25 Questions for Your Beta Readers

As I’m drafting, I’m taking into account the feedback I received in reviews so far for The Living God. Some were issues that the dev edit should have caught. However, I think if I had adopted better questions for my beta readers the issues would have been fixed before hitting the dev edit process altogether. Now that I’m nearing the halfway point on my sequel draft, I have started researching questions to ask the next round of beta readers for my novel. 

These are some that I’ve come across in my research. 25 Questions seems like a lot to pass off to someone reading a 50K-100K word manuscript, but each of these questions feels so important. If you’re concerned about participation based on the number of questions, maybe pick the 10 most important questions to you. Resource links below. 

25 Questions to Ask Your Beta Readers. 

  1. Did the story hold your interest from the very beginning? If not, why not? Where did you lose interest?
  2. Did you get oriented fairly quickly at the beginning as to whose story it is, and where and when it’s taking place? If not, why not?
  3. Could you relate to the main character? 
  4. Did the setting interest you and did the descriptions seem vivid and real to you?
  5. Was there a point at which you felt the story lagged or you became less than excited about finding out what was going to happen next? Where, exactly?
  6. Were there any parts that confused you? Or even frustrated or annoyed you? Which parts, and why?
  7. Did you notice any discrepancies or inconsistencies in time sequences, places, character details, or other details? 
  8. Were the characters believable? Are there any characters you think could be made more interesting or more likable?
  9. Did you get confused about who’s who in the characters? Were there too many characters to keep track of? Too few? Are any of the names of characters too similar? 
  10. Was there one character you just couldn’t stand?
  11. Did you feel there was too much description or exposition? Not enough? Maybe too much dialogue in parts?
  12. Was there enough conflict, tension, and intrigue to keep your interest? 
  13. Was the ending satisfying? Believable? 
  14. Did you notice any obvious, repeating grammatical, spelling, punctuation or capitalization errors? Examples?
  15. Do you think the writing style suits the genre? If not, why not?
  16. Which character did you enjoy the most? The least? Why?
  17. Did the dialogue feel natural?
  18. If you could change anything to make the story better, what would you change?
  19. Did anything in the text confuse you? What? Why?
  20. Were there any points throughout that you found illogical based on the rules of the world? If so, why?
  21. Were any parts of the plot predictable?
  22. What’s your favorite part about the book?
  23. How was the pacing between narrative and dialogue?
  24. What enticed you the most if anything? What grabbed your attention the most?
  25. Lastly, did the climax feel climactic, was the payoff in the end worth reading the whole book?

These questions were compiled from The Writing Cooperative and BetaReader.io, a platform specifically designed to share your work with Beta Readers. 

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