At long last I have gotten into my groove and finished the first bit of my very first beta reader review.
The process involves a lot of communication between the author and I, but I give no details until the review is complete. It helps to keep me organized and on track, as well as keeping my as honest as possible.
I structure my reviews as such:
1.) Overall – In this section, I have skimmed the majority of the text and have a feel for how the novel is reading. This involves whether or not the formality of the text is fitting to the details, as well as whether or not section/chapter structuring is concrete enough to withstand heavy editing.
2.) Chapter Sections – This is where I break down each chapter specifically. With this being my first time with a completely new author, I decided to take it excrutiatingly slow, so that I may milk every critique out of myself. I want to be as brutal and as thurough as possible, because in this section, the “meat” is evaluated.
3.) Chapter Sub-sections – With this author, I focused on two chapters for the first check in review. Within these chapters, the sub-sections mapped out the key elements that should be addressed, such as Grammar, Information (as in how detailed were you), and length. Though there are loose length restraints, a chapter being too short coupled with too much information can become boring and monotonous.
This first official review was around 800 words, but I tried to make every single one count towards bettering the author. I await feedback to see if my approach was efficient enough, but fingers crossed that I helped him understand what it was like, being the reader for a change.
–With Love, From Daisy