Letting a lover read your work

Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by deadrats, Jul 6, 2017.

  1. archer88i

    archer88i Banned Contributor

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    @RMBROWN, there are things that I write that I do share with friends, family, etc. One of the weirder experiences in my life was having my mom pass around copies of something I wrote one Thanksgiving and then watching all of my dad's brothers and sisters and cousins (...there are a lot for some reason) start crying. But that's a completely different kind of writing, and it usually doesn't interest me for whatever reason. I think it's because what people need to hear is not usually what I want to say. At least I can recognize that.

    My current ride is a 750 Honda something. Every time I ride it, I kind of want to gnaw my throttle hand off, but it's still a bike, and it's still worth it, and in my neighborhood it's about the only thing I can think of that no one will bother to steal. I need to move. My previous bike was something unreasonable. I'd like the next one to be in between.
     
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  2. Spacer

    Spacer Active Member

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    I’ve looked at my wife’s poetry, and it’s nothing more than a pretty arrangement of lines on the page to me since I don’t read Chinese. I’ve shown her my writing and it had approximately the same effect on her, since she doesn’t read Software Geek. She was impressed that I have the cover lead, but the illustrations (done by others) are either abstract or bizarre involving a sense of humor specific to the audience, so she thought the articles to be a bit odd.

    For non fiction and tech writing, I think we don’t have the same problem. Having ones boss read an editorial out of context, OTOH…

    For my current and past attempts into writing fiction: no, I’ve not shown it to anyone IRL, family or otherwise. It’s either incomprehensible (aliens on a planet in a supercritical fluid), disturbing (re-imagining Poe’s Cask of Amontillado as a near-future sci-fi horror), or worse.

    But even for mainstream fiction, I can see the problem. It would be uncomfortable for people to see little bits of themselves or events they’ve been in used as fodder for the imagination. If your evil villain uses a particular turn of the phrase that your brother used to say, it could give him the wrong idea.

    You ask about lover and SO in particular… explicit scenes could be embarrassing.
     
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  3. Speechless

    Speechless Member

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    The only Chance I have, to get critique for my work, is here. My boyfriend is not a Reader, unless it is something on the phone.
    He does not take serious what I am doing , sometimes thinks it is just a childish hobby. Though he supports me in any other stuff in life. I would need his critism becaues he is english and I am not. But there is no Chance I will ever give him my work to read again. Cant wait to finally post here!!

    Just in General I think it is difficult to give someone your work who is Close to you. It might influence the Readers opinion. you really Need to trust this Person that his critique is objectiv and not subjective.
     
  4. MachineGryphon

    MachineGryphon Member

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    I've never shown my work to a girlfriend. I let my ex read a few things years after we were done, but she doesn't have the attention span for longer pieces and prefers to keep the conversation light. The most recent ex was dyslexic, and also somewhat critical at times of my interest in writing. That criticism did sting especially when she wasn't going to give it a read.

    I think a couple of factors that might put me and others off are the potential reactions. If they praise my work and shout from the rooftops, part of my brain would nag at me and tell me that their viewpoint is biased, and likewise any fair criticism might run deeper than it should due to emotional attachment.

    Having said that though, if work could be looked at objectively while in a relationship, I can see the benefits. A lot of friends simply don't want to read 10,000 words, and that's perfectly understandable. A genuine interest and willingness to work with your partner would be something I think many people could enjoy and glean comfort and inspiration from. Someone who'll spark off your ideas and possibly even put forward new ones.

    In short, wouldn't mind dating a writer at some point in my life. :rofl:
     
  5. Partridge

    Partridge Active Member

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    My other half is currently reading my WIP. She's well read and has a very analytical, critical mind and is also very detail driven (she works in engineering), so she's ideal's as a Beta Reader.
    I'm pleased that she can differentiate between what I think and what my characters think. Which is good, because my MC is a bit of an arsehole. She's making notes as she goes about very useful things. Inconsistencies, things that don't tie up and things I really can't get away with.
     
  6. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Member

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    My fiancee hasn't read any of my work. I have to nag and nag my own family members to read my published work, and even then, they wont read it or will skim it (but I haven't let my family read my work in years because they have it in their heads that whatever I write is about me or someone I know because they always ask "why do you feel this way?" or "who is <insert character's name>?" like I wrote it about someone they or I know). My fiancee and I actually had this conversation this past weekend and by the end of it, He said he'd read my work.... so I left him the 3 journals I was published in..... and its still in the same spot I left them.

    My Fiancee isn't a fiction reader. He reads biographies and other non-fictions so he's just not that interested, which really sucks.....
     
  7. Fiender_

    Fiender_ Active Member

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    I've let my husband read some of my stuff. One book he was a bit tepid on (but it was an earlier work so I'm not sure if it was the genre or premise that put him off, or the quality of my writing). My most recent book he actually quite enjoyed, though it's a genre that's very much in his wheelhouse. He's very light on the critique that he gives. I'm not sure if it's because he's afraid of hurting my feelings, because he skims so much (he has trouble visualizing physical placement of things during action scenes in any book, not just mine), or if it's because he's not a writer nor as heavy a reader as I am.

    I would definitely consider letting him read future works, though I might curate based on which I think are particularly up his alley.
     
  8. oSCAr

    oSCAr New Member

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    I don´t think it is good idea. My girlfriend would probably think that I am too perverse. I prefer create something and then post anonymously on the internet and let anyone else who don´t know me to comment on it.
     
  9. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    Do 'life-writes/memoir' count in this enquiry? Honestly, one cries at any CW with a puppy or a widow, orphan receiving horrendous notification.

    One guy had the audacity to write a 'I remember the day they came to our house to tell me they were all dead,' - and it was a complete fiction @ 1000 words. He won the contest, obviously. That's cheating technically, surely?

    Those are all easy reads for relatives, whilst the lazers and meteors are more problematic.
     
  10. SkinnyPuppy

    SkinnyPuppy Active Member

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    As a consummate student of Freud and Pavlov and practitioner thereof, I find that I have adopted the same position with my writing ans I have in practicum. Over familiarity and emotions tend to bias us from the actual truth. As a result we rarely receive the input that we truly need to grow whether from a writing perspective, health, or even character for that matter. My best feedback has typically come from the detached and impartial. And so I have assumed nearly the same position with my writing when it comes to a significant other or close friend. "It really seems as though you need to talk to someone, only that someone isnt me." I hope that you found this insightful. Cheers!
     
  11. Lew

    Lew Member Supporter Contributor

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    My wife @K McIntyre and I are each other's primary editors for the first draft. Bear in mind, we have been married for 39 years so we are somewhat in tune with each other, and long since used to taking criticism from each other. We also know when to back off, when the other does not want to accept the critique. It is, after all, the writer's story. As we each finish a chapter, we have the other review it, not only for SPaG (Word takes care of most of that) but clarity, consistency etc. We also "story board" where we think the story should go, and how to get it there. However, once the first draft is complete, and has had one full read-through by the other, then it is time for beta readers and editors to take a wholly unbiased view of this.
     
  12. Kwills79

    Kwills79 Member

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    I love this question because I have struggled with this myself--whether or not to have my husband read my stuff (he's very artistic, but not in a writer kind of way). In general, I don't have him read it for 2 reasons: 1) I doubt whether he'd be very objective (though I still value his opinion as a beta reader) and 2) he always kind of groans a little when I ask him to (and we're talking picture books here people!), which tells me he's not super interested (and therefore probably wouldn't be very helpful). He's supportive and all, just not in a critiquing/beta'ing kind of way. I use my critique group for that : )
     
  13. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    This seems to be one of my favorite mistakes to make. My lover will read my story tonight. My lover has not learned that the only thing I want to hear is that I'm wonderful. Do we not know each other at all?
     
  14. GlitterRain7

    GlitterRain7 The Queen of Nowhere Contributor

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    My boyfriend won't read my work. Probably because I talk about it to him all the time.:supergrin:
    He did say he'll read it if it ever gets published.:superagree:
     
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  15. LazyBear

    LazyBear Member Supporter

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    My girlfriend used to read the final comics that I made, she was brutally honest about what she liked and disliked, because she's Chinese.
     
  16. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    (Thought I answered this, but maybe not since I can't find a post. )If they've Googled me, they've found my non-fiction, so no choice there. But something I was working on? Nope, not if I can help it.

    Like @izzybot I have a cautionary tale. Ex #2 was a writer, so this never should have happened, but we had a huge fight over something I wrote. It was a fiction piece I was considering fleshing out into a novel, and it was in first-person, about a woman in the French Quarter of New Orleans who was walking through the Quarter to meet her guy. Lots of sensory description, her pace quickens as she gets closer to his place because she can't wait to see him, yadda yadda. When she finally gets to his place, we learn her guy is married, they're having an affair, and it's a tryst.

    The Ex got really judgy about the subject matter, and we had a huge fight. He thought it was absolutely terrible of me to write such a thing, and our relationship never really recovered after that. So proceed with extreme caution.
     
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  17. Malisky

    Malisky Fuzz Overdriver Contributor

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    I haven't read any or the replies above but, no, nope, bad idea.
     
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