Monday, June 12, 2006

Critique Musings

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!


Sara Hantz said...

But you have to hand it to him, he didn't say he didn't enjoy it. He just didn't get it. The first time I gave my dh something to read he said 'it's ok for girly stuff'. Is that a compliment??? I have no idea.

Anyway, as you said, leave the critting to the witchies - your dh can dream about accompanying you down the red carpet at the Oscars, or whatever award you're up for.

Nell Dixon said...

My dh has never read anything of mine, he just isn't a reader. My girls have read some stuff and enjoted it especially my comedy bits.

Sara Hantz said...

I've offered my daughter the opportunity to read my YA - she declined!! Said she'll probably read it when it's published. YET, she gladly read Amanda's, on more than one occasion - so make of that what you will hahahaha

Christina Phillips said...

Hi Nell, how lovely to see you!

My eldest daughter doesn't read ANY of my stuff because it's romance. I think she's afraid she might come across a spicy bit (ahem, as if?!)

Youngest daughter loved my last one but I'm afraid I chickened out at the love scenes and cut out two chapters. Which she was a little miffed about. So miffed, in fact, she's so far refused to read any of my wip!