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View Full Version : Does your significant other read your work?


KiwiChick
09-05-2006, 04:59 AM
I've heard varying opinions on this.

On one side, never let family read your WIP because one casual word could destroy your faith in your story and your writing and kill the thing before it ever has the chance to live.

On the other side, friends and family can be great ego boosters if you're in a low patch and may even, if you're lucky, have useful (and not too crushing) comments.

I let my sister read my WIP, but not my husband. Why? She's a writer and she knows it's only a first draft. I may want constructive criticism later, but all I need now is a pat on the back, which I know I'll get from her. And my husband? Well, that's the way stories die.

How about you?

Carrie in PA
09-05-2006, 05:06 AM
Nope. He's not much of a reader. He'll listen to my progress and cheer me on, but he'd rather eat tinfoil than read a romance novel. LOL

ETA: A very good friend of mine is editing me as I go. She's very helpful and I have infinite trust in her to give a professional critique.

Dslay
09-05-2006, 05:23 AM
Unfortunately I learned early on that getting a pat on the back, while worth everything in terms of self-esteem, isn't worth a lick of anything as far as improving my work goes. That's the exact reason I don't show my work to family. I'm afraid that no matter how much I tell them it's ok to give me honest criticism, they won't hit me as hard as I might need to be walloped if the draft requires revision.

As for criticism, look at it this way: you're just seeking advice. As the manuscript's creator you have the power to change (or not change) what you want despite what anyone says. You're just collecting views and adding them to your own to make a better choice. Use what you think is right and ignore what you think is bad advice.

Everyone's different. If getting a pat on the back helps you weather the crticism later on, definitely continue to get that. Just don't let one person's ideas convince you your story needs to die.

Charlie

janetbellinger
09-05-2006, 05:25 AM
My husband read my first romance novel in its entirety even though he doesn't enjoy the genre.

SpookyWriter
09-05-2006, 05:33 AM
The only thing my ex-wife liked to read were the support checks.

Jamesaritchie
09-05-2006, 05:54 AM
Only after it's published. I don't want her, or anyone else, reading it before this.

Becky Writes
09-05-2006, 05:59 AM
I read it to him. :D

earthshoes
09-05-2006, 06:01 AM
My husband reads everything I write. And he is generally a good source of feedback.

ChaosTitan
09-05-2006, 06:41 AM
I don't have an SO at the moment. No one in my family has read anything that I am attempting to have published.

Just my trusty beta.

LightShadow
09-05-2006, 07:08 AM
My wife is my number one beta reader, and she won't hold back. I've changed entire novels, and trashcan'd them, based on her feedback. I have two other beta readers as well, but my wife is my best critic.

Southern_girl29
09-05-2006, 07:10 AM
Not generally, but I will read them aloud to him. He has dyslexia and takes his time when reading. So, if I read it to him, he's able to see what the story is about, and I can catch some of the mistakes that way, too.

HoosierCowgirl
09-05-2006, 07:29 AM
My DH is dyslexic, too. I talk things over with him and with one story involving our business, had him read the synopsis.

Ann

Soccer Mom
09-05-2006, 07:03 PM
No. He reads BFF (big, fat, fantasy). He doesn't read my stuff.

Carlene
09-05-2006, 07:06 PM
Nope, my husband says he prefers to stay married. He supports me one-million percent and never says boo about all the money I've spent on classes, conventions, etc. He tells EVEYONE his wife is an author. Works for me.

Carlene

seun
09-05-2006, 07:10 PM
Yes, she does but only when I've been through it a few times and got it as good as I think it can be. Then she tells me what's wrong with it :D

PeeDee
09-05-2006, 07:44 PM
My wife doesn't generally read my short stories, because I write them too quickly for her to keep up, as a rule. Now that my novel's done, however, she's reading it. I've even been reading bits of it out loud to her, and I cannot recommend reading your book out loud to your spouse highly enough. Boy oh boy do you find out if something sounds cheesy when you embarassedly read it to your wife/husband.

PattiTheWicked
09-05-2006, 07:48 PM
Only if I leave it in the bathroom.

PeeDee
09-05-2006, 07:51 PM
Print it in very LARGE type and wallpaper the bathroom with it.

KatRiley
09-05-2006, 07:51 PM
My SO is not a reader, so I recently asked if he would let me read one of my short stories to him. I was really just looking for the ego boost and had made the assumption he would just say "That's great, hon".

I was completely wrong. I finished reading the short story out loud and he immediately commented on a subtle character issue I hadn't noticed. Now, I make sure to read everything I write to him. He's become a very objective source of feedback. I sometimes wonder if it's because he doesn't read very much :)

PattiTheWicked
09-05-2006, 07:57 PM
Print it in very LARGE type and wallpaper the bathroom with it.

Oh, now THAT idea I like!

Of course you'd have to make sure it was positioned correctly so that you didn't have the Big Whodunit Reveal tucked behind the toilet.

PeeDee
09-05-2006, 07:57 PM
My SO is not a reader, so I recently asked if he would let me read one of my short stories to him. I was really just looking for the ego boost and had made the assumption he would just say "That's great, hon".
I was completely wrong. I finished reading the short story out loud and he immediately commented on a subtle character issue I hadn't noticed. Now, I make sure to read everything I write to him. He's become a very objective source of feedback. I sometimes wonder if it's because he doesn't read very much :)

I think non-readers are very important. If you can impress (or at least, hold the interest of) someone who's more or less a non-reader (or just reads The Da Vinci Code, for example) then I consider that to be a good sign.

That is, unless you've had to dumb down your work to do it. That's no good at all.

PeeDee
09-05-2006, 07:58 PM
Oh, now THAT idea I like!

Of course you'd have to make sure it was positioned correctly so that you didn't have the Big Whodunit Reveal tucked behind the toilet.

You would rotate the pages after he makes each trip to the bathroom. All he'd ever have to do is start glumly at the wall straight ahead (except he's reading, so he damn well better be something besides glum).

PattiTheWicked
09-05-2006, 08:07 PM
See, this makes the case for e-book technology.

We need a Potty PortaReader for people who only read in the can. You could mount it to the wall opposite the toilet, and include a remote for handy page turning.

Shadow_Ferret
09-05-2006, 08:11 PM
My wife figured out a long time ago she simply didn't like what I write.

PeeDee
09-05-2006, 08:25 PM
My wife figured out a long time ago she simply didn't like what I write.

She wishes she'd married that nice Grisham boy. ;)

Shadow_Ferret
09-05-2006, 08:26 PM
She wishes she'd married that nice Grisham boy. ;)

Or Patterson. Or Woods. Or...

PeeDee
09-05-2006, 08:30 PM
...or Nora Roberts, or Mary Higgins Clark, or....

*cough*

Sorry. I'll buy you a beer, if you like. ;)

CaroGirl
09-05-2006, 08:45 PM
Yes. He doesn't typically read the kind of thing I write, but he'll read anything of mineif I ask him to. And he always has something insightful (sometimes inciteful) to say. I appreciate his input even though he's neither a writer nor a voracious reader of fiction.

RG570
09-05-2006, 10:07 PM
I let my girlfriend read everything, and while she usually says she likes it, she doesn't hold back from telling me when a certain passage sounds stupid.

I don't do it for critique purposes, because I'm not into that. I just like sharing my stuff with her. She reads a lot, so it's neat to see what she thinks.

mkcbunny
09-06-2006, 10:36 AM
My husband is reading my first novel right now [just put down chapter three]. So far, he's been very helpful. I picked him as my first reader because he enjoys a variety of genres but is impatient and detail-oriented. I figured if he could get past the first two chapters, I was doing OK. He's made some very helpful notes, and [yay] been very enthusiastic so far.

Best quotes: "I've read the first two chapters, and I want to keep reading."

"The dialogue is great. I feel like I know who these people are."

JennaGlatzer
09-06-2006, 11:55 AM
I think the only person I know who's read all of my books is my brother... who has Down syndrome. I got a very big kick out of seeing him reading through "Words You Thought You Knew," which is waaaay over his head. But he dutifully read it anyway. My mom has also read most of my books.

But my husband? Nope, Anthony doesn't read anything I write even after they're published, except the picture books. He is a wonderfully supportive, bragging husband, though. When he gets my book titles right.

(To be fair, the topics I've written about are not relevant to his life in any way. Aside from my picture books, the only book I've ever actually seen him read in the 7 years we've been together is Frank Baron's "What Fish Don't Want You to Know.")

NightWynde
09-06-2006, 01:15 PM
No. My husband doesn't really enjoy horror, but his fount of trivia more than compensates for it.

brainstorm77
09-06-2006, 02:35 PM
I do not have a SO so usually I just read it aloud to myself or sometimes post in the share your work forum here.

Maprilynne
09-06-2006, 10:56 PM
And my husband? Well, that's the way stories die.

I hear you, hon! I let my dad read it when I need an ego boost and I have my hubby proff my partials before I send them out. I don't ask his opinion on the story anymore.:)

Maprilynne

MidnightMuse
09-06-2006, 11:37 PM
I love these threads - makes me glad I'm single :)

Jaycinth
09-06-2006, 11:48 PM
Old one: NO!!!!!

Potential new one: YES!!!!! And then he tells me to write more!!!

My cat tries to edit and I don't appreciate that.

darkkazier
09-07-2006, 12:54 AM
My GF doesn't even like the fact that i write. She thinks i waste tme doing this and nothing will ever come of it. so she doesn't ask me about it and i dont tell her about it.

citymouse
09-07-2006, 01:13 AM
My SO beta read each of my three (so far) novels. He spent a year, yes your read correctly, a year on the third, which is by far the most complex in the series. Not only does he read but he makes suggestions and writes long paragraphs in the margins. Too bad his hand is illegible. Add to this he designs my covers as well as my website which he also manages for me.
No writer could ask for a more talented and supportive companion.

"Life grants us everything we want, on one condition--that we no longer desire it."

blacbird
09-07-2006, 08:56 AM
Hell, I can't even get insignificant others to read my work.

caw.

Forbidden Snowflake
09-07-2006, 12:09 PM
My woman reads it but she's bad when it comes to beta-reading it, she knows my temper and she knows how heated I get and so instead of being honest with me she tries and sugarcoats me and then wonders why I get heated ;)

Aesposito
09-07-2006, 07:05 PM
I love these threads - makes me glad I'm single :)

Snort! My DH is so used to reading my non-fiction over the years (with such 'fascinating' subjects as "Hyperbillirubinemia in breastfed children" and "Use of Short-acting Lithium Carbonate Combined with Atypical Anti-psychotics in the Treatment of Pediatric Mood Disorder") that he has literally laughed out loud at the few fiction pieces I've shown him. Took me down a peg or two, I must say.

Audrey