How to Conduct a Critical Reading of Fiction

A critical reading means that you need to determine whether the message in the content has been clearly delivered by the writer or not. There are no hard and fast rules in fiction writing, because the writer is not supposed to write any reality. Nevertheless, the main idea should be based on real life emotions and feelings so that the readers can relate to the story.

A critic should thoroughly read the fiction, and try to know what it is all about. The message should be conveyed properly. And if you find any issues, you need to come up with logical points. One cannot have a biased opinion about a book of fiction.


  • 1

    You need to have enough time to conduct a critical reading of fiction. An analysis cannot be done in hurry. You may make serious mistakes, if you don’t have sufficient time.

  • 2

    Being unbiased is the key in this process. If the writer is your friend, it is better to avoid this activity. It is important to be unbiased in every aspect. Consider that the fiction is your own, and the one who is conducting the critical study knows nothing about you.

  • 3

    Determine whether the writer’s thoughts are clear as well as understandable. A lot of writers write fiction just to evoke a single emotional response in the readers. If the author wants to convey so many things at the same time, he/she is confused himself/herself.

  • 4

    After that, you are required to analyse the fiction’s literary elements. Read the theme, characters, plot, conflicts and other things with full concentration, and try to know what point the writer has tried to make.

    Ask questions such as: Do the characters have flaws? Is the conflict justified?Are the events confusing? And Does the story contain irony?

  • 5

    If you find any flaws in the fiction, support your arguments with reasons. Identify the area where the writer has made a mistake. Also suggest that how could he make it better.

  • 6

    You are also required to identity that whether the writer has tried to manipulate things. Judge the story on solid reasons, but don’t try to be extra critical. It is fiction, and you have to give the writer a little room to play with things.

  • 7

    Also find out that whether the conclusion is strong enough. The writer may have done a terrific job throughout, but if the ending is not strong, you cannot ask others to read his/her work.

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