If I have reviewed your work, this article might provide insight into what I was thinking.
My reviewing Rubric
1. Each story starts out with one star, the lowest rating a story could possibly get.
I give additional stars based on each of the following categories:
2. Grammar & Style – use of spacing, grammar, spelling, and capitalization are appropriate and aid in the reading process.
If there are minimal errors that do not detract from the flow and readability of the story, I will give one full star.
If there are a number of errors that make reading the story difficult, I give half a star.
If there are so many errors that I can hardly pay attention to the story at all, I give no star for this category.
3. Coherence – use of appropriate punctuation and syntax. Transitions flow smoothly. The plot is easy to understand. The result is that I do not have to go back and keep re-reading sentences to understand what they mean. (when I have to do that, it takes a lot from the experience of reading for enjoyment.)
If there are just one or two sentences that are a little awkward, but the story overall is easy to understand, then I give one full star.
If there are multiple fragments, run-ons, incoherently-organized paragraphs, that detract from the story and I find myself having to reread paragraphs to understand them, then I give half a star.
If there are so many of the above errors, the story lacks a logical flow of ideas, and the plot is so unclear that I have more questions than answers at the end of the story, then I give no star for this category.
4. Consistency – the plot, characters, ideas and themes are consistent throughout the story. The result is that I can make predictions about the plot (whether or not they come true), I can sympathize with the characters and I can understand why certain events transpire.
This one is easy to mess up. Basically, imagine your story like a movie. Are there any scenes where you find yourself thinking, “Wait a minute, how did Alfred get here from the other side of Gotham City in a mere 30 seconds?” If so, you are probably missing something. Maybe you forgot to explain something earlier in the story (you were thinking it, but forgot to write it down), maybe you’re writing a work in progress and you are not exactly sure how the story will end yet, or maybe you are trying to say too much. In any case, if there are any noticeable inconsistencies in your story (characters, names, places do not match up), then I give half a star for this category.
If you have characters who suddenly change demeanor without some kind of life-changing turn of events, then I won’t give you a star for this category. One of my major pet peeves in reading is finding a character who is a happy-go-lucky kind of person in one chapter, then becomes somber and sullen in the next chapter without explanation (unless that’s part of the plot and it is explained by the end of the story).
5. Themes – use of interesting themes, perspectives and vocabulary. The ideas are original or clichés have a new twist. Archetypes that exist are employed creatively. I can identify with the characters. The vocabulary is colorful and adds to the scenery of the story.
This category basically means: “Is your story interesting?” If I have bothered to finish reading a story, then I will probably give this category at least half a star. To get a full star, throw in a few extra words from the dictionary, explain your character’s thoughts in some detail, make things a little quirky.
As always, if I have reviewed your work and given it a rating or review you don’t like, ask me about it. Also, if you make some changes to your work, let me know and I may boost my rating accordingly.