You've written your story - or at least some of it - and you're wondering how it looks through the eyes of a reader. You send your story into your group chat and delight in the praise your friends send your way.
Validation feels amazing, especially those you love. But whether you're requesting feedback from your friends, your family, or from an online service, you also need specific and concrete comments that you can learn from.
Although "I loved it!" and "you're so good!" feel fantastic to hear, you may also benefit from some more helpful insight. To figure out how your book comes across to readers, you might benefit from asking some targeted questions.
Of course, you don't want to present your friends and family with an exam. Focus on a few questions that are really important to you, or that concern aspects of your book that you're unsure about. If you're using an online service for feedback, don't be shy to ask more technical questions.
Finally, when you're getting feedback online, make sure you're sending it to a reliable source. School of Plot guarantees that your words and ideas will be kept iron-vault private, and I even delete your files from my computer/cloud once your feedback has been delivered. If you want to get feedback without risking plagiarism, get your feedback report here.
What can I ask readers about my writing in general?
- What did you think of my opening?
- Were there any gaps in the story?
- Did anything in the plot confuse you or take you out of the story?
- Did the story seem plausible?
- Did my characters make decisions that you didn't understand?
- Were there any points where you felt that the description was far too detailed?
- Were there any points where you struggled to visualise the world due to lack of detail?
- Do you think my story is being told from the correct point of view?
- Were you bored at any point?
- Did you feel like something was missing?
- Was there anything that didn't make sense?
- Did you finish the book with any unanswered questions?
What can I ask readers about my characters?
- What was your overall impression of the characters?
- Did the dialogue seem natural? / Did my characters speak like real people?
- Did my characters' motivations make sense?
- Was there anyone you particularly hated?
- Did you feel like the characters were strong and fleshed out, or a bit flat?
- Were there too many POV characters?
- Were there too many characters to the point where you were forgetting who was who?
- Which characters did you feel should be cut or combined?
What can I ask readers about my world?
- What real-world location do you think is most similar to my world?
- What, if anything, confused you about my world?
- Which parts of my world could've been developed better?
- Were there any explanations of the world that you felt were boring or superfluous?
- Did my magic system make sense?
- Did you finish the book with unanswered questions about my magic system?
If you want detailed answers to questions like this, please check to see whether any feedback slots are open!