Whilst working on my GH entry, I decided I needed a non-writer opinion. Now, I know my hubby doesn't read romance. I know he's not going to understand everything about the genre and he may be a bit, well, confused with how much emphasis there is on the romantic relationship as opposed to car chases, gunfights, and space ships (or some such).
*sigh* You get what you pay for. He read every word, he laughed in a couple of places, and he gave me comments that were helpful. But he didn't love it. It's not his genre, and I know that, but I guess I still expected him to be wowed. His comment? “It's not bad.” ROFL. I'm secure enough not to disintegrate over that, but still. Is it a bit too much to ask for some enthusiasm?
I think of Stephen King and his first reader. He says he writes for his wife. It's her he wants to entertain. If she doesn't like something, he's disappointed. And I know how he feels, I guess. I can't write for my husband since I write romance and he doesn't read it. But I'd like it if he was amazed and stupefied by my brilliance, you know?
In his defense, though, he has always promised to tell me the truth when I ask him to read my work. I prefer that to platitudes and blind acceptance of everything I've written. He even once gave me the perfect plot twist on a short story. I value his opinion, but I still wish I could wow him. Maybe if I write an intergalactic space ship chase/gunfight/political thriller/horror novel combination, I'll have the ideal first reader. 🙂 Until then, I guess I'll have to settle for It's not bad.
Do you have a first reader who's a non-writer? Do you share your work with your spouse, or another family member? Are you disappointed or helped by those opinions?