Beta reader questions!

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    I'm cleaning up all my writing files as I am adding all my WIPs into Plotist (I am dancing with joy at our new writing features). In the process of setting them up, I found a document with questions I try to answer when beta reading for someone. I figured I would share the information here, and then if you have questions you feel are missing, I can add them to this list! Also, my list is totally based on Jenna Moreci's video on being a good beta reader.

    Rules of Engagement [Beta Reader to Author Edition]

    • Give constructive feedback.
    • Look for plot holes and inconsistencies.
    • Read at my own pace, but contact the author as soon as I finish reading it. Don't wait. They suffer. (don't we just!)
    • If I have no interest in the story, say it.
    • Bluntly state any biases that I may have.

    Rules of Engagement [Author to Beta Reader Edition]

    • Be kind. Thank for time and feedback-- good and honest bad.
    • Ask dumb questions to clarify things.
    • Get as many beta readers as possible as no two individuals are the same, though there are melting pots of ideas.
    • Beta readers can be wrong, and that's okay, but still show appreciation!

    Questions for Beta Readers to answer PER scene/chapter/etc
    Verify if there are any specific questions, points, characters, moments the author wants to know about and add to this list.

    • What are your initial thoughts and reactions after reading this chapter?
    • What was your favourite part and why?
    • What was your least favourite part and why?
    • What are your thoughts on the protagonist?
    • Opinion of every character of the scene?
    • Explain what happened in the scene?
    • Where any parts confusing or unclear?
    • On a scale of 1 to 10 how much did you enjoy the scene?
    • On a scale between 1 and 10, how eager to read the next scene?
    • Do you have any predictions?
    • Are you interested in reading the next scene?

  • I've been looking at this on and off throughout the day and honestly... can't think of anything that might be lacking. I don't have a lot of actual experience with beta-ing (as a reader or writer) other than dumping my chapters here and being like "what you guys think?", but I figure that aside from specific questions posed by the author, this covers pretty much all that needs to be covered.

    Also, I love Jenna Moreci. But I tried her outlining method and... Nope. Nuh-uh. Ain't for me. I lean more towards the panstser side of the writer spectrum anyways. :P

  • @josey I totally stole your questions for my beta readers. Hope that's okay. ^^"

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    @blackbird Absolutely. Maybe in the future we'll add that kind of stuff to Plotist. bats eyelashes

  • @josey You're making that 'I know things' face again. narrows eyes ^.-

  • @josey curiosity intensifies

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    Little ol' me? Contemplating the future of Plotist? Never! I would never hint that the team is constantly looking into ways to improve. blinkblink ;)

    I need to go back over that list though, I have had other questions come up in my work with others that I need to add.

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