- Point out what works. What’s clever, what’s funny, what’s emotional. Celebrate the wins.
- Point out areas the manuscript wanders. Are their places the writer shared too much or dropped in exposition? Help find alternatives.
- Identify core components—characters, plot, theme(s), and pacing. Provide any thoughts one has in regards to their current state and avenues for further development.
- Tackle anything specific the writer asks for.
- Dig into grammar. The specific words and framing will change significantly between now and a final draft. Grammar edits is a waste of a critique partner’s time at this point.
- Highlight awkward phrasing. Same reasons as above.
- Tone. Same reasons as above.