A lot of books have weaknesses in story development. This will be my third installment of Questions During Beta Reading. I recommend that people read the general ones, if this is of interest:
It’s my plan to put out lists at times for specific subjects. Most stories have areas of weakness that need closer examination, that’s what I would use them for. Or maybe a writing tool. (I also use it for this. It’s one of the ways that beta reading is really helping to make my writing stronger)
The first installment in the subject heavy questions was this one:
But today, is all about character. This is one of the really difficult ones for people. A few of these questions may be found on the general page but I’m putting them on here in case you don’t feel like reading another page of questions. As always, every question is followed by “Why?”
Was the character description memorable?
What do you remember most about the character?
How did you feel about the introduction of the character?
How do you feel about the hero?
Were they convincing or two-dimensional?
Are you invested in the character yet?
What do you think about the hero’s cause?
How do you feel about the villain?
Are they convincing?
(In some cases) Did you know they were the villain?
Do you connect to the villain at all? (This one is more important than people think)
What do you think about the villain’s cause?
(Sometimes) Who/what do you think is the opposing force in the story?
How do you feel about the protagonist’s circle of friends?
Are they memorable?
Are the convincing?
Do you like them?
Do you like any of them more than the protagonist?
How do you feel about the interaction between the character and their love interest?
Do you want to keep reading about it? Did it grab you?
Do you think that their relationship has enough depth?
Do you enjoy reading it?
Informants or Experts
Do you remember the informants or experts?
Do they serve their purpose well?
Are they memorable?
Did they help you understand/move story concepts?
Did you like them?
How do the other relationships make you feel in the story?
Are they convincing interactions?
Do they have relationships outside of the protagonists? Do they need to?
Do you enjoy those scenes?
Is there anything that doesn’t fit right or did you get confused by any of it?
Do the characters stay consistent in the way they talk?
How do you feel about their personalities?
Does the narration (first person) stay consistent in voice?
Do you feel like anything stands out as awkward or unbelievable? Anything that makes the characters less real?
How do you feel about the way the character grows? Does it seem logical?
How do you feel about the direction the character is going in? Do you feel anything about it?
Are the character’s decisions believable?
Do they feel more real to you as time goes on?
Character / World Interaction
How convincing is the world in relation to the character?
Does he/she seem like they’re apart of the world or an outsider visiting?
Did you notice anything that took you out of the world while reading the characters?
Character / Magic
How do you feel about the character’s magical abilities? Were they convincing?
What do you think about the strengths/weaknesses?
Did I do a good job describing the magic and how the character reacts to it?
Was there anything that you saw that seemed off while the character was experiencing magic (used by or against) them?