• Cathy Witbeck

Who, What, When, Where, Why & How


Do you ever have times when you look at your writing and think, what now? It seems to flow when I read it. I don't see any grammatical errors. I'm sure there is something I could do to improve this piece, I'm just not sure what it is.
Recently I found a great critiquing tool. For each of your paragraphs get a three by five card and write down the questions who, what, when, where, why and how. Now ask questions relevant to your paragraph. For example: Who is affected in this paragraph? How did I show what my character was feeling? Where was he in the scene? What objects gave me clues to who my character is? Was I descriptive? Was I overly descriptive? Why did my character say what he did? When did my character suddenly understand what he was feeling?
Each set of questions will most likely be different for each paragraph, and they will help you dig a little deeper into what makes that paragraph work, or not work. They may even help it work better.

I wrote about this subject back in 2010 on my story painter blog (gone now). I attributed this critiquing tool to a friend of mine named Karen Mittan. It's still hers. Thanks, Karen.

I like to share writing tools when I find them. I'm open to new ideas. Feel free to comment.



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