I noticed a lot of people don’t understand the difference between subjective and objective literary judgement (aka measuring literary quality). Here’s a list breaking everything down:
- Art – emotion, theme
- Story – the internal journey the main character takes (isn’t limited by genre or target audience)
- Style – a writer’s way with words
- Craft – balancing conflict, pacing, story arc(s), and tension through action, description, dialogue, and narrative via varying literary techniques
- Spelling and grammar – not only spelling a word correctly but also using said word in proper context
- Syntax – the way parts of speech are arranged in sentences
One can judge the quality of writing based on those objective factors.
To objectively judge craft, ask yourself questions like:
- Are the chosen elements and techniques balancing story with plot? (For instance, if the work is an action-adventure, but description outweighs action—in any form—9:4, there’s an imbalance.)
- Would technique A have worked better—for sections X and Y or for the overall work—than technique B?
To objectively judge spelling and grammar, ask yourself questions like:
- Are homophones and homonyms used correctly?
- Is this word spelled correctly?
To objectively judge syntax, ask yourself questions like:
- Does the subject and the verb agree?
- Are clauses used with their proper corresponding parts of speech and punctuation?
- Are there too many clauses between the subject and the verb?
Questions? Comments? Objections?