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Story Evaluation Checklist (draft v. 1.

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For the SpecFic_Support community on LiveJournal

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Plot
Credibility Logical coherence: cause and effect flow clearly Shape: instigation, crisis, climax and resolution managed appropriately Completeness: key threads are resolved Themes: clear and reinforced throughout the piece Resonance: elements/ideas/threads project beyond the story

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Characters
Engaging Protagonist: likeable, active, credible, struggles, sympathetic, etc Engaging Antagonist: Agency: protagonist is involved, not merely an observer, and shapes the course of the story Narrative voice: distinct, believable (if theres a POV character mediating the narration) Transformation: protagonist undergoes meaningful movement/change/decision Well Rounded Protagonist Well Rounded Supporting Characters Distinct: characters have unique speech, quirks, interests, priorities, etc Broad: characters are invested in each other and the world Evocative: characters display emotions effectively (reactions, body language, etc) Dialog: believable, not stilted, no maid and butler, etc.

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Setting
World-building: consistent and credible Presentation: picture of the world is built up gradually, not in chunks Immediate: world close to characters is well presented and rounded. Middle-ground: context of scene is well presented

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Distant: backdrop is well presented

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Structure
Organization: makes sense scenes in an appropriate order Completeness: no excess/redundant scenes, no missing scenes Setups: key elements are introduced before theyre needed, avoiding need to backtrack Heterogenous: effective mix of narration, action and dialog. No long blocks or infodumps etc.

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Beginning & Ending


First sentence: draws you in, generates interest Grounding: opening lines grounds the reader in the story world Establishment: Character, setting, conflict established in initial scene / first 10% Establish Epectations: properly sets up readers expectations Satisfy Expectations: fulfills expectations and promises Energy: appropriate level of energy on which to close the story Full Circle: ending resonates enough with the opening to create a sense of completeness and unity

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Prose
Specificity: descriptive & specific words preferred over generic Vocabulary: word-choice is consistent and appropriate to the style & mood of the piece Variety: sentence structure is pleasingly heterogeneous Echoes avoided: repeated words/variants dont occur too closely Rhythm/Cadence: prose flows naturally

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Descriptions
Sensory: five senses are all engaged with sufficient frequency Viscerals: characters physical reactions are evoked Internals: characters thoughts/reactions/intuitions are provided, as appropriate. Fresh: Are specific and evocative. Clichs are avoided

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Affect
Tone & emotional beats: match scene and mood Emotional pay-off

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The Basics
Grammar and Spelling Tense & POV handled properly Active: Avoid excessive use of passive verbs and constructions

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