1. Chuck_Lowcountry

    Chuck_Lowcountry New Member

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    How I got my chief critic (my lovely wife) to ignore my messy details...

    Discussion in 'Editing' started by Chuck_Lowcountry, Dec 10, 2020.

    Hi,

    Have you struggled with a reader of your draft who gets hung-up on obvious errors? As a result, they cannot provide feedback on the overall story due to the distractions of reading? I have.

    I'm working through my 2nd draft. My goal is to ensure the story works and to root out unbelievable characters, chapters, and more. I'm leaving the word crafting to the next draft.

    My wife is a life-long reader of the classics, a brilliant writer, and one who possesses highly-detailed eyes for words. In fact, she struggles to focus on a story as long as there are typos, missing words, grammar mistakes, etc. I have learned this on prior writing tasks. Consequently, her past criticisms of my writing have created a great deal of friction between us. Nothing so severe as to disrupt our 30+ year marriage.

    I call her my Alpha Listener (instead of an Alpha reader). When she is ready, I read a chapter out loud. During the reading, I mark those those annoying errors in my printed manuscript. I correct them in my reading on the fly without telling her. Occasionally, she suggests some improvement to my phrasing, but I remind her that is a task for the next draft. She's okay with it.

    I wish I discovered this technique fifteen-years ago. I may have continued writing instead of hiding my work in shame.
     
  2. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    I would say someone in this position has 3 options:

    A) Find and fix those errors before you give it to your wife to read.
    B) Find a new critic - friends and family, even someone as close as a partner are usually poor choices as critics, as they'll usually be kinder to you than a genuine critic would.
    C) Find a new wife.
     
  3. Chuck_Lowcountry

    Chuck_Lowcountry New Member

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    A) I prefer my option described above. However, I would select A if I didn't have an alpha listener.
    B) Usually true. My wife is certainly an exception, having tortured our children over a 25 year period of homeschooling. She was a real stickler with writing, literature, Spanish and Latin. :twisted: Definitely helped with my graduate studies in proofing my team's projects involving papers and reporting.
    C) She's invested a lot of time in training me. I would hate having to learn from a new master. :D
     
  4. GraceLikePain

    GraceLikePain Senior Member

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    Lol! Yes, I too have suffered from the whole missing the point thing with betas, but not to that extreme. Yeah, looks like your best bet is to find others. People who focus on grammar/spelling are going to continue to be those people, so you need to find someone who is going to continue to be a story-shaper.
     

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