Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Someone's Been Reading My Manuscript ...


My DH is reading my manuscript. You might think, so what's the big deal? Well, the big deal is that while he is an avid reader of nonfiction, especially anything pertaining to aeronotics, geology, weather or the Bible, he has not read a novel in 25 years.

The last novel he read was Moby Dick, and the parts he most loved were the parts that fiction lovers generally hate. You remember them--the scientific descriptions about whales, whaling, harpoons or what-have-you. Frankly, I don't remember them, however he has the type of memory that could probably, quite easily, dredge up some of the facts that Melville wrote about whaling. DH seems to have a photographic memory for facts and dates. He is able to easily retrieve from memory countless facts about about science, presidential politics, history and the Bible. More than anything, he is a Bible scholar.

Because of his fiction-reading history, or non-reading history as it may be, I don't fault him for not being interested in reading anything I've written over the years. To him, fiction is not the truth. Practical, realistic man that he is, he doesn't have time for such nonsense. A gifted pilot, farmer and mechanic, he self-describes himself as a "gear head."

I am fascinated that his brain is wired for mechanics and engineering, and yet metaphors and wit roll off his tongue with greater facility than they do mine. Me, the writer!

So after a little arm-twisting, and a little guilt-inducement, I finally got him to agree to read my manuscript. He uploaded it to his IPad, and has been reading it for a few minutes each night after watching O'Reilly. He's currently on chapter 7 (of 24) and his verdict ... 

He says it's really grown on him. He feels protective of the heroine. He finds the inappropriate boyfriend not too bad. (I told him the guy's going to get a lot worse, but that he isn't, ultimately, awful). He finds the hero "a fascinating character."

I wonder if he thinks I based the hero and the antagonist on him? Did I? No. My characters are all drawn from abstract concepts whose attitudes and behavior fall within specific enneagram types and subtypes.

I'll let you know DH's final verdict.

What about you? Does your spouse read everything you write?


  1. sadly no spouse but I do have an awesome critique partner who loves my new WIP :)

  2. I bounce a lot of ideas off my husband, and once I have a decent draft, he reads it. He's a poet, so I always get a unique, word-conscious critique from him, which I love. I know I'm super lucky to have a writer for a husband! Or am I cursed? We argue about plenty when it comes to writing! :)

  3. Yes, he reads my blog--when I am not in a fog as I am right now.


  4. That's fascinating!--and how great that your hubby is connecting to your story. My hubby read a couple of early stories, but he hasn't read everything. Like your hubby, he's more of a nonfiction guy. But I'm broadening his horizons, hehe. Like I got him to read LITTLE BROTHER by Cory Doctorow cuz it had geek stuff in it. :) (He liked it.)

  5. Knowing this dear man and how busy he is with the farm and all things mechanical and technical, that's pretty amazing!! I'm sure his insights will be invaluable. My husband finally read mine and gave a thumbs up (yay!)--this after trying years ago and never getting past the second chapter. Hmm...that was a wakeup call for a book that badly needed to be rewritten.


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