If you're ready for the first readers to read your manuscript and give some feedback but aren't sure where to start, here's 15 simple beta reading questions that will work for any kind of WIP!
Where did you first stop reading the book? How come?
When was it that you felt the story really started?
Who was your favorite character and why?
Who was your least favorite character and why?
Were the plot and characters compelling and engaging?
What was your favorite/least favorite relationship and why? (This includes all relationships, not just romantic ones
Were there any places that you felt lost or confused as to plot or information? Where? What were you unsure about and was it eventually resolved?
Was there any place you felt unsatisfied for any reason? Was this later resolved in the book?
What do you want to know more about? For example, would you like to know more about a specific legend, or see more depth in a relationship?
Was there anywhere in the book that felt overly predictable or cliché?
Did you feel like the descriptions were more showing or telling? (ex. "Sue blushed at his words" instead of "Sue was embarrassed by his words.")
Were there any glaring plot holes?
If you could change ANYTHING, what would you change and why?
Were you able to finish the book? (Did you run out of time and weren’t able to finish it, or did you enjoy it enough to finish).
Did you enjoy the book overall? Would you recommend it?
These are just a few basic beta questions that are not only easy for readers to answer but will also give a wealth of information on your WIP. The best questions however are ones that directly pertain to your story and characters. If there's anything specific you want to know about your WIP, such as whether or not a chapter is necessary, or a character is too mean or sensitive, make sure to ask those questions too! While it's important to get a birds eye view of the impression your WIP will make on readers, it's also important to ask direct questions that you need answers to.
Hopefully this list will help you dive into the scary by exciting world of beta reading!
May the suns smile upon your presence!
—Effie Joe Stock