Thursday, April 25, 2013

Questions to ask CPs, Betas, and (Friendly) Reviewers

The green light on my draft target came on y'all.

You know what that means. It's nearly time to send the full (novella) manuscript out to my CPs and beta readers. Gulp. By this time tomorrow, I'll be staring at my address book in fear emailing everyone to make sure they're still free to do a read through after I do my first edits. 

Because I'm a control freak thorough, I like to give a list of questions so they know what I want from them, and so I can get the best feedback on my manuscript. 

If I have questions about a particular scene, I prefer those be read after the manuscript is read so that doesn't bias their reading. 

What questions can you ask during critiques to ensure that you get the best possible manuscript?

Questions to (potentially) ask CPs, Betas, and (Friendly) Reviewers
  1. Did the beginning of the story make you want to keep reading? Did it open in a confusing place?
  2. What character did you relate to the most? The least? (Were these your most and least favorite?)
  3. Did any scenes make you want a nap? (Slow scenes kill books in some genres!)
  4. Did you skip any parts?
  5. Did the dialogue seem natural or forced to you?
  6. Did anything frustrate you? (You know, more than me using "did" to start four questions in a row...)
  7. Overall, did you find the story interesting? Enjoyable? Did you like the tone of the story?
  8. How did you feel when you finished the story? What questions did you have? Were you satisfied? 

What about you - are there any questions you like to ask your readers?


  1. Great post! Another one: if the story has a mystery/suspense element, I want to know at what points you realized what's going on, and any theories you had while reading. Tells me if my plot is too transparent and my red herrings too obvious.

    1. Good suggestions! I'm always have crazy theories when I read mystery novels, but I am disappointed if I figure things out too soon.

  2. Such great questions! In addition to those, I like to ask what parts they LOVED by having them write "MLTP"=more like this please next to the section so I know when I am really engaging my readers and can multiply those moments throughout the book!