MY Beta-Reader's Questionnaire
Libraries: Writing Tutorials
Published on / 1 Chapter(s) / 2 Review(s)
Whether you're a Writer looking to check your work or a Beta Reader who wants to point out a few things to your favorite writer, feel free to borrow, spindle, and mutilate this list of questions to your heart's desire.
Have you hugged your Beta Reader today?
Anyone who writes with the intent to be read by the public, from the brand-name published authors to the fan-fiction scribbler, will tell you that a good Beta Reader is worth their weight in GOLD.
So, what is a Beta Reader really for?
Most Beta Readers look for obvious grammar boo-boos and glaring spelling errors, but the really good ones look at your story as a whole and tell you where your strengths and weaknesses are so you can adjust them.
These are what I ask MY Beta readers to check.
Whether you’re a Writer looking to check your work or a Beta Reader who wants to point out a few things to your favorite writer, feel free to borrow, spindle, and mutilate this list of questions to your heart’s desire.
MY Beta-Reader's Questionnaire
Is it BORING?
- Does any part of the story Drag?
- Are their parts that you skipped to get to ‘the good part’?
- Do I over-inform anywhere?
Did you Get it?
- Did you understand every phrase / term I used?
- If someone unfamiliar with this Fandom read this, have I explained enough for them to understand everything?
- -- Did I forget to mention that someone was demon-possessed, half angelic, or had mystical powers?
- Do any of the love scenes seem overly cliché? (Or overly sappy?)
- Were the love scenes too fast, too slow, or too frequent?
- Did you have to reread any part of the love scenes to understand who was doing what?
- Did any action in the love scene make you cringe?
- -- Was your Comfort-Zone line crossed?
- Did it make you hot?
Do the scenes FLOW?
- Does one scene lead logically into the next?
- Is there enough downtime between intense scenes to allow it to build to the next?
- Did the actions & positions flow smoothly from one to the next, or did they jump as though something was skipped?
- Were the Flashbacks smoothly integrated to fit onto the current scene -- or did they seem plopped in, like a chapter that was in the wrong place?
Is anything VISUALLY Confusing?
- Can you SEE every action clearly?
- If you went there in real life, would you recognize the places?
- Did you have to reread any part of the action sequences to understand who was doing what?
- Could you SEE what the characters looked like clearly?
- Could someone who was Not familiar with the fandom SEE what the characters looked like clearly?
- -- Did I forget to describe their Clothes, their Hair, their Eyes, any other distinctive feature that pertains to a specific character?
During DIALOGUE scenes…
- Could you SEE what the characters were DOING while talking?
- Could you SEE where the characters WERE while talking?
Did the Characters WORK?
- Do the characters ACT realistic?
- Does the Dialogue sound realistic?
- Do their reactions seem logical & realistic?
- Could you feel the Emotions between the characters?
- Did the characters seem In Character?
- Would Original characters have worked better?
- Who did you like best and WHY?
- Who did you hate and WHY?
- Who got on your nerves and WHY?
- Does any one character get in the way of the STORY?
The answers to these burning questions will keep your fiction crisp, focused and Popular. If your Beta readers liked it then loads of other people will too.
(I still think that if George Lucas had used a few test readers for those last three Star Wars movies, the scenes with Aniken as a child would have been much shorter - and made more sense. Jar Jar Binks would never have appeared. The romance between Aniken and Amidala would have been a Romance, and the clone war would have been a frikkin Clone War. But that’s just MY opinion...)
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