Friday, May 25, 2012
The Most Nerve-Wracking Critique
I hope I was listening today, ha ha. A couple of weeks ago, I had a copy of my manuscript printed by Lulu.com, not because I'm ready to publish it, but because I was tired of looking at it as a collection of pixels and wanted to see it in tangible form. The picture above is the cover I designed, which I am quite happy with. I'm actually quite happy with the whole project. The day it arrived, my husband commandeered it and started reading it.
This is a big deal, folks. I've been working on this book for eight (yes, eight) years, and while I've talked a lot about the story, I've never let him read any of it. I always told him it was probably not a book he would be interested in, since he's not the target market. But this time I decided I wouldn't stop him - it's time. But it has made me jittery to come in and find him reading it before bedtime. I guess I'm afraid he'll think it's stupid - and he wouldn't be shy about telling me so (he's used to judging band contests and saying exactly what he thinks about a performance). Who wants your life partner to think your favorite hobby is stupid? (Not that it would make any difference if he did....)
In the week and a half he's been reading it, he hasn't said a word about it. Not one. And though it has been REALLY difficult for me, I haven't asked what he thinks. As I told my sister (who has been ultimately patient in listening to me talk about this project for the whole eight years, bless her), I guess it's a good sign that he has kept reading.
Tonight he finished. And what was his comment? "Your chick story gets really sappy in the last chapter." That sounds kind of cold, I guess, but his nonverbals let me know he didn't mean it in a bad way. Actually, it's about what I expected. It's as I always told him - this wasn't his kind of story.
I'm going to let it stand at that for the moment, but believe me, he's not going to get off that easy! After I finish cleaning the kitchen, I'll pin him down and make him give me more details. And now I can ask him to read and give me feedback on the first draft of the sequel, which is told from the male protagonist's viewpoint and has more history in it - less of a chick story. I've been needing a male reader for that story - now he's trapped!