You may want to consider utilizing a checklist to guide your comments to others in your critique group. Below is one we developed. I am sharing the first five this time and will post the rest next week.
* Does the opening line or paragraph immediately hook the reader?
* Did you want to keep reading?
* Is the writer’s voice distinct and unique?
* Does the author utilize showing and telling skillfully?
* Indicate passages needing more “show”.
3) PROFESSIONAL IMPACT:
* Does the author have a grasp of the elements of grammar, spelling, and punctuation?
* Is the writing fresh and original, avoiding cliches?
* Is the writer overusing/overdoing actions? Themes? Words? Character traits?
* Is the manuscript appropriate for the general market?
* Was the place, time of day, season, time period set?
* Does the setting support the story?
* Do sensory details (sight, sound, touch, smell) enhance each scene?
* Is the main character identifiable? Unique?
* Do you get a sense of the character’s journey and what the story is about?
* Do secondary characters contribute to the story? Are they defined and likable?
* Do characters’ emotions seem believable and/or provide understandable motives?