13 Questions to ask your beta readers

As this was highly requested, here is a list of questions to help you figure out what your beta readers really thought about your novel. Often it's a difficult task to get people to share their opinions, but you need to remind your beta readers that they can't help you unless they're a hundred percent honest and transparent with you.

Your job is to write and get feedback, so make sure that you're good at handling criticism so that all of you can get as much out of this experience as possible.

So, there are three ways one can go about the beta reading question process: you can give them all the questions at the beginning, before they've even read the story; you can spread out the questions so that you get feedback after each chapter; or you can ask all of them at the end of the novel.

All of them are good and I recommend trying out different methods to figure out what works for you personally.

One thing I also love doing is using google docs or OneNote to allow my beta readers to make notes, corrections and comments while they read. Just make sure they don't get too caught up in editing the grammar of your novel, because that's not what they're for.


Remember, in the beta reading phase you only want to know how well your story flows as a whole, if your dialogue sounds natural and if your characters seem like actual real life people.

Now, questions.


There are some general questions I'd call 'must-asks':


1. Did the story hold your interest all the way through? Where was the tension lacking and what was it that pulled you in?

2. Are the most important characters believable and consistent? Describe their personalities shortly and your opinion of them.


3. Is it clear what the protagonist wants?

4. Is most of the action driven by the protagonist's goal?

5. Are the minor characters believable and consistent? (you can choose to describe just one or two)


6. What character do you enjoy the most—why?

7. Do you think the writing style fits the genre?


8. How would you describe the writing style? (in a few words)


9. Does this part work as a story opening/inciting incident/climax/ending?


10. What scenes made you the most emotional?

11. Which setting was most memorable?


12. Where did you stop reading the first time?

13. Would you keep reading?


And a bonus-question to make sure you get everything out of your beta readers:

14. What needs more development and focus?

Story?
World?
Characters?
Mood and style?


If you found this helpful, make sure to share this resource with all your writerly friends and fellow storytellers so that together we may hone our skills and become better at this whole beta reading process. It's a stressful one, so let's all support and help each other! I'll see you around!

Don't forget to subscribe to the site and follow my adventures on instagram at @storyworldofem so you won't miss any new writing tips :)


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