My giant leap forward

I did manage one post for June (my flipping the coin villain backstory post), but the rest of the month was a wash, blog-wise. But, I did have some excitement. Drumroll, please….

 

My husband read one of my stories!

Some of you out there are likely thinking, Big f***in’ deal, but this was a huge deal for me. My husband hadn’t read anything of mine since university, which is…well, let’s just say it’s a long time ago, now.

I’d left my original story “Finding Mister Wright” in a file folder on the dressing table a few months back, inviting him to take a look whenever he felt like doing so. I left it up to him because I don’t like when other people force their writing on me. But, as the months went by, seeing that folder left untouched rankled me. So, when he messaged me one evening and mentioned he’d read it, I was walking on clouds!

I know it doesn't look like I'm excited, but I was.

I know it doesn’t look like I’m excited, but I was.

We spoke about it in some more detail, and I’ve gotten to bounce some ideas off of him, for how to make the third act come together with more punch.  One thing he said that made me nearly burst with glee was, “I like how you keep writing these characters after their main story is done. It gives them a much ‘fuller world’ feeling. Like they’re real.”

Honestly, a lot of my characters are real to me, even the fantastic ones. That’s what makes writing so joyous for me. It’s also why I get sad whenever I come to the end of a story. The characters and their relationships grow on me after all that time and effort of pulling their world and all of their conflicts together.

So, as of today, two people have read that first draft of “Finding Mister Wright” (Hi, JM!). Each of those people, with their timely feedback, has made me think about not just this story but all of my writing in a more focused way. I’m still undecided on the best way for me to get my stories out there – querying and sucking up to agents and houses, or hiring an editor and publishing on my own – but I feel like this little boost has fanned the flames of my spirit to be even stronger than before. Brighter, if you will. And each little bit of extra brightness makes the darkness of defeat seem not so foreboding.

I hope everyone out there is having a great summer (or whatever your local season may be). I’m looking forward to sharing more stories and steps forward in the months to come!

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7 thoughts on “My giant leap forward

  1. Congrats on a huge deal, indeed! I don’t share my work with family, mainly because they aren’t writers and they wouldn’t give me the kind of critical feedback that I need. But, I know a lot of writers like to have that support from loved ones even if they don’t know just exactly what goes into creating a character or a scene.

    Judging from just that small glimpse of the exchange with your husband, he sounds like he understands what you need to do. That’s so important. And I’m glad that his response is enough to keep you writing and keep you on your stories.

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    • Thanks for stopping in, Kate! (Sorry for the lateness to reply. My email notifications seem to be wonky. I didn’t realize anyone had commented until I stopped in to Vanessa’s baking blog and saw the word balloon lit up on my dash!)

      I don’t normally ask family to read my stuff, either. But, my husband’s been saying for a long time that he wanted to read my stuff, though he never seemed to have “the time.” He was an assistant editor at Marvel for a while, so he does know something about storytelling, albeit of the sequential sort. Though, really, it was so nice just to be able to talk face-to-face with SOMEbody about my work. None of my friends read my stuff, nor my family, and all the groups I’ve been to in my area have been all about selling work, not necessarily making ourselves into better storytellers. So, this was a standout bright moment in an otherwise pretty rough year.

      I think family in general are best reserved for being cheerleaders, not editing companions, because there’s a bunch of other feelings involved. For years, I held a quiet grudge against a close friend who called some of my earlier writing “trite,” even though it was, in hindsight. So, I’ve learned not to share my work with the people closest around me. It does make the process of revising more difficult, though, not having a reader with whom one can actually talk, not just communicate over email. There’s phone and Skype, but nothing beats sitting over a few plates of tandoori while you hash out a plot point. 🙂

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  2. I’m very happy to have been one of the first readers for “Finding Mister Wright.” 🙂 The characters strike me as very realistic, too, and I was rooting for them and wanting to learn more—exactly the reactions a reader should have to a story!

    It’s so good to hear that you’re growing more confident in your writing and finding the desire to write is growing, too. If I weren’t surrounded by unpacked boxes and facing the cleaning of the old place, I’d love to share in that feeling. 🙂 Maybe after September when all the extra busyness is (cross your fingers) hopefully behind me!

    I’ve had a few family members read my work, and like you, I rely on them more for encouragement than for true critiques. Some relatives can be both professionally objective and personally supportive, but they are very few and far between, I think.

    I hope you’re enjoying your summer, too!

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    • Thanks a million times over for your support, JM. 🙂

      Is it just me, or does the break between semesters feel shorter and shorter every year? We’re already prepping for FA14! It used to be, I only had some maintenance issues to deal with during June and July. Now, it’s full steam ahead all summer long!

      I hope you get to read and write some more when the move settles. I’ve missed reading your adventures. 🙂

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  3. Pingback: “Culture Gap” [Another "Finding Mister Wright" Free-Write Short Story] | Even More BonusParts!

  4. Sharing your work is so hard. Especially with your nearest and dearest. Bravo! I’m so glad your hubby was supportive too. Sometimes friends and family can say the wrong thing, but he was awesome in his reactions. 🙂 Yay!

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    • I remember a few weeks ago, Kourtney, we were talking on WP or FB or Twitter about people who say they’ll read our work but then don’t, and you mentioned how that’s a deal breaker for you. At the time, I thought, “Too bad I’m married to this one.” LOL! So, it was doubly great to be able to talk with him in detail about one of my stories. We did take some time between when he read the whole thing and when we had a more in-depth discussion on plot, flow, and characterization, and it’s been a while since I finished that first draft, so I was more ready for his not-always-gentle critique than I might have been a few months ago. Whew!

      Thanks for dropping in!

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