- Make all the same comments offered for the “share and share alike” writer
- Evaluate the tone of the work. Is it consistent? Does it compliment the story?
- Along with tone and pacing, now is a good time to start notes on tension. Is there tension? What kinds of tension are represented? Is it well balanced?
- Evaluate the themes in the manuscript. Are there any themes, are they obvious? How are they expressed and do they enhance the story?
- 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.
- Over focus on awkward phrasing. Critique partners may wish to begin addressing some passages of awkward phrasing in stronger passages, but if a segment looks as a whole is weak for other reasons, focus on tackling those larger story elements first.
- Consistency of timeline. While helpful to make some basic notes regarding the time flow, first drafts are a time to figure out when things should happen in a manuscript. Keep critique to helping settle the timeline before auditing it’s overall continuity.