It’s time to start sharing My Mother Road with my beta readers. Beta readers are the first people to read through your manuscript before you send your final copy to potential agents.
Here are some questions gathered by Ryan J. Pelton that beta readers may want to consider when reading.
#1 Did the story hold your interest from the very beginning? If not, why not?
#2 Did you get oriented fairly quickly at the beginning as to whose story it is, and where and when it’s taking place? If not, why not?
#3 Could you relate to the main character? Nonfiction: did you understand the authors reason for writing the book? Did you feel her/his pain or excitement?
#4 Did the setting interest you and did the descriptions seem vivid and real to you? Nonfiction: Did the topic seem exciting if you had no prior knowledge of it?
#5 Was there a point at which you felt the story lagged or you became less than excited about finding out what was going to happen next? Where, exactly? Nonfiction: where did the book get boring? What parts could be cut out?
#6 Were there any parts that confused you? Or even frustrated or annoyed you? Which parts, and why? Nonfiction: did any of the research seem far fetched?
#7 Did you notice any discrepancies or inconsistencies in time sequences, places, character details, or other details? Nonfiction: were any details repeated or redundant?
#8 Were the characters believable? Are there any characters you think could be made more interesting or more likable? Nonfiction: could some of the stories and ideas be more punchy? If so, how so?
#9 Did you get confused about who’s who in the characters? Were there too many characters to keep track of? Too few? Are any of the names of characters too similar? Nonfiction: was there too much information, research, or not enough? Was the information helpful or did it drag?
#10 Did the dialogue keep your interest and sound natural to you? If not, whose dialogue did you think sounded artificial or not like that person would speak?
#11 Did you feel there was too much description or exposition? Not enough? Maybe too much dialogue in parts?
#12 Was there enough conflict, tension, and intrigue to keep your interest? Nonfiction: was the narrative interesting and did it move along? Why or why not?
#13 Was the ending satisfying? Believable? Nonfiction: did the book provide helpful next steps?
#14 Did you notice any obvious, repeating grammatical, spelling, punctuation or capitalization errors? Examples?
#15 Do you think the writing style suits the genre? If not, why not?