Monday, June 18, 2012

The First Chapter Read Aloud

Tip of the Day: Futurama season premiere on Wednesday night!

I did something this week I rarely do. I read my first chapter out loud to my daughter. I know a lot of you let your kids read your work, and I admire your bravery, or perhaps your kids. My 13-year old daughter is hypercritical of Mom. (Was that sentence redundant or is it just me?) She lives to pick over my flaws, so I rarely let her read my work.

Upping the bravery quotient, I read my first chapter while my husband was in the room. I never share my writing with my husband. Oh, I tell him what I'm working on and ask him for suggestions if I'm stuck because he's good with technical, sciencey things. But he doesn't read fiction. He doesn't watch anything on TV but documentaries and the Walking Dead, which I suspect he thinks is a  documentary of the near future. Basically, the most my husband feels qualified to comment on in my work is "Wow, that's a lot of words."

The verdict? My daughter said "I like it." I asked her if she thought something bad was going to happen in the next chapter, and she said yes, so I guess I've built up some tension. And I found a mistake or two as I was reading. She didn't ask to hear Chapter 2, but that's okay. She doesn't think it's cool anymore for Mom to read to her, and frankly I was amazed that she sat still for Chapter 1 so willingly.

But for the most part, I'm going to stick to my wonderful critique partners for opinions. It's much less stressful and more informative.

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages


Carmella Van Vleet said...

You *are* brave for reading to your 13 year old! I usually read my work-in-progress to my 15 year old but only when I'm feeling emotionally strong. Like your daughter, she's hypercritical of her mother too!

Andrea Mack said...

I let my daughters read my novels, but I don't think I could read aloud to them now that they're teens. They do critique my work but usually in a constructive way.

I sometimes read my own work aloud to get a feel for how it sounds outside my head.

DeenaML said...

"He doesn't watch anything on TV but documentaries and the Walking Dead, which I suspect he thinks is a documentary of the near future."

Kate Fall said...

Oh, Deena, if only I were joking!

Christina Farley said...

That is a big step to have your family read your stuff. I finally started having my husband read my 2nd drafts because he's a high school English teacher and he reads a lot of YA. He's an excellent sounding board and he's my toughest critic which I actually love.

Sounds like your well on your way with your story! So exciting!