be forever damned as a grotesque mockery of the guardian he once was.

Love Set in Stone is available now: Amazon | Kobo | Inktera | Scribd
Is coming soon: B&N | iBooks | 24 Symbols | Tolino | Paperback


Staci Troilo is a native Western Pennsylvanian who currently lives in Northwestern Arkansas. She writes multi-genre fiction focusing on flawed relationships. Her stand-alone titles and series span the mystery, contemporary, and romance genres and many of their subgenres, including suspense, paranormal, and medical dramas. Her short fiction has won many regional awards. For more information about Staci, visit her website: http://stacitroilo.com.

 

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