Friday, August 19, 2011

What Questions would you ask?

The Dan Poynter Global eBooks Awards Ceremony is tomorrow (Saturday 20th) in sunny Santa Barbara. I know I can't go, but still, it's nice to feel I've had some part in it this year. I've really enjoyed reading and reviewing the books; I've even, almost, enjoyed generating scores--the score-sheets certainly made it much more interesting than just applying 3 stars or 4 or 5. It's got me thinking I should maybe make my own score-sheet for book reviews, or at least, for reviewing and editing my own work... Could be depressing, but I think it might help. But what questions would I ask? Dan Poynter offered 15 categories in 5 sets of 3, which seems a pretty good number. Of course, I wouldn't score covers and format if I'm just editing... so here's my personal 15...

  1. Story structure: Does the beginning grab me? Does the middle keep me interested? Does the end satisfy?
  2. Words: Are words spelled wrongly or misused? Are words repeated? Are words appropriate to the characters and story?
  3. Sentence structure: Are sentences overcomplicated? Are sentences oversimple or repetitious? Is the grammar appropriate to the characters and story?
  4. Dialog: Can I tell who is speaking? Is the dialog boring? Is the dialog plausible?
  5. Overall effect: Is the story confusing? Do the separate parts fit into the overall theme? Were the scenes well-chosen or were their vital pieces missing?
 What do you think? Have I missed something important? What questions would you ask?


Sun Singer said...

I tend to notice locations. Do we have a sense of place at all? Are the facts about the place correct? Is the place over-used--that is, it there so much in there about hotels, restaurants, etc. that it sounds like the author just went on vacation there and has dumped the itinerary into then novel. What do the characters think about the place, especially those who are POV characters?


Laura Eno said...

You have a good set of questions. In fact, I think I'll print them out for my own editing. It's a shame you can't go to Santa Barbara after all the work you've done!

Ruthi aka abitosunshine said...

I love the scoresheet idea for book reviews. I might have to snag that idea and incorporate it into my reviews.
(If you don't mind..:-)

Sheila Deeth said...

I think I'm going to have to add to or rethink some of these. I like your sense of place questions Malcolm.

And yes Ruthi, feel free to use them. It's nice to have had the chance to judge and learn the idea.

Curmudgeon said...

I copied these down and put them with tips that I understand. I'm new at writing. I write humor but these apply to that also. thank you