I’m thrilled to be posting my first blog to Not Your Usual Suspects, and to join this “suspenseful” group of writers. Thanks for the invite. Now to the question of the day.
Should your family become involved in your writing? Some say they post a message on their office door warning not to be disturbed except in cases of blood or fire. No one in the household reads their stories until they appear online or on the shelf. On the other hand, I know of authors whose spouses cook dinner, help with research, and do many technical/online tasks. So, how involved should your family be in your writing?
My sister read my early manuscripts and being the loving person she is, was kind with her comments. She suggested things to work on and let me progress. The more improvement I showed, the more in-depth her critiques became. Now we read each other’s work and don’t hold back the punches. Then there is my mother we call the grammar queen. Can anyone say bleeding pages? She worked with a red pen for years and has recently progressed to Track Changes. Dad is a final proofreader. My brother and his wife once read an early manuscript and pointed out research things I’d missed, like it’s not stealthy to flip a rowboat at night with oars stowed inside. They later picked the topic of a paranormal series I wrote with my sister, and since have become great brainstormers.
Hubby was another animal all together. While VERY supportive of my writing, in the early years he didn’t quite “get” how to help. He’d read things I wrote and say it seemed okay to him. I’d have to quiz him to find the weaknesses. When I’d ask for suggestions, he’d give me one and then get offended, as though I didn’t like it, when I asked for more. It took years for him to get the concept of how to brainstorm. In other words, bandy about the first suggestion, add six more, and then combine a few to come up with the solution. I discovered the best time to get him into a thinking mode is to join him in a place with no distractions. The pool or hot tub works nicely. It has taken years, but he has become quite adept at helping me find over-the-top, but perfect solutions to issues. Now he can read for pacing, plot holes, and overall content. Best of all, he is taking up cooking dinner.
So don’t discount those around you if at first their assistance seems impossible or unhelpful. They might just surprise you. Oh, hubby just walked in and dropped the latest scene on my desk. “Needs more tension,” he said and walked out. Sigh.
Check out my Daphne du Maurier and Maggie award-winning book Repossessed (hubby had a big influence on that one) at www.sandyparksauthor.com. The sequel Outfoxed is coming soon, in which my military (pilot) son and his friends actually provided some of the research. Thanks for stopping by.
Posted by Sandy Parks
Posted by Sandy Parks