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Monday, May 10, 2010

A Great Way to Self Critique

Do you ever have times when you look at your writing and think, what now? It seems to flow when I read it. I don't see any grammatical errors. I'm sure there is something I could do to improve this piece, I'm just not sure what it is. I have a friend who is the diva of critiquing (you are dying to know who it is aren't you, it's Karen Mittan). She gave me a gem of a critiquing tool the other day and since I'm feeling generous, I'm going to share it with you.
For each of your paragraphs get a three by five card and write down the questions who, what, where, when, why and how. Ask questions relevant to your paragraph. For example: Who is affected in this paragraph? How did I show what my character was feeling. Where was he in this scene? What was he wearing? Was I descriptive, did I need to be? Why did my character say what he did? When did my character suddenly sit down?
Each set of questions will be different for each paragraph, and they will help you dig a little deeper into what makes each paragraph work, or not work. They may even help you to make your paragraph work better.
Thanks Karen.

6 comments:

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Hi Cathy! Great tip. I'm so going to use this with my next book. Thanks!

Kimberly Job said...

I'm not sure I have the time to do that for every paragraph, but the same idea could be used for each chapter.

RaShelle said...

Cathy,
Thanks for the info. Who? What? When? Where? Why? for each paragraph. Got it. :)

RaShelle said...

Oops, and How? Great info.

elizabeth mueller said...

Hi Cathy! Great post! I do that, but in a different way. I highlight each sentence in every paragraph a certain color representing the who, what, why, where, how... Lotsa work, but by golly, it will GLOW! ;)

Lori Nawyn said...

Great advice.

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