Beta Reader

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Sample Beta Reader Questions

  • Did the story hold your interest from the beginning? If not, why?
  • Were you bored at any point?
  • Did you get oriented fairly quickly at the beginning as to whose story it is and where/when it’s taking place? If not, why?
  • Could you relate to the main character(s)? Did you feel his her pain/excitement?
  • Did the setting interested you? Did the descriptions seem vivid and real to you?
  • Was there anything you didn’t understand?
  • Were there any parts that confused you? Frustrated or annoyed you? Which parts, and why?
  • Was there a point at which you felt the story started to lag or you became less than excited about finding out what was going to happen next? Where was this?
  • Were the characters believable? Did their actions/dialogue fit their personalities?
  • Were there any characters you felt could be more interesting or likable?
  • Did you get confused about who’s who in the characters and/or the relationship of any of the characters to the main character?
  • Were there too many characters to keep track of? Too few?
  • Were any of the names of the characters too similar? Too difficult to pronounce?
  • Did you notice any discrepancies or inconsistencies in time sequence, places, character details, or other details?
  • Did the dialogue keep your interest?
  • Did the dialogue move the story forward?
  • Did the dialogue sound natural to you? If not, whose dialogue did you think sounded artificial, stilted, or not like that person would speak?
  • Was there too much (or not enough) dialogue in any parts?
  • Did you feel there was too much description or exposition (sometimes referred to as an “information dump”)?
  • Did you feel enough description or exposition wasn’t given at any point?
  • Was there enough conflict, tension, and intrigue to keep your interest?
  • Was the ending satisfying? Believable? Was it a cliffhanger? If so, did it “fit” the story and resolve any conflicts?
  • Did you think the writing style suited the genre? If not, why?
  • Did you notice any obvious repeating grammatical, spelling, punctuation, or capitalization errors? Can you provide examples?
  • Which scenes/paragraphs/lines did you really like?
  • Which parts did you dislike or not like as much, and why?
  • Are there parts that made you want to skip ahead or put the book down?
  • Which parts resonated with you and/or moved you emotionally?
  • Which parts should be elaborated or brought more to life?
  • Did any parts confuse you? What confused you?
  • Which characters did you really connect to?
  • Which characters need more development or focus?

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4 comments

This is such a good idea and very informative for those that are just starting with the beta reader thing. Thanks for this Kelly!

Another great post and one worth saving.
A few days ago I released my fourth anthology of short stories – checked by no less than twelve beta readers.
There are twelve stories in the book and each story had between two and four readers. I’m pleased to say I had no big issues to resolve but it gave me more confidence in the finished article.

Very informative. Good luck with the rest of the challenge.

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