Author Topic: Beta Reader Help List  (Read 242 times)

Offline heartsongjt

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  • A/K/A Jan (Sanford) Tetstone
Beta Reader Help List
« on: December 29, 2018, 02:13:52 PM »
I found this information on the internet while researching the term "beta reader".... To be honest ,though I had seen the term on MWC boards, I didn't know the scope of what beta readers do.    Jan

Beta Reader

A beta reader (paid or unpaid) is one who gives feedback from the point of view of an average reader to the author. A beta reader is not a professional and can therefore provide advice and comments in the opinions of an average reader.

A checklist for those doing beta reads:


Does any part of the story drag?
Are there parts that you skipped to get to ‘the good part’?
Do I over-inform (info-dump) anywhere?
Did you understand every phrase / term I used?


Do any of the love scenes seem overly cliché?
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?
Did it make you hot?


Does one scene lead logically into the next?
Do the scenes flow smoothly from one action to the next, or did they jump as though something was skipped?
Is there enough downtime between intense scenes to allow it to build to the next?


Can you see every action clearly while reading?
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?


Does the Dialogue sound realistic for the individual characters?
Could you see what the characters were doing while talking?
Could you see where the characters were while talking?


Could you see what each character looked like clearly?
Do their actions and reactions seem logical and realistic?
Could you feel the emotions between the characters?
Does the story stay focused on my main character?
Were any of my characters too much of a jerk or too aggressive?
Were any of my characters whiny, wimpy, or overly dramatic?
Are any of my characters too stereotypical?
Who did you like best and WHY?
Who did you hate and WHY?
Who got on your nerves and WHY?
Do any of the characters get in the way of the story?

Suggested critique phrases:
•I don’t understand…(whatever it is).
•The detail seems…(to slow the pace, insufficient, whatever).
•The…(character, setting, etc.) is coming across…(feisty, depressing, important, etc.). Is that what you intended?
•Did you want to convey (irritation, happiness, whatever)?
•How did…(Sally get to the store, John saw down the tree, etc.)? (Use to point out missing information.)
•Wouldn’t a character…(who has such and such a trait) do or not do…(such and such)? (Use to point out inconsistent behavior.)
•Wasn’t…(John a blue-eyed man, Sally submissive, etc.) in Chapter (xxx)? (Use to point out inconsistent information.)
•Carol’s (goal) seems to be… . Is that correct?
•Your story question seems to be… .
•I’m confused about John’s motivation.
•And most important . . . I really liked… . (end on a strength)


Words are Weapons of Demons and Saints