Questions for Beta Readers
What is a Beta Reader? The short answer is someone who evaluates your story. Long answer; they give you feedback on your story. They are like beta testers for software, looking for bugs and problems. A good beta reader points out holes in your plot, point of view problems, and chronology problems. They point out confusing areas and let you know if you’re describing things too much. They let you know when something just doesn’t make sense in the story. When they finish reading your book, the good ones include their comments either in the document or in a separate document. My beta reader made her notes at the end of each chapter.
Did the story keep your interest from the start? If it didn’t, why?
Were you able to determine who the main character is and where and when it takes place? If not, what needs to be changed?
Were you able to connect with the main character? Could you feel their excitement, fear, or pain?
Did you like the setting was there enough detail or too much?
Did any point in the story drag or made you lose interest? If so, where?
Did anything in the story confuse you or frustrate you? Where and in what way?
Did the timeline seem plausible and move in a linear fashion? Were there any inconsistencies?
Did you find the characters believable? Do you think any of the characters could be improved?
Were you confused by the any of the characters? Are there too many or too few? Was there enough difference in the character names?
Was the dialogue crisp and help move the story along? Did it seem natural? Did you have any trouble figuring out who was speaking?
Was there too much description or not enough? Was there anything that should have been expanded on?
Is there enough tension, conflict, and intrigue keep you reading?
Did you like the ending? Did it seem believable?
Did you notice any major problems with punctuation, grammar, or spelling errors? If so, where?
Do you believe this writing style fits the genre? If you don’t, why?
What scenes did you like the most?
Should anything be shortened or deleted?
Any parts you think should be expanded on?
What is your overall opinion of the story?
What is your overall opinion of the characters?
When dealing with beta readers you need patience. Remember, they are taking their free time to read and comment on something you wrote. Beta readers have lives of their own and the responsibilities that go with their life. Don’t pester them, asking how far along they are or when they expect to finish.
May the words ever flow!