My Last Beta-Reader

I’m going to get a bit gushy, so please forgive me in advance.  I’ve read lately about authors thanking their spouses for being their first readers.  Well, my husband isn’t my first reader, he’s my last.  He doesn’t want to see a manuscript until I think I’m done.  But he does read all my manuscripts.

Despite that, I was surprised when RocketMan said he wanted to read Sophie.  He had a hard time with Kwizera – he’s totally a genre fiction kind of guy, especially old school sci-fi.  (In fact, lately he has lamented the loss of the kind of sci-fi he likes to read, so please send some good adult sci-fi recs in our direction.)  Kwizera was too…literary for him.  But he read it and made a few comments.

Sophie seems to be a different story.  (Nope, that pun was not intended, and I didn’t even notice it while writing.)  The other night he came home late from a business trip and he brought up the fact that he was about halfway through Sophie.  Then he proceeded to tell me his thoughts.  Every time I thought he’d finished, he’d launch into another thing he remembered from my manuscript.

I couldn’t keep the grin off my face.  It didn’t matter that he had a few negative comments – he was talking about Sophie, and he got it.  He noticed things that other beta-readers missed.  For example, he pointed out that when Sophie changes out of her 21st century togs, the sister of the girl she’s pretending to be should be horrified by her underwear, because she wouldn’t have seen anything that skimpy before.  Then he gave me ideas to write myself out of that problem.

Isn’t he awesome?

He would also want you to know that he’s not a dirty old man; he just remembers being a 16 year old geek (or is it nerd?).

He also said he keeps thinking about where it’s all going and threw out some ideas.  I just grinned and kept my lips sealed.  He hasn’t figured out the twist!  Squee!  (Oops, I hope he isn’t reading this, because now he’ll put his super-genius brain to the task of figuring out the twist.)

So, not only does he keep me very well-fed (did anyone read my tweet last week about the lobster paella made on the grill?) in a material sense, he also feeds my creative writer self and pushes me to be even better.

Who feeds you?



Filed under The rest of my life, writing

9 responses to “My Last Beta-Reader

  1. I think it’s so awesome that you have such a supportive husband! I love my DH, but a reader for me he’s not. 😀 He tried, bless his heart, but he’s a rocket scientist.

  2. Awww, that’s awesome!!! So happy for you!

  3. Catherine Johnson

    Oh that’s so wonderful Vicki. I’m totally ordering pizza tonight. Hubby has been busy building a fence to go around our pool every night since forever!! so I am so zonked from having the kids all day. Great stuff about the knickers I missed (if you know what I mean lol) 😛

  4. That is awesome, Vicki! It’s wonderful to have a partner who is interested in your writing. My husband is very supportive and also plans to read Tangled once it’s goes through the beta reader stage. He’ll probably be my last beta reader too! Are you planning to join the platform-building campaign this time round? 🙂

  5. Nothing like those blunt hubbies eh? They say children say the darndest things but gee, if I could tape what he’s said about my writing…. hahahaha!!!

  6. Gail

    Well, my husband literally feeds me as in sometimes he cooks, but he doesn’t feed my writer self. My critique group, my friend, Julie, my sister and my children feed my writer self. My critique group inspires me! My one daughter is almost 14 and is actually a good writer herself so she is very helpful. My other daughter is 11 and a half, she is also a good writer and is helpful depending on the age of my characters.

    I am happy your hubby is reading Sophie and giving suggestions!

  7. I’m lucky to have several online buds who I can run to when I need ms
    (or any other writing) help. (Thank you!!) My hubby does offer to read my work (when it’s ready for him, which none have been yet) and DID read the beginning of Solstice. He also gave AMAZINGLY honest and constructive feedback. He could tell when my writing was choppy and unpolished and gave me ideas of ways to improve. He loves the idea for that series, but isn’t as sure he’ll be interested in reading my YA contemporary! ;0) YAY for your betas and hubby!!!! Food for the tummy and inspirational nutrition are so important! Christy

  8. Zoe

    I also have a hubs that does the cooking and, dude, what a freakin gorgeous treat that is 🙂

  9. Oh that’s awesome!!!! my husband is not a reader at all, but he has gallantly offered to read my books. I keep putting it off – “they aren’t quite ready yet, honey.” I know he’ll be super supportive though when he does read. And meanwhile he has cooked me many a lovely meal, too. Yay for family support!

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