Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Do you have focus questions for your beta-readers?

I'm happy to share mine (you're more than welcome to use them!):


*As you read, please mark where you put the book down for a ‘breather’ and why.

*Do you find any spots where you just want to skip ahead?

*Is the dialogue fun?

*Does the romance sound real?

*Are the words easy to understand?

*Is there enough description to help you feel ‘there’?

*Is there too much detail? Please highlight where. And if you feel there is too much detail, which do you like    best?

*Do the characters feel real to you? Do you like the them?

*Do you find yourself connecting with the characters?

*Are the characters' voices distinctive—do they feel real?

*Does the main character’s transition sound realistic?

*Does the character’s ending circumstance sound believable?

Do you have your own list?

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  1. Great list, and very generous of you to share it. I'm so going to tweet this!

  2. Fantastic list.
    My reader suggested dumping a whole sub-plot which ran to several chapters. It really tightened my book up
    Maybe some question about is anything in the book redundant in terms of the main story.

  3. Great questions! I always ask - is there anything about my protagonist that annoys you?

  4. Gosh!! I've never thought of having a list such as these!! This is very helpful thank you! I just ask my lovely readers if they like what they're reading or not! LOL!!!!

    Take care

  5. Thanks for sharing this! I especially like the first question.

  6. Oh, this is a great list of question. I haven't typically been quite this specific. And it depends on the iteration on what I ask (first read has been the more general set that goes with these, but then I have a pacing/wording round and finally, my fabulous micro-beta reader.

  7. Fantastic questions! I'm going to use these with the new critique group I'm joining. Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. I have not given them questions, but it's a great idea, and you had some great ones!

  9. Nice list! There's certainly a lot to keep track of, isn't there? ;)

  10. These are good questions to ask as you write, too.

  11. thanks for popping in today...and for sharing these...i agree with nessa...good to think on as you write but great direction to for your readers...

  12. those are some great questions and every writer should be brave enough to ask them to their beta readers :)

  13. Here's my list:
    Who do you feel is the main/most important character?
    Who is your favorite character and why? Least?
    Which is your favorite scene and why? Least?
    What are the major plot/turning points as you see them?
    The Ending. Does the story make any kind of point/sense?

    I actually have a bunch of story-specific questions like "how did you feel when X did Y to Z?" etc.

    I'm going to copy your list into my doc tho. Good stuff.

  14. What a great bunch of questions. Thanks for sharing this list.

    I remember some of the Creative Writing courses I took and how when we'd have critique sessions the professor told us (as the author) to come prepared with some specific questions to ask the group and then as readers to be ready to answer those questions as well as to come with our own questions.

  15. Damyanti, thank you and you're very welcome! I'm glad that you like them! :)

    Al, great point! There are places in the story that would do quite well WITHOUT, aren't there? Thanks for adding to the list. ;)

    Em-Musing, LOL! Oh, great point! I've come across several MSs where that was certainly the case, which drastically reduces the 'like' factor. Thank you for bringing this up!

    Jennifer, that is also important! :D

    K.L., I do too! It makes me cringe when I think about it, but it's a necessary evil, isn't it?

    Hart, I like your method. Those are all very important steps, too! :)

    Rebecca, you're welcome! :D

    Jamie, you're very welcome! I'm glad you're going to use them. Congrats on your new critter group! ;)

    Shari, thank you! This concept was fairly new to me, inspired by Christine Bryant. Glad she asked first. ;)

    Laura, oh, yeah. So many things to balance in one book! :/

    Nessa, so true so true! Lol. Like where do I find myself wanting to put MY book down or a yawn slip. Tee hee!

    Glynis, you're very welcome, glad to help! <3

    Brian, you're welcome! :)

    Dezmond, it does require an amount of courage to know where your own book is soft, doesn't it?

    Andrew, thanks for sharing your list with mine! I'm going to save those too! *Grin* I'm flattered that you're adding mine, too!

    Okie, welcome! Thank you and you're welcome. Wow, that class sounds like so much fun! I wonder what questions you asked? ;)


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