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Here Are The Things I Look For As A Beta Reader

Inside The Membrane - Cyrl's Corner Blogs

By CyCyPublished 2 months ago 6 min read
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So, you want to be a Beta-Reader too? Nice!

"Alright, CyCy. I know you explained what a Beta-Reader is yesterday but what now?"

As a Beta-Reader, you want to be as transparent and honest with your client(s). After all, they hired you to fully examine their manuscript (and most likely, you're being paid to be one too).

I know as a Writer, I can get my feelings hurt if someone says "hey, this is not working out for me..."

But the thing is, if I were to hire a Beta-Reader, I would like them to explain what is not working (even if my feelings got hurt) and what works well.

The point of having a second set of fresh eyes is to make sure that the manuscript is polished: that there are no glaring mistakes and plot holes.

So, with the help of the Writing Community on Twitter as well, I have compiled a checklist that you can use too!

What to Analyze:

  1. Plot
  2. Subplot (if there are any)
  3. Character(s)
  4. Pacing
  5. Dialogue
  6. Description
  7. Craft/Style
To read this article, click here.


  1. Does the plot make sense?
  2. Which parts are you confused about? [Provide page numbers if applicable]
  3. Did you see any inconsistencies or plot holes? [Provide page numbers]
  4. Are there any parts that (you feel) did not help the story in any way? [Provide page numbers if applicable]
  5. Are you satisfied with how the story went?
  6. Do you have any suggestions that may improve the plot?
  7. If there are other things that you have noticed, answer here:

Subplot (if there are any):

  1. How did this tie in properly with the main plot?
  2. Is the romantic relationship/friendship subplot believable?
  3. Is it a healthy relationship?
  4. Is the author aiming for the relationship to be healthy?
  5. Is the author aiming for the relationship to be toxic?
  6. Did you find any inconsistencies with the character’s behavior when they were with the Love Interest or Friend?
  7. Do you like the pairing? Why or why not?
  8. If there are other things that you have noticed, answer here:


  1. Can you identify which is/are the Main Character(s)?
  2. Is/Are the Main Character(s) relatable? Why or why not?
  3. Can you visualize the Main Character(s) goal(s)?
  4. Can you visualize the character(s)?
  5. Are the characters memorable?
  6. Can you differentiate the characters from each other?
  7. Who is your favorite character?
  8. Who is your least favorite character?
  9. Is/Are there a character(s) that just randomly disappeared? [answer only if it is applicable]
  10. Did you notice a sudden name change, misspelling, or forgotten [insert name here]?
  11. Are there any characters that you feel needed to be developed more?
  12. If there are other things that you have noticed, answer here:


  1. Is it a slow burn or does it hook you right away?
  2. Are there any parts that you feel the pacing was off? [Provide page numbers if applicable]
  3. Are there scenes that you feel may need a bit more work? [Provide page numbers if applicable]
  4. Which scenes are your favorite? [Provide page numbers if applicable]
  5. If there are other things that you have noticed, answer here:


  1. How is the dialogue?
  2. Do you feel that the dialogue was engaging?
  3. Can you tell who is speaking?
  4. Are there any character exchanges that you may find concerning? [If so, provide page number and quotes]
  5. Do you have any quotes you want to highlight? [If so, provide page number and quotes]
  6. If there are other things that you have noticed, answer here:


  1. Are you able to visualize the scenes?
  2. Are there scenes that you feel need more description? [If so, provide page number and quotes]
  3. Are there scenes that you feel that needed less description? [If so, provide page number and quotes]
  4. Can you visualize what was happening?
  5. Can you visualize the characters?
  6. Are there any scenes that confused you? [If so, provide page number and quotes]
  7. If there are other things that you have noticed, answer here:


  1. Can you tell who was narrating the story? E.g. from whose perspective
  2. Is the voice consistent?
  3. Did you notice any overused words, punctuations, or phrases? [Provide page numbers if applicable]
  4. Did you feel the change of narration in certain scenes? How did that impact your experience?
  5. How is the world building? What parts do you like and what parts do you wish the writer/author to elaborate more on? [Provide page numbers if applicable]
  6. Did you notice any foreshadowing? How did it affect your reading experience?
  7. Did you notice any sudden tense [e.g. from past to present] change? [Provide page numbers if applicable]
  8. How is the format? Is it easy to read?
  9. How is the language? Is it easy to understand?
  10. If there are other things that you have noticed, answer here:

In Conclusion:

When a Writer/Author asks you to be a Beta-Reader, it means that they trust your opinion and they want your help to make their story better.

Therefore, you want to give them thorough feedback on the structure:

  1. The good parts
  2. The bad parts
  3. And the "what's even the point of this?" parts (I want to say: "the ugly" but it doesn't work in this context)

Being a responsible Beta-Reader is giving the story a thorough read. If you skim through the boring parts then you are not doing your client(s) justice!

This is also the opportune moment to note down why that particular chapter bore you.


Because it gives the Writer/Author a chance to improve those parts before they release their manuscript to the general public.

Being a Beta-Reader is not an easy job. That is why it is good to stick to a niche that you love reading.

This will most likely stop you from skimming and just telling your client(s): "Oh, yeah. Sounds great. Good job."

When in reality, you have no idea what happened in that chapter, so you accidentally missed the glaring plot holes or worse:

[INSERT SUPER AMAZING TEAR-JERKER DESCRIPTION HERE! MUCH DEATH! FIRE! SCREAMS!] - not based on my experiences as a writer...or, is it? We will never know.

If you are concerned with how the Writer/Author would react, let them know beforehand what to expect from you. That way, you can be as transparent as you should be.

Of course, don't be hostile about it. Don't tell them: YOU SUCK! JUST GIVE UP!

Your client(s) is/are human(s) too. Believe it or not, they have feelings (I know, eh? Wild concept).

Anyway, I hope this article helps your journey to become the best Beta-Reader there is. I know I have just started this professional journey but I also am rooting for you!

If you need or know someone who needs a Beta-Reader, here is my Fiverr profile. Click here.

Hi, I'm CyCy!

Thank you for reading. I truly appreciate it.

I usually create darker content whether it is art, video shorts, or stories. If this is something that you also enjoy, let's be friends :)

You can connect with me on Instagram, Twitter & TikTok @cyrls_corner and read my Lux et Obscurum issues at

P.S. I would truly appreciate your support whether it would be subscribing, sharing this page with your friends, leaving me a tip, or giving your pledge (which is $2.99/month). If you also want to get updates on my latest releases, sign up for my newsletter right here.

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About the Creator


Writer & Blogger | Multi-Genre | Beta-Reader

Fiverr: @cyrls_corner

Twitter: @cyrls_corner


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Comments (5)

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  • Chelsea Lynne20 days ago

    Super helpful, thank you!! I’m always worried I’ll hurt the writer’s feelings so I love your tip to let them know ahead of time! And I’m 100% going to use your lists to look at my own writing before sending it to be read ❤️

  • Johnny Porter26 days ago

    As a beta reader, I typically look for elements such as character development, pacing, plot coherence, and writing style. I also pay attention to continuity, dialogue, and consistency in point of view. Providing constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement is essential to help authors polish their work before publication.

  • Natalie Wilkinsonabout a month ago

    A great list for authors to think about before handing off a manuscript to read as well. I’m saving this one.

  • Loryne Andaweyabout a month ago

    I wish I read your article when I beta-read a novel. Thank you for this 😊

  • Rebekah Conardabout a month ago

    Do you have any plans to write about how to get clients and market oneself as a beta-reader? It's something I'd love to do. I've only been sharing my writing publicly for about six months, so I'm only now beginning to think of how to worm my way into TikTok and/or Twitter and really get out there.

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