Posted in Fiction

Writing a Critique

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Writing a critique or a review about another piece of writing is not easy. There’s quite a bit of thought that goes into the process. Yes, a process. You don’t just want to jump right on your computer and type out what you want to say. Truth be told, you want to write what you want to say in such a way so it doesn’t hurt the feelings of the author of the piece of writing you’re critiquing.

What you want to do is write it so the author can learn from what you are saying, AND take away from it what was GOOD about their story/book. So, how does one accomplish this?

  1. Introduce the piece of writing you are critiquing/reviewing. Give a brief summary of the book/piece of writing.
  2. Discuss various details you liked about the selection. In other words insert the positives first.
  3. Discuss what you didn’t like about the selection. Talk about what the selection was lacking. What needed more work? What didn’t work well? Be as objective as possible.
  4. Summarize your review.

The idea is NOT to hurt the authors feelings. The idea is to help them so they can grow as a writer. Below is a book review by H. L. Walsh about my novel The Triunix of Time. His review was very well done. (Disclaimer: The strong-willed best friend Maggie will be back in book 2. LOL. There’s a reason that I didn’t go back to her in book 1. It’s a storyline that only works for the scenario in which she is depicted in book 2).

Sample Book Review
I was a bit unsure of this book when I first picked it up not sure what to expect. L. M. Montes didn’t disappoint me. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good time travel story with magical elements. Montes does a wonderful job at keeping the reader’s attention throughout the story. Her characters are well rounded and unique and you grow to care about them as you go through the story. She keeps a good pace throughout the book so much so I never felt there was a point where it was a good time to put the book down. The mysteries of Tora’s past and her future destiny keep you moving through the book and the ending leaves you with the hope of a second book. Overall, I think this book is definitely worth a read and will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the story.

However, there were still a few things I think could have been improved. The biggest issue I think was some of the reaction of the characters. One thing that sticks in my mind is the first time Tora teleports. A mundane, every day, down to earth girl who has never before teleported in her life and the first words out of her mouth are “Want something to drink while we wait?” The lack of reaction, or what feels like the wrong reaction to certain situations throughout the book, I think was the weakest point of the writing. Another thing that stuck out to me is, I felt like Montes tried to throw too many new things in the last quarter of the book when the action was moving the fastest. It was hard to keep up and remember all the abilities of different characters.

The last thing I want to talk about is certainly the least problematic, however the most unexpected. I mentioned before how well she wrote her characters, which is why I was so surprised when she seems to simply forget about one of her characters halfway through her story never to be heard from again. I expected the strong-willed best friend to be in the story from start to finished but after she is captured by the bad guy and gets away she is dropped off in a safe house and is never mentioned again. I really liked this character and was hoping to see a lot more of her and to see her grow as a sidekick. I do hope Montes brings her back, or has a reason for her absence, in the second book.

Bottom line, I think this book is definitely worth picking up even with the few issues it has. None of these issues ever caused me to put down the book. They only gave me pause for a minute to make sure I read things correctly.


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