There's (another) great post on Miss Snark today regarding the joys and tribulations of asking your other half to read your masterpiece. Basically, it's probably not such a hot idea unless you have the hide of a rhino.
My dear hubby is very supportive of my writing habits, but he really doesn't get what I write at all. Considering he reads boring HowTo books and I write paranormal romance I should know better than to ask for his opinion but hey. I want him to love my work! So every now and then I give in to a masochistic urge and wheedle him to read my latest effort.
Um, yeah. As the witches know, the first para I wrote was a short aimed for Arabella magazine. I'd never written (a) a short before or (b) a spicy paranormal and I was sooo excited when I finally finished it. I cornered hubby, refused to acknowledge the look of glazed terror that crawled across his face, and urged him to read my gem which was all about Death and Eternal Love set on a beach at midnight, with vampires and witches thrown in for good measure.
He read it in silence, a frown of bemusement clouding his face. Not such a great sign really.
'So, did you like it?' I couldn't help asking when he finally finished all (12!!) pages and put them to one side.
Silence. Then - 'What was it about?'
Me, slightly taken aback. 'What do you think it was about?'
Him - 'Well, she was in hospital, wasn't she?'
Me, totally shocked. 'What?'
Him - 'She was delusional, wasn't she?'
Me - 'Er, no. She was on a beach at midnight.'
Him - 'Yeah, but not really. I mean really she was in hospital because she was sick wasn't she?'
To put it mildly, I was quite upset he completely missed the point of my story. Luckily the wonderful witches understood this was a paranormal, which meant it didn't have to follow the rules of our boring old everyday world.
And that's the magic of finding crit partners who really get what you're trying to do. Not because they think everything you write is great (how helpful would that be?!) but because they understand where you're trying to go and, because they're on a similar journey, have the necessary tools to assist (yes, I LURVE Stephen King!!)
So much as I love my hubby and would be thrilled if he enjoyed my writing, I know better than to ask him to crit my work. I have three brilliant CPs for that who have no hesitation in telling me if something doesn't make sense, needs tightening up or rethinking.
Not all writers need or want a crit group, but for those who do want critical feedback our significant other isn't always the best choice!