My current WIP is a love story about what happens when the relationship is essentially put on trial in a criminal courtroom. A legal seminar company offers a yearly workshop for lawyers who write featuring speakers like Lisa Scottoline and Stephen Horn. It also sponsors an annual competition. This is my first attempt to use my law license in my writing so I thought I'd enter. My work is a little different for the genre, so I emailed the group to be sure I qualified and I did.
In preparing my submission, I sent the 2,500 word excerpt to my husband, asking that he read it and give me his thoughts. He is surely not a romance reader, but this is a little different from hardcore romance. After a while he replied saying, "Are you going to ask me for my opinion about this? Please don't. I love you." The email conveyed his opinion in a rather "in your face" fashion, so I didn't ask.
I'm about 81,000 words into the book - not quite at the end but it's in sight. The problem is that now, when I sit down at my keyboard, instead of my characters, I hear my husband's email running in my head, over and over. Somehow, I can't seem to get past it.
I know I risk being labeled nitwit of the year, or even whiner of the year (or possibly the decade) but do you have any suggestions for how I might deal with a bad review from the person whose opinion matters most?
Thanks in advance for your help.
I'm sorry but YOU do not qualify for nitwit of the day week or year. Your husband on the other hand...yikes!!! I know you love him but please let me kick him...just ONCE...in the legal brief of your choice.
Aside from his subtle cruelty, Mr. Smooth may actually have helped you. You need feedback from people who can help you figure out what works and what doesn't. Cue: Theme from "Critque Groups Are Your Friend" and a visual of Mr. Rogers singing. Find a critique group, or a writing partner. Have them read the pages. If the WIP isn't W-ing, they can tell you where it falls apart. Elektra's Crapometer can be of help there too...I haven't slithered over in awhile so I don't know what the back log is but throw yourself on her mercy and tell her your marital wellbeing depends on it.
The important thing here is to get past those hurt feelings (much easier advised than accomplished of course) and use this info to move forward. Of course, the visual of Mr Smooth being eviscerated by Killer Yapp may assist in this endeavor. Feel free to use it as needed.
And of course you can learn the music to "Beauty School Dropout" from Grease and just make it your own:
His story sad to tell,
A first reader ne'er do well,
Most mixed up spousal unit on the block!
His future's so unclear now,
He's been outted on Miss Snark's blog now,
Won't even get a snarkly smile!
Angels: (La lalala lalala lalala...)