35 Questions to Ask When Critiquing a Novel

This is an awesome article from Rachel Poli about things to ask when critiquing a novel. It’s also a pretty good guideline for you self-editors out there!

Rachel Poli

Are you beginning the editing stage of your novel? Did someone ask you to critique their novel or are you asking someone else to critique yours?

Here are 35 questions to ask yourself to dig deeper into that story.

Editing Checklist: 35 Questions to ask when Critiquing a Novel

1. Does the opening of the story hook you? Do you want to read more? Why or why not?
2. What are the conflicts (internal and external) in the story? Is a conflict known right away?
3. Are there too many conflicts happening in the book at once? Or is there not enough?
4. Are all the conflicts important to the story and help drive the plot forward?
5. Is the plot clear and believable from the beginning?
6. Is the plot interesting? Will the readers be able to relate to points in the book?
7. Is the plot resolved at the end of the book? Is the reader satisfied at…

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August Carnival of Aces: How Naming My Sexuality Changed My Relationships


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Last month’s Carnival of Aces was about ‘Naming It’, or the importance of having words to describe how we view ourselves and the world around us as asexual people. This topic is something I was immediately interested in contributing to. Unfortunately, it was also something that I wasn’t sure how to approach without just repeating myself.

After a lot of thought, I finally decided to talk about the present rather than the past. Specifically, how my approach to friendships and potential relationships has changed since discovering that I’m asexual. Continue reading

The Importance of Studying Other Forms of Writing


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Pretty much everyone is aware that the publishing industry is changing. Right now, with the advent of self-publishing and the high demand for content from the internet, writing has more avenues to explore than ever before. From a professional standpoint, a writer has to wear lots of hats to make a living in their chosen profession. It’s rarely enough to be a novelist now. Instead, most of the writers that I know are doing freelancing, script-writing, small market writing, and also writing their novels.

But, what does that have to do with someone that’s still in the beginning stages of their craft? That isn’t sure if they want to be a professional? Can other types of writing help them in any way or should they continue writing the Great American Novel? Well, let’s look at the ways that exploring different modes of writing can help. Continue reading

3 Reasons Why Short Stories Rock



Short stories are downright amazing. I’m a huge fan of both reading and writing shorter fiction. Short stories are bite-sized and you can get a lot of variety in the form of collections, anthologies, and even author-released omnibuses. Writing short stories is also a great thing for writers of any stripe to explore, both to increase their output and to improve at their craft. But, what makes short stories so great? Well, let’s look at some of the ways. Continue reading

Reclaiming Art, Overcoming Trauma


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Yesterday, something amazing happened.

My dad and I were at Michael’s (which for those who don’t know is an AMAZING arts and crafts store) looking at Halloween stuff. He had gone to the bathroom and I wandered over to the art section.

Familiar brands greeted me, bottles of paint and gesso beckoned me closer. Sketchpads that I’d once dreamed of owning lined the shelves in polite rows, waiting to be noticed. Dark stained easels saluted me while pearly canvases squatted in meditative silence in front of my eyes.

You see, to say that I love art is an understatement. My enthusiasm for art is a huge part of who I am. Continue reading