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Fiction Self-Assessment Questionnaire


This questionnaire is designed to give you an ‘diagnostic analysis’ of your fiction so that you can see its strengths and weaknesses and work out the key areas on which to focus. It consists of an ‘X-Ray Analysis’ which outlines every part of your work, helping you to spot the things you need to do to make your fiction more successful.

Give the answer which you feel is most appropriate in response to the question. You’ll notice quite a lot of overlap and repetition - that’s intentional, to get you to look again or from a different angle at some aspects.

You can send the results to me, if you like, and I’ll try to give you some meaningful feedback - or you might find that just asking yourself these questions gets you to look at your work in a different and useful way.

MOSTLY YES = Y

SOMETIMES, MAYBE OR PARTLY = M

MOSTLY NO = N

1. As a writer, do you have well-laid-out plans for the next 5 to 10 years?

YMN

2. Are you finding it difficult to develop convincing or attractive characters?

YMN

3. Is your writing effectively bringing in droves of readers?

YMN

4. Do you experience problems getting emotional commitment from readers?

YMN

5. Are you happy with the plot structure of your work?

YMN

6. Is your writing style of sufficient quality?

YMN

7. Do your readers quickly appreciate what your work ‘is all about’?

YMN

8. Do you find it easy to set writing goals and work towards them?

YMN

9. Do characters often seem weak or ineffective?

YMN

10. Are you attracting lots of readers?

YMN

11. Do you struggle to inject emotion into the story?

YMN

12. Do you experience plot construction problems?

YMN

13. Do you monitor the quality of your writing in some way?

YMN

14. Are you able to deliver a powerful ending?

YMN

15. Does your writing regularly meet targets?

YMN

16. Do you have solid, realistic characters?

YMN

17. Do you feel that trying to attract readers is a waste of time?

YMN

19. Are you concerned about the motion of the plot?

YMN

18. Are you struggling emotionally with your work?

YMN

20. Do you have a definite style - a way of effectively communicating with readers?

YMN

21. Do you suffer from problems to do with the ending of the story?

YMN

22. Do you think your fiction reflects your vision of life?

YMN

23. Are your characters generally working out?

YMN

24. Have you got an active way of attracting readers and holding their attention effectively?

YMN

25. Does your fiction have healthy emotional content which works on readers?

YMN

26. Do you often make significant changes to the plot?

YMN

27. Do you get many rejections?

YMN

28. Do you set up the story well and then have trouble delivering?

YMN

29. Are you in apathy about your writing?

YMN

30. Are you confident that your characters have appeal?

YMN

31. Are you troubled by a loss of readers?

YMN

32. Do you feel your emotional content is about right?

YMN

33. Is the plot exciting and effective in holding the reader’s attention?

YMN

34. Are there often questions from readers about what a particular sentence or section means?

YMN

35. Is it hard to see how to wrap the story up?

YMN

36. Are you happy with your writing?

YMN

37. Do you have a method of keeping track of your characters’ motivations?

YMN

38. Do you feel that your story could be more targeted to a particular audience?

YMN

39. Are you anxious about emotion in the story?

YMN

40. Could the plot be speeded up?

YMN

41. Have you developed a unique writing style?

YMN

42. Do you have a number of ways of concluding the story?

YMN

43. Are you overloaded or stressed by your writing?

YMN

44. Do you understand your main characters’ motivations entirely?

YMN

45. Do you understand your readers?

YMN

46. Does your story contain hardly any emotion?

YMN

47. Have you ever 'walked through' the plot to make sure it makes sense?

YMN

48. Is there a way of improving your writing style?

YMN

49. Does your story conclude in such a way that readers have to work out their own ending?

YMN

50. Do you have well-developed minor characters?

YMN

51. Are your characters hard to motivate?

YMN

52. Are you spending enough time on looking at things from the reader’s point of view?

YMN

53. Is it hard to make emotion work in your story?

YMN

54. Are you confident enough in your style?

YMN

55. Do you regularly review your ending to see if changes need to be made?

YMN

56. Is your writing well known?

YMN

58. Do you write fiction easily?

YMN

57. Is there at least one character you are completely happy with?

YMN

59. Do you have an effective set of characters?

YMN

60. Is the emotional level lower than it should be?

YMN

61. Is your plot disorganised?

YMN

62. Is there room for improvement?

YMN

63. Is your ending easily understandable even if it was translated into another language?

YMN

64. Can you see yourself writing fiction for much longer?

YMN

65. Do your characters work well together?

YMN

66. Are you always worried about attracting readers?

YMN

67. Is there an excess of emotion in the work?

YMN

68. Do you have enough characters to produce a good story?

YMN

69. Have you reached the top of your game?

YMN

70. Is your writing universal (appealing to almost anyone)?

YMN


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