Every writer should bring drafts of their work to beta-readers, workshoppers, kind friends and family to read. This is for the simple fact that it’s literally impossible for us to see the blind-spots in our work. But, the problem is often that people’s feedback can be well-intentioned but yet not useful. Readers often don’t know how to tell you what’s not working, let alone how to fix it. And that’s assuming they’re even willing to risk their relationship with you to tell you that they don’t like (at least some part) of your work in the first place!
Luckily, story consultant extraordinaire, Lisa Cron, has given us some pointers on what kind of feedback we should ask for.
First, ask your readers to read what you’ve shared. At the end, ask them the following questions:
- What do you think is going to happen next?
- Who do you think the important characters are?
- What do you think the characters want?
- What, if anything, leaps out as a setup?
- What information did you think was really important?
- What information were you dying to know?
- What did you find confusing?