Perhaps you are an author who uses beta readers to help you hone your work. A beta reader is, of course, someone who tests the beta version before it becomes the alpha version (terminology borrowed from software testing).
Your beta readers may be other writers, who have some idea of what kind of feedback you want. But they may also be non-writer friends who need a little guidance from you. You want their honest feedback, not their attempts to please you. What do you ask them to look for? Here is a list you could use.
- Are you drawn into the story immediately? Please make a note of any places where you felt distanced from the characters.
- Do the descriptions make you feel like you can visualize the story world? Please make a note of places where things seem indistinct to you.
- Do you like the main character? If there is something hindering that, can you identify what it is?
- Do you want to keep turning pages? Or are there places where the book is very easy to put down? If there aren’t many such places, can you make a note of where these are?
- Does the book deliver on what you expected from reading the opening scene? Were you surprised? In a good way, or otherwise?
- When you have finished the book, do you feel glad that you read it? Indifferent? Or any other feeling you can report?
What other questions can you suggest?