Short Story- The Judges Questions
Short Story Questions by Category
- Does the story open with a compelling hook that makes you want to continue reading?
- Does the setting provide a believable, appropriate and/or natural framework for the story?
- Are the main characters multidimensional, with evidence (or at least hints) that they have weaknesses as well as strengths?
- Is the protagonist sufficiently interesting to produce empathy (or at least curiosity) in the reader?
- Does the conflict arise believably from the characters’ motivations and goals?
- Is there sufficient conflict (internal and/or external) to sustain the reader’s interest?
- By the end of the story, does the reader have a strong sense of satisfaction that the conflict has been resolved and that the character has grown and changed?
- Do the dialogue and narrative provide characterization and move the story and/or relationships forward?
- Does the author present the work with a distinctive voice and an engaging style of expression?
- Is each character’s voice consistent and appropriate for his/her age, education, gender, ethnicity, etc.?
- Is point of view handled correctly?
- Is the dialogue natural, not stilted or overly narrative?
- Is the entry presented professionally and following the format required by the contest? Is the manuscript free of typographical, spelling, and punctuation errors?
- Is the story told in a clear and focused manner without annoying overuse of adjectives and adverbs?
- Is the work without grammar errors; or, if errors exist, are they necessary for the story’s atmosphere?
- Does each scene have a clear and necessary relationship with the scenes that precede and follow it?
- Does the proportion of showing versus telling produce an active and engaging story flow?
- Are the necessary backstory and exposition presented in an artful and well-balanced manner via narration and/or dialogue?
- Is the pacing appropriate for the unfolding story – does it move rapidly enough to sustain interest?
- Candidly assess the total impact of this short story. Realistically evaluate its likelihood of enticing a successful editor to publish it.