Professional writer = good

19 12 2008

There are good things and bad things about having a professional writer as your spouse.

Good things:

  • You can go to them for feedback and usually the feedback is the right feedback
  • You can bounce ideas off them
  • They often have insights that enhance your original concept, taking it in an entirely unexpected direction or just making it better

Bad things:

  • Never available – paying work and deadlines ALWAYS take precedent

I experienced both the good and the bad over the past few days.

My wife’s been meaning to read my novel for the past few years and she’s made valiant stabs at beginning it but she has never quite got all the way through (or much past page 100). This is primarily because of work pressures. Obviously I’ve been understanding about this (I’d be a bit of a jerk otherwise) but Kirsty has been REALLY guilty about this. Almost, “Can you ever possibly forgive me?” type guilty, you know, the kind of guilt you experience after doing something really really bad. Now, I’m not entirely innocent, I suppose I have played it up to get the latest computer games (maybe I am a jerk?) but I totally understand why she hasn’t got around to reading or giving feedback to me. Paying work ALWAYS takes precedent.

Having started the 4th draft of the novel, I thought I’d take a novel (heh) technique to get her reading it. My plan: to drip feed her small bite sized sections of the story. It kinda worked.

First the bad: it took her three days to get around to reading 5 pages. But you know what, bite sized chunks work – she READ it! Yay, Kirst!

Then the good: she immediately found the flaw in what I had written and suggested a solution. I had this feeling that some of the motivations were slightly off, they were okay but there was an element of this could be much better going on. Her solution is elegant and simple and when I incorporated it it ended up taking up less words. Yay, brevity!

Kirst also helped with suggesting a name for another key plot point – actually it was more like we bounced ideas off each other, but still it worked! Yay, Kirst!

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