Husband’s Feedback

My husband liked my book. I’ll paraphrase his kind words.

“You managed to accomplish what 95% of people who start a book don’t. You finished it. And of the five percent who finish only three percent write a good book. This is a good book.” He hugged me too. That was a wonderful. And there was no way that was all he had to say.

The week before I gave my book to him, I sent a copy to Kimberley Griffiths Little. She sent me positive feedback the same day my husband finished reading my book. Her feedback began:

I’ve finished reading and enjoyed it very much. You have a unique premise and twists and turns that are great. Your descriptions are really good, very beautiful in places. I also got a good sense of Ventura Beach and the setting, especially when they’re in the car with Mary and she’s drinking, etc. The kissing scenes with Billy are really, really good, too! Very sexy.

She treated me like a professional and gave me a critique on how to improve my book. I immediately wrote her back and thanked her for her insights and got to work brainstorming so I could meet her challenge and raise the bar on my work, bringing it to the next level. Kimberley believes if I do it successfully I will have more interest in LIFE-LIKE. How could I refuse? No, not me, not this girl! Why would I let two years of work go to waste because my ego got a bit scuffed? It doesn’t matter that I thought I was done revising it until my dream agent took me as a client and gave me a few notes. The gauntlet was set, and I was going to work my way through it.

After my husband gave me his feedback I told him what she said. He agreed. Her note made sense to him. It made sense to me too, but there was a teeny bit of disbelief in me. You see, they reminded me I don’t always put what’s in my mind on the page. It’s a VERY ANNOYING habit. I don’t recommend it if you’re a writer.

I needed to deepen the back story and interpersonal relationships between my main characters. The only way I could invision doing that was to add drama. So I thought of a scenario that makes the mother a little less likable, eek, but gave a greater motivation for the chain reaction that follows. It took me all day Thursday, to write five pages. I had to believe in the changes, see them, feel them, and write them. That meant making a few big edits.

I loved the opening page of my book. But it’s changing with this revision. I never imagined this fight I created. If it’s making me this uncomfortable does that mean it’s good? Were my characters too likable? (Insert heavy sigh.) The ripple throughout the book is going to flex my mental and imaginative muscles. I feel my darlings lining up against the firing wall. It feels like bits and pieces of me are being killed too.

And I can’t talk about my anxiety with my husband, he doesn’t want to listen to me as I pace around the house flinging my hands in the air working out the details. He sees the work I do but doesn’t always understand it.

Since I have to vent my anxiety,  you’re getting a full dose. I don’t want to send out a sub-par book. I want it to be better than anyone expects. Sometimes the best creativity is twisted out of us by outside forces. And I am thankful that the forces behind me have my best interest at heart. I just hope I can deliver and survive the change in my characters.

 

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2 thoughts on “Husband’s Feedback

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  1. After reading the latest, I couldn’t help but think of Nietzsche’s famous quote, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Bravo to you, Holly, for keeping an open mind to the constructive criticism. With your commitment, openness and consistency, this WILL be a great book! I look forward to reading it soon!

  2. love this post, and am so happy for you that you are at this point in the process! an agent! a finished book now facing edits and revisions! that’s fantastic, good luck with the next steps.

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