When you ask someone to read the first draft of your finished novel, memoir or other creative non-fiction, give them a copy of this page. With these questions, they will be able to provide you with solid feedback. Remind your readers that an honest assessment of the story's strengths and weaknesses will be more helpful to you than just hearing about the good parts.

 

Questions for a First Reader

 

  • Is the story interesting?

  • Did the author jump around too much or forget to explain some important things?

  • Is the pace even? Where does it go too fast or too slowly?

  • Are the characters interesting, believable, realistic, appropriately likable or unlikable?

  • Which characters did you like the most or the least and why?

  • What is the overall quality of the writing? What problems did you find with the writing?

  • Would you buy this novel if it were by a stranger? Why or why not?

  • Does the story use a consistent voice or does it sound, at times, like there is more than one narrator?

Updated August, 2019

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