How to write a book critique
Remember that your advice needs to be about the work, not about the writer. Keep the comments and advice respectful and helpful. Think about the craft of the writing, and whether the hero’s goals and motivations are consistent. Look at the pacing of the story. Are there boring parts?
Making notes about these issues will help the author. Making suggestions about how the author might fix the issues, is helpful.
An example of how to write a book critique when you find a character’s action unmotivated:
When the hero ran into the gun fight, I didn’t understand why she would take such a risky act. You may need to build up the motivation early in the story.
How to write a book critique – badly
Looking at the example above, let’s see how not to give a critique.
Your hero was stupid to run into that building. No one would do that!
The other way to write a bad critique is to rewrite the author’s work. A critique is an expert opinion, the author is free to ignore what you see. By rewriting the work, you are changing the relationship from a peer based one to a teacher/student relationship.
Don’t: Your character wouldn’t say, “I ache for you, my love.” They would say “I miss you so much there is no candle that would be strong enough to banish the darkness.”
Do: It seemed like the character was more abrupt in their speech when they would normally be more poetic. Is there a reason you would have made such a change in their personality?
The key to knowing how to write a book critique is to be respectful, but not hold back on the issues you see.