I'm gearing up for the final push to get SANYARE to beta readers. There are just a few chapters left to edit before it's ready, and my firm deadline is to send it out on the 13th. Lucky number 13, right?
Anyway, to help prep the readers and direct them toward the kind of feedback I'm looking for, I've put together a list of questions that I'm planning on sending out with each manuscript. I don't expect detailed answers for each and every question, but I want to get the readers thinking critically and considering all aspects of the manuscript.
So here's my list. What do you think? Have I gone too far? Is there anything I'm missing?
General ~ Do you like the title? If not, do you have any suggestions for alternative options? ~ Did the story hold your interest from the first page? Were you "hooked"? ~ What was your first stopping point? ~ Was there a point (after the first chapter or two) at which your interest increased or decreased significantly? ~ Was there anything that confused or frustrated you? ~ Was the ending satisfying? Believable? ~ Did you notice any discrepancies or inconsistencies in time sequences, places, character details, etc.? ~ Were there any noticeable plot holes or jumps in logic? ~ Did you notice any repeating grammatical, spelling, punctuation or capitalization errors?
Characters ~ Could you relate to Rie? Did you connect with her emotions? ~ Did you ever feel like you knew Rie personally? ~ Which characters did you connect to and like? Excluding Rie, who was your favorite? ~ Were the villains believable? ~ Which characters need more development? Did you want to see more of any of them? ~ Are there any characters for which you'd like to read a standalone short story?
Setting & Dialogue ~ Did the setting pull you in, and did the descriptions seem vivid and real to you? ~ Did you ever feel there was too much description? Not enough? ~ Did you ever feel there was too much dialogue? Not enough? ~ Did the dialogue sound natural to you? If not, whose dialogue did you think sounded artificial, and where in the story?
Margin Notes As you're reading, please mark any or all of the following: ~ Scenes/paragraphs/lines you really liked or didn't like. ~ Scenes/paragraphs where you felt bored. ~ Scenes/paragraphs/lines that resonated and/or moved you emotionally. ~ Sections/ideas/backstory that feel too long and should be compressed. ~ Sections/ideas/backstory where you wanted more (e.g. more backstory, deeper emotions, etc). ~ Anything that is confusing. ~ Any spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors you notice as you read.